I have decided that MY 2016 will not be based on a list. So what exactly does this mean? Let me explain. At the end of every year I sit down and reflect on all of my achievements, disappointments, successes, and failures. The idea of not reaching yearly goals I set for myself creates an overwhelming amount of guilt. Seeing these same goals not scratched off this list initiates defeat. This is why the idea of a “New Year’s Resolution list” exasperates me. What began as small attainable goals suddenly becomes broken promises that I continuously beat myself up about.
For example, I have been working on my doctoral degree for the past few years. At the beginning of 2015 I vowed that this would be the last year that I would spend in school. I resolved to have my dissertation completed by the end of term (May). I made sure the list was visible in the most frequented places in my home to constantly remind myself of the goal at hand. Nothing (or no one) could stop me. I began to spend every waking moment dedicating myself to my work. When March arrived and I hadn’t progressed (so I thought), I began to worry. This worry turned into anxiety and began to indirectly affect every area of my life…including my health.
When May arrived, I felt somewhat worthless because I wasn’t able to accomplish my goal by the deadline I had set for myself. At this point, I wanted to quit and even thought that maybe I wasn’t smart enough to obtain a doctorate. I had two choices to make. I could have either given up because of “the list” or persevere regardless of the list. I decided to trudge on and resolved to dissolve the list of expectations I had set forth for my life and allowed God to move me into my season. I then began to make daily realistic goals regarding my research and eliminated the anxiety and guilt built from my own expectations.
In December of 2015, I was awarded my doctoral degree in Teacher Leadership…and while I didn’t make my deadline according to “the list”, I had successfully met God’s deadline. Accomplishing this goal at the right time (and not my time) helped me realize that no list could ever take the place of hard work, commitment and dedication.
Today I challenge you to lose the lists! Instead, I urge you to create daily and consistent goals that you can attain that will move you closer to your destiny. 2016 is the year that YOU will walk into your purpose. Before this can be done, you must rid yourself of things (and people) that weren’t of excellence in 2015- including your mindset. All fears, doubts, mistakes, and disappointments in 2015 were a part of God’s plan to shape you and propel you forward. In order to move forward you have to MOVE!
Now is the time for you to decide where your passion truly lies and what you are going to do about it. Recognize your value and worth and firmly stand on it! Will you finally discover what you were put here to do? How are you going to allow God to utilize his gifts through you this year? What steps are you taking to complete the assignments you are given while here on Earth? Your vision for this year should be made clear. Over the next few weeks, check your mind and heart about what you want and how you will get there. Don’t make lists – make moves.
Dr. Avis Foley, Co-Publisher, Purpose Weekly