A new year can be about goals and resolutions, but it can also be about something much, much bigger.
Posted in , Jan 10, 2021
I’m an incurable goal-setter. I set goals every January for the coming year in six categories:
But I’m starting something new this year, and I’m excited about it. I can’t believe I’ve never done it before.
In my many years of goal-setting, I didn’t set goals that were beyond my control. Instead, I focused on tasks and objectives that I could accomplish on my own. I call these SMART goals—Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-based. I would not set a work goal to “publish two books this year,” as so much of that is up to other people. But I might set a goal to “write two books this year” and even “submit two books for publication this year.” Goals I could control.
But I realized this year that something has been missing from my annual list of goals. What about the things I hope and pray for that are out of my control—some of them much more important to me than any SMART goals?
So, I’ve added a new category to my list of goals, at the head of my list, called “Top 2021 Prayers.” They are goals, in a way, but they’re things that are ultimately outside my control.
Number one is my prayer for the healing of my two grandchildren, 8 and 11, who cope with cystic fibrosis. I can’t make a SMART goal out of that, but I pray every single day for it. Another top 2021 prayer is financial, and two others relate to work. I can contribute to the outcome, but ultimately each is up to God.
As I said, I can’t believe I’ve only now added that category to my annual goals (which, by the way, I print and keep inside the front cover of my daily journal in which I write some of my prayers, among other things).
I’m already finding great solace and reward in seeing that category at the top of the list. I’ll still work hard to accomplish my SMART goals, but I’ll pray hard every day this year for the things I cannot control. And I look forward to hearing how God answers these prayers by the end of 2021.
What about you? What are your top prayers for the upcoming year?