It’s that time of the year again!

Now that the initial flurry of New Year’s resolution articles have subsided, I have decided to toss my $.02 into the ring.

Every year at this time I revisit the goals I set for myself to see how I did and what needs attention over the next 12 months.  I set goals in six key areas:

  • Spiritual
  • Relational
  • Physical
  • Intellectual
  • Financial
  • Vocational / Organizational

As you can imagine, this year threw my family some curve balls and therefore several of my goals were not met, but several still were. I read through the Bible again, I lost 20 pounds, I finished a 5k (complete with zombies!), I made it through about 15 leadership books, I completed my Introduction and Chapter One of my doctoral dissertation, we converted all the base classes (101-401) and restarted the baseball diamond, we launched our first multi-site, I rewrote the Leadership class and revised the leadership process, and I completed my Expand the DREAM pledge and set a new one!

But believe it or not, I do not consider any of these to be my greatest achievement for 2013.  As I look back over last year and the years before, I am reminded that the greatest accomplishments are always connected to love.

What I truly cherish from 2013 was the privilege of serving my wife when she needed me the most.  Honestly, it never felt like a bother or a drain.  It felt like an honor.  What could possibly be of greater worth than to serve to someone you love? It not only blesses them but it changes you.  I do not share this to toot my own horn. Those who know me best know the cold hard truth that I have far more weaknesses than strengths. I only share it to point out two truths:

1. The best laid plans are still in God’s hands. You should set goals and stretch yourself for growth.  But you must always hold your plans loosely.  The Bible says, “You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.” (Proverbs 19:21, NLT)

2. At the end of the day all that matters is love. Learning to love God more deeply and serve others more humbly is what life is truly all about. Nothing will change you more than that.

So yes, set some stretch goals for yourself for 2014.  Push yourself in each of the six areas of development. Be intentional in your pursuit of progress. But when it’s all said and done, remember, God just might have a few unwritten goals for you this year too!

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