New Year: Living With Purpose

Day 3 of 4 • This day’s reading



We know if the new year is going to be a great year, it will be because we are living with purpose. We need to live with a vision from God, focusing on doing things significantly. God gives us the vision and what is necessary to accomplish that vision. God is the Source that allows us to be successful in living with purpose. This does not mean that we don’t make plans.

Proverbs 16:9 says clearly that it is the Lord who directs our steps. But it also says that we make our plans. Some may understand this to mean that we foolishly make plans because it is the Lord who directs our steps. However, it seems more consistent with scripture and the character of God to think that God is pleased with our intentional and careful planning. We count on God to direct our steps, both through our planning and independent of it, but we should prayerfully make plans.

One good way to plan for a purposeful year is to set goals that will enable you to accomplish the vision God gives you for 2021. These should be goals known as SMART goals. SMART goals are:

  • Specific:  General goals are “fuzzy” goals; make goals as specific as possible.

  • Measurable: Goals must be measurable so you can monitor your progress as you work on them. 

  • Actionable:  Goals are designed to involve action; they speak of something to be done.

  • Realistic:  Your goals should involve faith, but must be in touch with the reality around you.

  • Time-targeted:  Every goal must have a deadline; a time it should be completed and evaluated.

One of the problems with our New Year’s resolutions is that they usually are not SMART goals.  To “lose weight, get in shape, read my Bible, and pray more” are all worthwhile endeavors. They are not, however, SMART goals because they don’t meet the standard. How much weight will I lose and by what time? How often will I read my Bible and for how long? Our goals certainly need to be worthwhile endeavors, but they also need to be Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, and Time-targeted in order to help us live purposefully. 

Once you receive a vision from God for what He wants to do through you in 2021, then set SMART goals to help you achieve that vision by living with purpose!