Pray. Plan. Pursue.

Every January, people from every walk of life, and all over the globe, set out with new ambitions, hopes, and desires for the new year. Some people even go as far to say, "New Year. New Me." Usually by the end of the month, the drive and determination that was there at the start of the year fizzles out.

I don't know what it is about goal-setting and planning that just seems to put things in perspective for me. What I've realized though, is that every single one of our goals must align themselves with God's will for us. That's where humility comes into play. God's will always trumps ours.

Ouch.

So let me ask you. Did you make "resolutions" or set objectives for 2017? Are your plans within the parameters of God's will and His character? Is your process for goal-setting practical and SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Tangible)? 

As we use our minds to set goals and make plans, we should do so with humility, knowing that God divinely directs our future. 

Proverbs 16:13 teaches us to commit whatever we do to the Lord and He will establish our plans.

Praying, reading God's Word, and seeking wise counsel, will give us the confidence to walk in our purpose. 

 Photo By: Ben White

Photo By: Ben White

A few weeks ago, while in California, I had an awesome opportunity to sit and listen to an incredible young woman, sister, and dear friend, Ashley Dyce of www.paraashlete.com. Ashley led a workshop on dreaming BIG. She opened up by sharing her testimony of faith and then she gave us strategies to overcome the ups and downs of life. After a thoroughly engaging discussion, she encouraged us to write down our dreams for 2017 and to commit to praying for them as well as the dreams of our "dream partners" for 30 days. 

That simple activity got me thinking. What emotional, physical, financial, spiritual, mental, and/or social goals did I have set for 2017? Through that workshop I learned that no matter how complex, vast, or seemingly unattainable my plans seem to be, they are still just a fraction of what God wants to do in and through me.  

So what are your objectives for 2017? Here are three strategies I suggest you add to your arsenal as you pursue your goals this year:

1) Consistency - Commit to it and then do it again and again until it becomes almost second nature. Commit and repeat.  

2) Diligence - Goals require work. Your intention and efforts must be focused, careful, and precise.

3) Resilience -  Things happen. Sometimes they are beyond our control, sometimes they're not. Adapt and bounce back. 

Are you dreaming big?

As we conclude this first month in 2017, I encourage you to pray, plan, and pursue. 

 "May He give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed." Psalm 20:4