How to Live Your Best Year Yet

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It’s started. The countless Instagram and Facebook posts telling us “detox ‘this’ in 2018”, “detox ‘that’ in 2018”, “grind harder in 2018”, “grind less hard in 2018”, “Do ‘this’ more in 2018”, “Do ‘this’ less in 2018”, “Drink more water in 2018” (okay…that one might hold some merit, that crap is hard), “Less sugar in 2018, more matcha in 2018”. Whatever, whatever, you get where I’m going with this – you’re well aware of the posts. The next 3 – 10 days we will be inundated with the best things to do to make 2018 better than ever. And so many of us will go into the year more hopeful than ever that 2018 is going to be our year.

I am the biggest New Years nerd there ever was. I love the idea of a clean slate, the opportunity to start again. The anticipation of setting goals, and meeting them. Every New Years I would sit down and vision plan for the 7 areas of wellness in my life. I would write myself letters as if the year had already passed – like I was just looking back at everything that I had hoped would happen, as if it had already happened. The great visionaries say this is how vision planning is to be done. So I ate it up. I felt a great sense of control when I spent the time meticulously envisioning my finances, my physical health, my relationships, my career, my intellectual endeavors, my emotional wellness, and my family dynamics for the upcoming year. I would walk into each New Year hopeful – with clear action plans on how I was going to make all of that happen. I was in control. I was calculated. I had my sh*t together…because only people who have it all together will spend that amount of time begging a piece of paper for the perfect two-thousand and whatever.

Listen – I’m not here to knock vision planning or setting goals. I’m definitely not trying to burst your 2018 bubble. I believe the heart behind these sentiments are good! For real. I believe people want the best for the other people.  I believe the desire to be our best selves is good. Shoot – I’d be lying if I didn’t have some goals of my own. But, I really think we’re missing the mark here. It’s no wonder that New Year’s resolutions are here today, gone tomorrow. It’s not a shock that people go into the New Year with anticipation, and ultimate gladness to shed the past year. 2019 will be no different, we’re all going to groan at 2018 and cheer for 2019. Because you guys, we’re just missing it. We’re missing what our #2018goals should be…at least I know in the past I have. (excuse my hashtag).

But not this year. This year – I’m going to let you in on my goals. That’s right – my vision planning for 2018 starts now. And it’s not going to be broken into seven different categories. It won’t be planned to the penny. I’m not going to even act like I have that kind of control over my life – and I’m definitely not going to fool myself into thinking if I write it all on a piece of paper that it holds any sort of weight in my life.

So, as promised – my 2018 goals. I want to relentlessly pursue Christ in every way possible. I want to consistently err on the side of obedience – ALWAYS, even if it doesn’t fit my “plan”, even when it feels like a fight. I want to become more intimate with God. I want to hear His voice clearer, I want to spend more time in His presence. I want more of the Holy Spirit. I want surrender to be my consistent heart posture towards the Lord. I want thankfulness and praise to come first. I want love and gentleness to be my default. I want to serve others more. I want to see myself the way my Heavenly Father does. I want to love the Lord like I never have before. My only goal is more of Him and less of me. 

Now, you might be thinking – “yeah, God sounds good, but I have some body goals for 2018!” or “I need to get my finances in order for 2018!” – and I’m excited for you and those goals! But you guys – Jesus cares so much about those things for you too. The Bible says “seek FIRST the kingdom of God, and all these things will be added to you.” I truly believe that the way to lasting change in EVERY area of your life is Christ.

Seriously, just like you want to treat your body better this year…God is saying “YES! TREAT THAT THING LIKE THE TEMPLE THAT IT IS! But, why don’t you let me help you.” Just like you want to repair relationships, or end the toxic ones…the Holy Spirit is like “GIRL (or boy) YES! You’re my daughter (or son), and I want to give you life giving relationships. But you can’t do it without me.” Seriously, don’t make me go on, but God wants to literally TRANSFIGURE it all. Catch that – TRANSFIGURE. Not just transform, not just change, not just fix for a little bit – completely and utterly flip that crap upside-down so that you only recognize His goodness in every part of your life. Dang – that’s my 2018 goal. 

Jesus isn’t a relationship that you can compartmentalize. When He comes in – He wants the whole thing. Your finances, your physical health, your emotional health, your relationships…He wants to radically change and grow you in EVERY area. So yeah, I have some body goals, I have some financial goals, etc. etc. but I am so confident that whatever the goal is – the only way to achieve it is through the Holy Spirit. The only way to LASTING change, and not fleeting thoughts of change is through the power of God.

Honestly you guys, the only thing that’s TRULY been able to change me hasn’t been the hours I’ve poured into vision planning…hasn’t even been the countless books I’ve read (we all know that’s in one ear out the other, with only about 5% actually making an impact on our hearts) – its been Jesus. The only true heart change I’ve ever known has been through Him. And if your year is ending just like the last one started – I suggest you switch things up. The answer just isn’t trying harder. 

As for me – 2018 will be the year of more intimacy, less comparison, more glory, less shame, more goodness, less judgement, more righteousness, less lackluster living, more obedience, less doubt, more faith, less worry, more surrender, less stubbornness, more trust, less manipulation, more love, less insecurity, more abundance, less scarcity, more servanthood, less selfishness, more joy, less anxiety. More of God, less of me. 

And while I have you…let’s just consider what the ultimate clean slate really looks like, hint: it’s not the start of a New Year. It’s Jesus, on a Cross – with you in mind. So that you don’t have to live the life that you deserve, so that you get to enter into union with GOD, so that you have constant access to the Holy Spirit. THAT my friends is the ultimate clean slate, and you need not do anything to get it.

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