Yeah, I really slacked off for the last couple weeks of the year. After the end of the semester I was just burned out and really need the time away, but I’m ready to get back into a regular posting schedule again. So what better to think about than the upcoming year!

We often tend to think about the new year and try to set goals that we want to accomplish. We want to lose weight, or we want to spend more time in prayer, or reading the Bible, or sharing our faith, etc. Of course we all know that these things only last so long and eventually we stop all together. What do we do about creating good habits and fulfilling the goals that we set for ourselves? Here are some suggestions:

1) Set a reasonable goal. Let’s take reading the Bible as an example; the usual goal set is that in 2010 you want to read the whole Bible. That’s a good goal, but it can also be tough to accomplish – the Bible is a big book after all! So how do you go about completing that goal? Make it reasonable by dividing the work evenly; instead of saying that you are going to read the entire Bible, maybe say that for the month of January you want to finish the Genesis. There are 50 chapters in Genesis and lets say you want to set aside 6 days out of the week since Sunday you’ll be attending church. With that in mind you would have 26 days to finish the book, so you would need to read about 2 chapters a day to finish on time. By breaking the goal up into smaller and smaller chunks it makes it that much easier to accomplish.

2) Write thoughts down. Keep a little notebook with you or some paper as you go about your goal and write down the thoughts that come to mind. If you are reading through the Bible you may come across something that you are really curious about. Write it down for further investigation when time permits. Maybe you read about Moses lifting up the snake in the wilderness in Numbers 21, write it down and then on Sunday, when you know you don’t have any goal related reading to do spend some time reading some commentaries on the subject or searching the Bible for other similar events, or events that reference the one in question. Those random thoughts are great and can lead to some fruitful studies, but don’t let them distract you from your goal.

3) Share the goal with others so they can hold you accountable. A lot of us tend to set goals for ourselves and then not tell others what we are working towards. Tell a friend or a pastor or a co-worker what you are doing and then update them on your progress. If it’s someone you know well and trust ask them to hold you responsible to what you have committed to do. It’s amazing what a great motivator having to report to someone else can be!

4) Celebrate! When you reach your goal reward yourself. It doesn’t have to be something extreme or over the top, maybe just going out to ice cream with the kids or ordering pizza (you can tell that food is a great reward for me!). You accomplished something that you set out to do and you should celebrate that success.

Think about these things and other ways that will help you to accomplish your goals and make 2010 the year that you, and I, follow through on those resolutions.