Do You Really Need New Goals?

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An alternative approach to your New Year’s resolutions

This past weekend, my pastor preached a powerful year end message titled, “Change Management for Believers.” He taught on the importance of knowing when to initiate change in your life and how to successfully manage those changes.

I nodded, took notes and murmured some amens, until he said something that made me rethink my 2019 goals. He said, “Instead of going after something new, are you willing to do something different with what you already have? Is it possible that you’ve overlooked some of the resources God has already put in your hands?” 

These questions made me uncomfortable in the best way. It occurred to me that maybe I didn’t need new goals. Maybe I was better off focusing on the ones I’d already established.

Does the change of the calendar mandate a change in my focus? Or are there new angles and aspects of my current goals that I haven’t yet explored?

Now I’m asking you: Why did you write out new goals for the new year? Is there more you can do with the goals you already have? Now is the time to decide whether or not you need to move on. So here are the three good reasons to set new goals:

1. Completion

The most obvious reason to establish new goals is that you completed your old ones. You saved that target dollar amount. You lost the weight. You gained that number of new clients. You read all those books on your list. If this is you, congratulations! Now on to your new goals.

2. Imbalance

Sometimes you need to establish new goals in order to correct an imbalance in your life. For example, maybe you’re a driven person who wants to get on a C-Suite track, but most of your friends are happy being average. Your new goal may be to find a new social circle. Or maybe you’re a 5-star person living in a 2-star environment. There’s nothing wrong with setting new goals to help you stay true to who you are.

3. God

This is perhaps the best reason to set a new goal. If God points you in a new direction, it would be in your best interest to follow His guidance. One of my favorite Bible passages is in John 2. A crowd is in need of a miracle, so Mary turns to Jesus. Knowing that her son can help, she advises, “whatever He tells you to do, do it.” And sure enough, Jesus miraculously turns water to wine. This story proves that miracles occur when we obey God. So if God is telling you to do something new, by all means, do it.

But don’t be hasty to move on to something new. Sometimes you just have to do better with what you already have. Identify your “why” before you begin working towards new goals. You may discover that those old goals are worth your attention.