Thinking and Living Long

New Years is the main time each year people sit down to set new goals and refresh their dreams.

I posted some of my New Years goals on my social media. I don't share my goals every year, but I wanted to inspire others to think big, as well as hold myself accountable.

Some were shocked by my goals, which included reading the Bible through twice, reading 100 books & running 250 miles. The reality is I am only committing to about an hour a day towards these goals.

Justin Taylor recently shared that reading the Bible through in a year takes less than 10 minutes a day for the average reader. Even listening to an audio Bible takes about the same amount of time.

David Mathis shared if you read your Bible instead of watching TV, you could read your Bible in just 4 weeks!

Many aren't used to disciplining their time toward life-giving goals - discipline is something you build up stamina for over time, like running. Some of our founding fathers in the US had even built up their stamina to study as many as fifteen hours a day, with some walks in between for good measure.

It is not bad to push ourselves once in a while, even if we don't quite reach the goals we set for ourselves. If you don't set any goals, you will reach them 100% of the time, and that is not necessarily a good thing.

The best goals are stretching, yet reachable, as well as natural and enjoyable. I love reading & running. Yes, it takes a bit of discipline to set aside time for them even though I love them, but I'm always glad I did, and my mood is always better as a result of doing so.

I've been thinking over the past year how I want to sow in my 30's what I want to reap in my 40's. For instance, simplifying my life, being present for precious moments with my family, and relentlessly setting aside time for prayer and the Word to walk closely with God. Making space and time for a few, life-changing priorities that will shape my character, and usher me into the next season of my life. The reality is, you make your choices, and then your choices make you.

Pastor Mark Batterson wisely states that "We often overestimate what we can accomplish in the next two years, but underestimate what we can accomplish in the next ten years." And for this, he encourages people to think and pray long - to dedicate themselves to their cause for longer than they immediately think necessary. 

We should all think like this. What would it look like for you to think long? Instead of just thinking about the coming year, where you want to go, and who do you want to become over the next two decades? What habits could set the trajectory of your life toward this desired outcome?

Of course, the longest and most important thinking we can do is toward eternity. We think and live long, when we live out our days with eternity's values in view. 

How can you spend your days in ways that will matter a thousand years from now? How can you prioritize your goals and habits in ways that will bring glory to God, and build His kingdom? Let's all do more of that in 2016!