Another calendar year has come to a close. Many world events have come across our headlines; countries have elected new leaders, the sports world has crowned new champions, families celebrated promotions and graduations.
What about you in your own home, in your own life? Looking back over the year, how many accomplishments have you made? What would the headlines about you read? Were you able to read the books you wanted? Did you take the class you thought would be exciting? Perhaps you learned a new language. Or did you just drift through another year without much change from the previous year? In today’s hustle and bustle society it is easy to get caught up in the busyness of everyday life and not do much more than just get by. Days turn into months and months turn into years but not much else changes.
Perhaps you are a dreamer. You may be like some of us who occasionally drift off and think of what could have been. Our thoughts may focus on missed opportunities: how things could have been different if only… Perhaps we missed our chance because of hesitation or lack of planning and preparation. We may think “If only I had done this or that.” We may feel a certain amount of remorse because we are not doing the things that we have dreamt of.
The good news is it is not too late to start. We cannot change the past but we can firmly grasp hold of the future and make the best of it.
The Apostle Paul encourages us to redeem the time (Ephesians 5:16). To redeem something is to buy it for a price. Time, if you think about is the most precious item of all that we have. We can never get back the time from yesterday, but we could always improve by planning to redeem the time in the months and even years ahead.
Planning and setting goals is not a common habit for many people; most just let life happen. Successful people given the opportunity would say, “If there is one piece of advice that I can give to help you to achieve what you want in your life, it is goal setting.”
There is plenty of helpful information online and in books stores to help you get started. A very common and powerful way to begin is by using the SMART mnemonic, where the letters stand for:
· S - Specific
· M - Measurable
· A - Attainable
· R - Relevant
· T - Time-bound
All goals need to be specific and detailed—something that could be measured and within our reach. The goal should be something we care about and finally, it ought to have a time limit for when will we get it accomplished. Writing the goal down which you hope to achieve will bring you closer to accomplishing that goal than if you only keep the goal in your head.
Consider, too, the following poem by an anonymous author, encouraging you to “dream big”—
If there were ever a time to dare,
To make a difference
To embark on something worth doing
It is now.
Not for any grand cause, necessarily—
But for something that tugs at your heart
Something that is worth your aspiration
Something that is your dream.
You owe it to yourself
To make your days count.
Have fun. Dig deep. Stretch.
That things worth doing
Seldom come easy,
There will be times when you want to
Pack it up and call it quits
Those times tell you
That you are pushing yourself
And that you are not afraid to learn by trying.
As you start to put into action your plans for success, watch our Tomorrow’s World telecast “Godly Success” and read our article “True Christian Success.” They will give you further practical insights as you move toward accomplishing all you set out to do and more.