Starting the new year off with good goals is always a great way of creating a strong and wholesome mindset for yourself.
I am a firm believer in what you speak out has power, and therefore, when I think about the year ahead, I like to be prepared spiritually and mentally.
Keeping your mind focused, being consistent and proactive in your daily activities, and remaining steadfast in the Spirit are three of the most important things to do to keep a wholesome, purposeful, and healthy lifestyle.
The Bible is the perfect manual to life, as was intended, and it gives us a great outline into how we should live our lives, what we should focus on, and how to be purposeful in our daily endeavours.
1. Set a goal
Setting goals for yourself is such an important thing to do. Not only does it push you in your focus and determination to achieve that goal, but it also generates a sense of purpose and excitement as you get closer each day to achieving the goal set before you.
Your goals could consist ofpursuing a healthier lifestyle, exercising consistently, taking up a new hobby, making a new friend, trying a new church, learning something new, sorting that room out that you have been trying to get to for the past year, and so on.
At the end of every year, on December 31st, I write myself a letter explaining what happened throughout the year, the blessings, the challenges, the joyful memories, and sometimes the sad ones. I also include a section about my plans and goals for the year ahead.
Over the past few years of writing letters, I have accomplished almost every goal I set for myself. It gives me a sense of purpose for the year and makes me proactive and determined in all I do to achieve those goals. It is incredibly fulfilling.
Being consistent with one’s goals is the real challenge, not so much the goals themselves. To pursue something wholeheartedly is to put in effort, determination, and focus to achieve something.
When you can be consistent, it becomes a habit, and that is ultimately what the goal is. When I was trying to stop biting my nails, I had to be consistent in telling myself not to bite them when tempted and to distract myself with something else. After 3 months of trying and remaining consistent, I had no desire to bite my nails any longer.
Consistency also derives from a place of knowing yourself and your limits. If your challenge this year is to become more consistent in spending time with people, read a book or your Bible, or start a regular exerciseroutine, then I encourage you to set time aside when you feel good about doing those things and pursue it. By doing this, it allows our minds to think positively about our goal/s, otherwise, our goals turn into chores and our desire to achieve them fades away.
3. Read your Bible
Ah, yes. This is a classic and common Christian goal. Every year we make the same goal to read our Bibles and be more consistent and purposeful in doing so, but time after time that goal fades and we find ourselves aiming for the new year again so we can set the same goal to achieve it.
2 Timothy chapter three verses 16 to 17 says, ‘All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.’
The secret to achieving this goal comes back to consistency.We need to read the Bible daily, as it equips us for ‘every good work’ and encourages and restores us spiritually and mentally.
I also found that by starting my morning by making a lovely hot cup of Melbourne Breakfast tea and sitting on my bed to read the Bible, whilst a sweet candle burns in the corner of the room, made me enjoy and crave that alone time with God and His Word each day.
If God’s Word equips us for ‘every good work’, then I know that whatever I read will prepare me for the day ahead.
Psalm chapter 119 verse 105 says, ‘Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.’
I also know that my God has gone before me and knows what I will face throughout the day, so therefore by reading my Bible every morning, I am prepared spiritually and mentally for whatever comes my way.
Deuteronomy chapter 31 verse eight says, ‘The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.’
Fellowship is so important, especially during times like these. We need to find community and fellowship with like-minded people to build each other up and edify one another.
1 Thessalonians chapter five verse 11 says, ‘Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.’
I have prayed for the past two years that I would find a like-minded community of people who help strengthen each other and proclaim God’s goodness, righteousness, and strength to everyone they know.
Proverbs chapter 27 verse 17 says, ‘Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.’
This is the time to be bold and to stand strong, united against evil, to fight for the rights and freedoms of the people, and to rejoice in the glory and majesty of Jesus Christ!
Ecclesiastes chapter four verses nine to 12 says, ‘Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.’
May I encourage you to be bold, to pray that God opens your eyes and heart to good, strong, and like-minded people who love Jesus with all their heart and who will encourage and uplift you in all areas of your life.
When I am setting my goals for the year, I always start with a prayer. In 2021 I prayed and asked God to give me a word. He gave me two — “One year”. In one year, I met an amazing and godly man, I became stronger physically, spiritually, and mentally, and I accomplished all my goals that I had set for myself and more.
Whether God intended for those things to be what he meant by ‘one year’, I do not know, but what I do know is that by praying, receiving this word, and allowing my year to be consistently purposeful, whilst praising and thanking God, I accomplished more than what I thought I ever could.
Prayer isn’t just about asking God for things; it is about thanking Him for all He has done. We need to be faithful in our requests to God, and whilst in our request, we need to thank Him for all He has done, and for His constant protection and blessing over our lives.
Colossians chapter four verse two says, ‘Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.’
Pray with all your heart. Pray as often as you can. Pray like there is no tomorrow. When we pray, we are speaking our heart out to God.
James chapter five verse 13 says, ‘Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise.’
Be joyful and thankful. Set goals for this year and be purposeful and proactive in achieving them. Be consistent and allow God to guide you this year. God listens and answers our prayers. He is such a loving and gracious Father.
Cartia Moore is a sword fighter, trained and skilled in the art of fencing. She has recently graduated from her Bachelor of Arts degree and has completed an Honours in Screen & Media Studies. She is now going on to do a Master of Teaching (Secondary), focusing in the teaching areas of English and Film studies. She is passionate and driven to inspire and encourage others to seek and find their worth and value in Him.
Cartia Moore’s previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/cartia-moore.html