Setting Priorities (not goals) for the Coming Year
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At the beginning of a new year, you probably find yourself brainstorming about goals you want to set, things you want to achieve, changes you want to make, etc. in the coming year.
But I heard someone say recently that instead of setting goals, she is setting priorities for the new year. That really stuck with me as I thought on that.
There is a difference between goals and priorities.
You could say that our priorities determine the goals we set. Our priorities really determine how we live our lives, whether we like it or not. Or how we live our lives reflects the priorities we have.
So, as you begin a new year, I want you to take a hard look at your life right now.
- What do you spend your time on?
- What do you spend your money on?
- What is most important to you?
Write down your answers to these questions — not the “right” answers (we all know what the right answers to these questions should be), but the true answers for you right now.
What do you see? Are there things that need to change? Do your priorities line up with God’s priorities?
Recently I read that years ago there was no such word as “priorities”, it was just “priority”. At any given time, there is something that takes “priority” over other things. When we try to juggle many priorities at once, nothing really takes priority at all. Just think on that a bit!
When I read that though, I thought of the verse in Matthew 6:33 – “But [continually] seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be [provided] added to you.”
When we make God THE priority in our life, all these other things will fall into place. All the other priorities in our life will be focused on as the Lord directs us.
“Priorities and balancing your life really have to do with getting really clear on who you are, what God wants you to do, and then getting a sense of holy urgency and realizing life is passing.” Chip Ingram
When we make God THE priority, there is no more worrying about balancing it all, giving each area the proper attention at the right time, fearing we are dropping the ball in one area when we focus on another.
So the key here is making God the priority in our life.
Look at these words in Ephesians 5:15-17: “Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.”
Take some time today to look at your priorities. Answer the questions above honestly, and see what the Lord shows you.
Making God THE priority in your life is the most important decision you can make. But it is not just a one-time decision. You have to decide each and every day, sometimes every minute, to follow Him, to obey Him, to seek Him for guidance and strength.
I promise you, that if you spend some time each day reading the Bible, studying, and praying, that God will guide you in what goals to set for the new year. But we must get our priorities right first!
If you need some guidance or help in having a daily time in God’s word, I do have some resources that might help.
I have really been enjoying using my new In the Word, Vol. 1 book, each day. It gives me guidance as I read through the Bible, giving me a chapter or so to read each day, and then questions for me to answer to reflect on what God is showing me.
If you like to select the Bible passages to read each day and like to be a little more artsy, you will enjoy my Intentional Quiet Time Journal.
Another option is my Intentional Bible Study Journal (that allows you to select your own Bible passages) or my Intentional Journal which you can use to journal what God is showing you in His word.
As I close I want to leave you with just one question:
Is God going to be your priority this coming year?