Happy New Year!
After turning the page on the calendar and opening the new day timer, I’m taking a moment to simply savor the new year with 365 blank days ahead. Days just waiting to be filled with new projects, adventures, and the accomplishment of micro-goals. Places to see. People to meet. Lessons to be learned.
Okay, moment over. It’s time to roll up my sleeves and get to work.
Except, every goal-setting business consultant or personal life coach out there will declare that it’s best to start with the “why” or the big picture. To begin with the end in mind. To dream big and then break that dream down into actionable steps.
With that in mind, here’s my big picture for 2018.
That’s it. Just love.
I’m going to focus on love.
In the past, I’ve broken my life goal list down into six categories. But upon further reflection and prayer, I’ve discovered it’s all about love. In fact, Jesus reminded us that the two greatest commandments are to love God with everything we have (heart, mind, soul, and strength) and then to love our neighbor as ourselves.
Loving God well and learning to accept His grace-given gift of sacrificial love and forgiveness is at the heart of my faith. Loving my neighbor encompasses family members and friends both near and far. That tag-on phrase about “as ourselves” implies that I’ve learned how to love myself–to take care of my physical fitness, find rest, and be wise financially rather than bankrupt my dreams.
That’s five of the six areas covered right there, leaving my fiction. But by writing stories of faith, hope, and love, I’m loving my readers well by showing them a way to love God, their neighbors, and themselves better through the lives of realistic characters on the same journey.
It’s all about love.
Receiving love. Then giving love.
Or as our church’s motto states so eloquently: let love live.
Of course, I’m still making a list of measurable goals so I’ll know whether I’ve made progress or not. I want to be deliberate about investing time in relationships by blocking out time on my calendar and then making sure I follow through. I can also see progress in a bank account balance, a scale, miles walked, words written, or even books sold. (For example, you can expect to see at least two books published this year with steady progress made toward more book releases in 2019.)
I’ve got my list of new goals, but only one singular focus.
What about you? If you had to define your focus for the new year, what would it be? How would that purpose show up in different areas of your life?