Setting Goals for the New Year

Posted: January 1, 2013 in How to, Speaking ministry, Thoughts on art ministry and life
Tags: , , , , ,

Happy New Year!

It’s the big day, New Years Day, the day that people proclaim their New Years Resolutions. Here’s what I want you to do with your new years resolutions…

Forget them!

C’mon, chances are you’re going to do that anyway. These resolutions are by definition things we are going to attempt to do in our own strength, which is usually the reason they don’t make it past January 31. Instead of making resolutions look toward your God-given vision and mission and set some goals… things to work toward with God’s help in the year ahead. These goals should all be things that move you closer to God’s will for your life. Here are some steps toward setting those goals.

Step 1: PRAY!!!!!

Yes I know all caps are shouting, that’s what I’m doing here, because this is the most important step. Without prayer these goals are just another doomed-to-fail resolution. I know it’s a cliche but if God is your co-pilot, switch seats and let God drive. Don’t pray to invite God into your idea, ask God for his idea, His path, His goals.

Step 2. Write them down.

There’s something about  writing things down that helps make things a little more real. So write them down and place them somewhere that you will see them every day. Be as specific as possible.

Step 3. Break them down.

It’s okay if your goals are huge. God-given things often are. It’s okay if they’re not going to be complete by December 31. Sometimes God defies our timelines and that’s okay because He’s God and is not bound by timelines. What you don’t want to do though is have something that is so big that you feel you’ll never get there and quit. The way to accomplish a big goal is to break it down into small bites, small steps that you can chip away at until you reach your goal. When Michelangelo sculpted his David, he turned an immensely hard piece of rock into one of the greatest works of art the world has ever seen. He didn’t hit the block once and expect perfection, he took his chisels and chipped away. Your masterpiece life is the same way.

Step 4. Be faithful.

Part of chipping away at something is to keep chipping. When you have a God given vision or goal it’s a journey, the key is to keep making the next right step forward, doing what it takes to reach the goal.

Step 5. Accountability

One of the best ways to stay faithful on goals is to share them with others who will check up on you to see how you’re doing. In my case, this year I am going to post my goals here, so that as I work through them, I can share the progress. In addition I work with a coach, who helps keep me on track. This is someone I respect deeply, who respects me, but is also close enough to me to check me and help me to stay on track. I also have a few other friends who will help me to stay on track (more on that tomorrow).

Step 5. Be flexible.

People often ask me, “How do I know if a goal is from me or from God?” The truthful answer is, sometimes you don’t. It’s be nice if it was always a “bolt from the blue” experience, but that is not always the case. I believe it was the band .38 Special who wrote “Hold on loosely.” It was a song about a romantic relationship, but it also applies to our goals. If we hold on to God tightly and our goals loosely, it allows God to guide is from the stuff that is just us and more deeply into the things that are of Him.

As a sidebar, just because things get tough doesn’t mean God’s not in them. Do all that you do to God’s glory.

There’s one more big part of this that we will touch on tomorrow.

In the mean time here are some of my goals for the coming year.

1. To do 50 creative arts ministry programs this year. (Last year I posted a goal of 15 presentations and Got to do 25.)

2. To develop a new full length art ministry presentation and two workshops.

3. To finish my vacation Bible School presentation (It’s booked in one church already, so it will be done, but I’d also like to try to book it in at least three more places).

4. To work up a secular creativity presentation for schools and businesses.

5. To post a blog post here every day and grow this tribe.

6. To finish the book projects I have underway. (1001: A Sketch Odyssey, Running A.M.O.K. II and God and the Creative Process)

7. To post to each day (most of these have already been worked up).

8. To post a Creachertoon five days a week and discern whether it is being effective enough to continue in 2014.

9. To be one-on-one coaching at least five creative ministry people by the end of the year.

There are a few more that I am still discerning and one or two of these may not make it, but this is where I am headed. I know I want to do a few philanthropic things this year, I’m just not sure what they are yet.

What are your goals for 2013? Share them in the comments section if you feel so led.

  1. gordon says:

    2013 goals written on my arm with a Sharpie:

    1. Overcome paralyzed perfectionist tendencies and appreciate that 80% good enough is waaaay better than 0.5% perfect

    2a. Grab my squirrel syndrome by the tail by spending less time on good things (news, sleeping in, political debates with crazy friends on both ends of the political spectrum) and more time on best things (scribbling, prayer, church activities, get-togethers with friends and family)

    2b. Scribble, pray, and exercise on a near-daily basis (or 81% of the time)

    2c. Blog 2 x week (at least 82% of the time)

    2d. Finish rough draft (or 83%) of perpetual novel this year

    3. Remember that “blessings are when preparation meets opportunity” and “the odds of hitting your target go up dramatically when you aim at it”….because it’s a lot harder hearing and answering God’s “call” if I’m spending my life in catch-up mode!

    4. Read certain blogs more regularly 😉



    • amokarts says:

      All these sound great, especially the last one. lol. Truthfully you have hit the nail on the head with the whole perfectionism thing. I wonder how many amazing things that could touch hearts and change lives never see the light of day because their creators see them as less than perfect. Good thing our Creator doesn’t act that way (I smell a blog post here…) Seth Godin in his book Linchpin tells the story about Steve Jobs working with a programmer who was holding back a particular project due to perfectionism. Jobs was quoted as saying, “Real artists ship.” That’s become a mantra for me. When I do a project, I impose a deadline on it, then I pray and give it my all and when the deadline hits, I send it to the world, trusting that God will do with it as He pleases. Otherwise I’ll be tweaking a bunch of stuff that no one will ever see. Some call that perfectionism, I wonder if God doesn’t call it disobedience.
      Thanks for posting. This is going to be a blog post later in the week. Thanks for inspiring it.
      God bless,

  2. […] Setting Goals for the New Year […]

  3. victoria1953 says:

    1. Continue to pray daily asking for God’s grace to do the artmaking and anything else He has for me to do. This was a major breakthrough for me this past 2012! I was paralized with perfectionist tendencies and not being able to even get to the easel to paint. God revealed Him self by teaching me about His grace through Joyce Meyer and from studying the word “grace” in the Bible on my own.

    2. I have goals for painting more portraits(last year was able to complete 9, which is a 1st for me in 1 year)and completing the 9 others I started last year but didn’t have time to complete, continuing improving the acrylic classical technique I’ve taught myself through self-study and other other artist who paint the classical technique in oils(can’t use oils myself, humidity issues, allergy issues and timing issues, the people I paint portraits for don’t have time to wait 6 months to a year for the oil to dry before I could varnish them).

    3. Reaching others outside of my church than I have been, still working on how to do that, at present continue teaching Bible Art and Regular art classes at a Christian mission school here on Okinawa(Kindergarten – 7th grade, 2 days per week).

    Thank you and I pray all your goals will be fulfilled as I pray for mine and that all will be according to His will and if not to let them go and rejoice in the ones He has allowed me to fulfill.

    Joy in Jesus from Okinawa

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