Every year, I scroll through my social media feeds and see so many people posting their “New Year’s goals”. Hashtag “New Year, New Me” begins to start trending. But if you pay attention, you will also see all the posts from the “bitter police” as I call them. You know the ones that HATE when people post their New Year goals. They’re the ones who always say, “why wait for a New Year to make changes when you can make those changes now”. I find those people laughable. While, I agree that we don’t have to put off making changes in our lives until the next year, I also believe that it is important to set goals. Proverbs 29:18a says, “where there’s no vision, the people perish”. Therefore, while I do my best to make changes throughout the year, I still find myself at the beginning of the next year, reflecting on the previous year and creating my vision board with goals and things I want to accomplish for that year and ultimately my future. You can find my overall goals for the New Year here. Today’s blog is a continuation of that but specifically focuses on my spiritual goals for my future based on the things that I have learned from this past year.
In 2016, one of my biggest struggles revolved around learning how to forgive myself for my own past mistakes. Sure I knew how to forgive others but I constantly found myself scolding myself for past mistakes that God himself had already forgiven. It caused me to not be able to enjoy the first half of the year as I was in constant turmoil, never thinking I was good enough.
What about you? Are there any areas that you are struggling with in terms of forgiving yourself or forgiving others? If so, then let me help you out! There are really three simple steps to forgiving yourself/others:
(2) Ask God to forgive you – note that this is different from repentance. Repentance is acknowledging what you’ve done while this step ensures that you seek God’s forgiveness for those things.
(3) Accept God’s forgiveness.
Many of us can easily do these first two steps but where we struggle is accepting God’s forgiveness in our lives. At least that was my struggle. It was hard for me to accept God’s forgiveness even after I had already asked for it. It wasn’t until I prayed and meditated that God showed me I won’t be able to fully receive his forgiveness until I accept it. If you’re anything like how I was, you often found yourself feeling unworthy of God’s grace and mercy. These feelings would then cause you to also feel unworthy of his forgiveness. But I’m here to remind you that God’s act of redemption on the cross was done so that you and I may live even when we sin. He doesn’t want us to live each day in shame. He doesn’t hold that sin over your head anymore so why are you? Release it. Receive it. Accept it and finally be free!
I’d like to think that I kept my focus last year but if I am to truly reflect on my past, there were several areas in which I lost focus-one which was my spiritual walk. You know how it is ladies, you meet that one guy who just makes you want to forget Jesus even existed. (Sigh). That didn’t last too long though as I was able to pick myself back up and get back on the right track.
I also lost sight of my vision and goals for a while. Blogging was always a goal for 2016 but I never made it a priority. What was I doing instead? Turning up, traveling, hanging out with friends, watching TV and the list goes on. Haha. I basically had absolutely NO excuse for why I wasn’t focused. What I learned, however, was that if I really wanted to see things come to fruition in my life, then I had to become more focused and purpose driven. I have a friend – his name is Demetris. D is such a talented artist and creator. All over my Facebook and IG, I always see him posting various things from his artwork, to his music and video production skills to him photographing the world with his camera skills. His drive and focus is so evident in each post. He doesn’t know it, but he inspired me to take the pursuit of my own dreams more seriously and to really learn to prioritize my dreams and goals above all else.
Is this you? Have you slacked off this year in pursuit of your goals? Maybe it wasn’t blogging like me or art/photography like my friend D but perhaps it was your fitness, spiritual or relationship goals? Maybe you wanted to spend more time with family/friends and less time at work? Maybe you wanted to get out of a relationship that was toxic for you? Whatever it is, it is never too late to get started on that now.
So now that you know what I learned from 2016 about forgiveness and focus, here’s my top goal for 2017: to be ON FIRE! While I have my normal goals (working out, eating healthy, etc.), my main goal is to be ON FIRE! I want to be on fire in my walk with Christ, on fire in how I interact with others, on fire with my pursuit of my dreams, on fire in my career, and on fire in every aspect of my life. Everything that I learned in 2016 has only cultivated the woman who I am today and I want to use that to continue to strive towards being the best I can be.
“Forgiven, Focused and on Fire” has a nice ring to it huh? I first heard it during a sermon at church and knew that it would be my theme for 2017. What about you? What are some of your new year’s goals?
Be sure to let me know. And like/comment/subscribe. Again I say happy New Year loves and I hope 2017 is even better for you than 2016 ever way! :