Christmas is so close! And like most people, I find myself saying, “This year has gone so fast”, “I can’t believe it’s Christmas 2010, where has the time gone?”. Like it or not this season will come and leave quickly and 2011 will start and finish sooner than ever.

 At this time of the year I find myself thinking about the past 12 months and remembering what things went on. It’s a stretch to think back starting in January and recalling the events of this year. Pulling out my journal helps to see what I was praying for, who I was with and what the Lord had taught me. I think through the three areas; Emotional, Physical and Spiritual and what applies to each one. Was I a good friend, How did I savor Christ, how was my fitness, who is new in my life, who is gone, how is  my scripture memory, how was my spending, what was the condition of my heart, how is my bible reading plan going, how was my attitude, what did I learn, what ministry am I involved in, was I creative at all and the list goes on?  I find that looking to the past year is really helpful, but only if you can take an objective look at your life. It is hard to swallow the bad things that went on, how I failed, and identify which areas I am worse off,  and the areas that I continually withheld from the Lord.

 A few years back I began to see the blessing of goal setting and being intentional with my time. This small shift in my thinking has helped me take the focus off of me and onto the Lord during the goal setting process. He already has placed many goals before me through His word. How can I slowly begin to be intentional with my time to glorify the Lord? After all go to the ant…

 As I take an objective look at my year, I try to remember my thought process, why I did I do the things the way I did? Sometimes things had to go the way they did, even though I totally busted a goal. Remember that God is Sovereign over all things, and He is our main goal. If I left my list with just that I would be far better off than a list of other meaningless goals. Trusting that He ordained everything that has happened and caused them for His glory, even my pain and trials, my joy and success. Just because I am failing on earthly goals that the media and world challenge me with, I might be more than a conqueror with Christ and my Heavenly goals. I need to take my thoughts captive because I am quick to become disheartened at the thought of failure, or proud and arrogant in what I did well. Christ is the goal, He is my motivation, He is my prize, intimacy with HIM is the point. His glory is the end, and the beginning. Putting off the old, to put on the new is my process. Why? Not to make me look better, but to make HIM be glorified. Like John said, “He must increase and I must decrease.”

 After I think through everything and the year behind me, usually after much confession turned to praise, I begin to look ahead. What areas of my life would I like to see cultivated and I fill my journal with goals of all sorts. Usually I go back and cross things off and group like things together and come to about 3 that I want to hold on to. Trusting the end result would honor the Lord and be something that would benefit me or someone around me. When I’m done I always find myself dazing off for a minute visualizing myself and how I would feel after I conquered my goals(already failing because I instantly was proud of myself and abilities….). Then I snap back to reality and realize I have lots of work ahead. Lesson one in trusting God.

 So as I think through my year, probably while cleaning the house, doing last minute errands, and decorating cookies I will remember who this year is for and what the point of it all is. My desire is that however my goal list is turned on its head or dutifully accomplished that my heart and attitude would be the same. That my heart would be for the Glory of Christ, immovable to the things brought to me. Easier said than done, but I know with Christ I am already a conqueror, no thanks to me.

 For those of you who are interested in actually setting goals and being intentional with 2011 check back soon. Until then take time in prayer, thinking back on your year, testing your heart and motives as you think through what you might desire to have for you in the next year.