Tuesday, December 29, 2015

A Disciplined Life

Each year I set goals for myself for the coming year and then take stock of those goals periodically to see if I'm on track.  Last year I added a different component to this.  After reflecting and praying about it, I had a word and theme verse for the year which I felt I should focus on.

So over the past month, knowing that the end of the year was coming up, I started thinking about what was lacking in my life and some character trait that I felt God wanted me to focus on in 2016. 

This year the following word keeps coming back to me over and over again.

This is something that I certainly have been struggling with the past few years.  Without it, I'm just spinning my wheels.  I start projects and fizzle.  I base a lot of what I do on how I feel.  I've gotten sloppy in almost every area of my life.  I never used to be as bad as I am lately and so I know I need to get back on track. 
The verse that the Lord led me to was the following in I Corinthians.

I Corinthians 9:24-27 (NLT) ~
Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.

I want to run with purpose each step of the way.  Over the next few days I'm going to be coming up with some concrete goals for 2016 and some helpful questions to ask myself as I set these goals are as follows.

  • What is the single biggest time-waster in your life, and what will you do about it this year? 
  • What’s the most important way you will (by God’s grace) try to make this year different from last year?
  • What single thing that you plan this year will matter most in 10 years? 
  • What area in your life needs simplifying, and what’s one way you can simplify that?
  • What habit would you most like to establish this year? 
  • What is your most important financial goal this year, and what is the most important step you can take toward achieving it?
  • What skill do you most want to learn or improve this year?
  • Who do you most want to encourage this year?
  • If those who know you best gave you one piece of advice, what would they say? Would they be right? What would you do about it?
  • What's one thing you could do this year to increase your enjoyment of God? 
So I have my work cut out for me but I'm ready to face the new year with a plotted course.  I try to make concrete, measurable goals rather than resolutions because without a clear cut plan for change, those resolutions just fall by the wayside.