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Resolutions vs. Goals

Some people make New Year's resolutions; others set goals for the year. I've often wondered...what's the difference and which should I make if any?

Of course I did what any (or maybe it's just mine) wondering mind(s) would do, I
typed in Webster's Online Dictionary in my Google search bar and proceed to read the definitions of resolution and goal.

1 : the act or process of resolving: as a : the act of analyzing a complex notion into simpler ones b : the act of answering : solving c : the act of determining d : the passing of a voice part from a dissonant to a consonant tone or the progression of a chord from dissonance to consonance e : the separating of a chemical compound or mixture into its constituents f (1) : the division of a prosodic element into its component parts (2) : the substitution in Greek or Latin prosody of two short syllables for a long syllable g : the analysis of a vector into two or more vectors of which it is the sum 2 : the subsidence of a pathological state (as inflammation) (3)a : something that is resolved b : firmness of resolve (4) : a formal expression of opinion, will, or intent voted by an official body or assembled group (5) : the point in a literary work at which the chief dramatic complication is worked out6 a : the process or capability of making distinguishable the individual parts of an object, closely adjacent optical images, or sources of light b : a measure of the sharpness of an image or of the fineness with which a device (as a video display, printer, or scanner) can produce or record such an image usually expressed as the total number or density of pixels in the image

Huh? What in the world!?! Ok, I admit, I didn't read the whole thing, just skimmed it, but what I did read, I didn't understand. Geesh! Moving on...

goal- 1 a : the terminal point of a race b : an area to be reached safely in children's games2 : the end toward which effort is directed : aim 3 a : an area or object toward which players in various games attempt to advance a ball or puck and usually through or into which it must go to score points b : the act or action of causing a ball or puck to go through or into such a goal c : the score resulting from such an act

Better. I understand this one, I think. In a race, a goal is the finish line. In a game, a goal is where you want to aim the ball. In life, a goal is the result of what you've exerted all your efforts toward.

So, in this new year, this new decade, do I make resolutions or set goals? I'm going with goals. I'm gonna set some goals. Yes...yes, I am. Goals. Not many, just a few. I want to be able to focus my efforts and attention toward a handful of things so that I am able to do them with excellence. Goals. I want to cross the finish line of 2010 triumphant. I want my life to be more purposeful this year; I want it to be aimed at a specific target- a target that glorifies the Father.

As I sat at my desk this past January 1, 2010 with the pages of my new pink leather journal blankly staring back at me I eagerly grabbed my pen and began jotting down my goals for the year.

1. Consistency in my Quiet Time. Some mornings when the alarm announces a new day has dawned, it is SO hard to crawl out of bed. But, alas, my time with God in the mornings sets the tone of my day and gets my thoughts focused on Him. I need that. My goal is to get up EVERY day when the alarm clock beeps or dings or plays music or whatever it does and meet with the Father. What will I be doing in my quiet time? I'm going to be reading through the New Testament. God has already shown me so much in the few chapters we've read together. It's been great!!!

2. Memorize at least 2 verses every month. Care to join me in this? Hiding God's Word in our hearts is so important. When the enemy comes against us or times get tough, with God's Word hidden in our hearts we can walk forward confident and sure that He is with us.

3. Journal every day about Bible reading and what has gone on during the day, especially with the kids. I want my kids to have a written record of their lives and mine. I want them to see, for themselves, how God has worked in them and me over time.

4. Exercise more. 'nough said!

5. Be very purposeful about my time with my kids, putting them, their schooling, and their lives before everything else. God has given them on loan to me to raise for His glory. Raising kids takes lots of time and energy of which I must be purposeful. I am fervently praying for the salvation of my son this year. Do it Lord!!!

6. Be more of an encourager to my husband. My husband works his tushy off for us providing everything we need. He is committed to us and loves us with a passion. I want to encourage him more this year and be more purposeful in letting him know how much I love him and appreciate all he does for us.

7. Complete the Bible Study on 1 John. A few years ago I began writing a Bible Study on 1 John. God is calling me to complete this work. With His leading and wisdom, this will be the year of its completion.

8. Write for God's glory. Not only will I continue to write here, but I, again with His leading, will continue to write for At the Well and Exemplify Online. I also plan to submit some articles for publication and pray that at least 1 of them gets published.

9. Live out the calling God has placed on my life with a passion. I want to be bold and fearless in all that I do for Him. By His Grace Ministry and In His Word Bible Study are ministries that God has called me. These are avenues His has paved for me to live out my story and bring Him glory. Already, He is leading me to step it up and I'm so excited to see what this year holds for these ministries.

10. Seek God's face in everything. My theme verse for this year is Psalm 27:8: "When You said, 'Seek My face,' my heart said to You, 'Your face LORD, I will seek." I want to do NOTHING without His leading. NOTHING. In all things, Lord, I will seek Your face!

My goals. Attainable? Yes. Easy to attain? No. Rewarding when I cross that finish line and look back over the year? Absolutely!!!!

Ready? Set? Let's go girl!!!

12) Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected;
but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which
Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.
13) Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended;
but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind
and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,
14) I press toward the goal for the prize
of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:12-14, NKJV

What about you...what are your goals for 2010?


2 Lovely Thoughts Shared:

Linda said...

Goals? You bet, but the first one, and the one that will be the hardest is, relearning the proper perspective and balance of my time!
God has really been dealing with me as to how I spend my time. I've allowed the virtual world to infringe on my real world. So pray for me to meet the goal of balance.
I'll be around-but not as much!

Be Blessed my friend!

eLisa said...

Jennifer, we are kindred spirits! Yes, yes! You should swing by Extravagant Grace and join in by linking this post up to Living Intentionally Together ( We're doing just this! Plus, we're doing Scripture Memory on the 1st and 15th of each month, too. I hope you join in!

Love your goals! So inspiring and encouraging!