It’s the third day of Christmas and I am finishing up some work before some hard deadlines. But I am already looking to next year. I journal at least three times a week–try Penzu.com this new year– and it helps me keep track of my progress.
As I read through my accomplishments this morning I looked back at some my goals at the beginning of 2018. In short, I essentially failed to accomplish all of them as intended. I did not read as much as I wanted, I did not write as much as I wanted, I did not pray as much as I wanted; in sum, I probably accomplished 30% of my goals for 2018. I confess my goals were fairly noble like reading 45 books (including some novels and poetry).
Though I failed to achieve my noble goals, I view it as a success. After all, I accomplished 30% of them. I could have lived all of 2018 aimlessly and purposelessly. But God wants your plans to succeed (Ps. 20:4), which implies there are plans made. It’s true that I set a fairly high standard and fell short, but I knew I was going to fall short at some level. But the planning ahead was fundamental to achieving the 30%. Had I not stopped to think late 2017 about how 2018 would unfold I would have entered the year without goals and agendas.
It’s quite easy to mock resolutions, but resolutions mean you have certain goals in mind; a healthy story you are trying to experience which will better your life and your family’s. This is why the Puritans journaled vociferously and wrote remarkably lengthy resolutions (see Jonathan Edwards’ resolutions).
So it is entirely true that God has a habit of shattering our well-laid out plans, but he also has a habit of honoring well-laid out plans. Therefore, plan. Plan for the coming year. Plan to love God, your family and your church and fill those days with ardent productivity.