11 WAYS TO STAY INSPIRED TO STICK TO YOUR GOALS THIS YEAR
1. REMEMBER IT'S ROOTS BEFORE FRUITS
People are quick to celebrate what they SEE a person doing but tend to forget that what was SOWN determined it's success. We don't live in a heavily aggregate society like in the past, but the Bible is clear that what we reap, we sow (Galations 6:8). Many keep that in a negative context but what about the hope in those words! If you are leading an organization or a team, what you say and do will produce fruit. If you want to see your organization have a heart to help others, then take them to places where others are hurting. If you want to have a generous church, then talk about the power of giving, etc. What you sow is seed that produces roots that leads to fruits. The reality is, it's what's underground that really matters.
2. DON'T COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHERS BECAUSE YOUR OBEDIENCE WILL NEVER LOOK THE SAME BUT THE BLESSING IS GUARANTEED
Comparison traps are far to easy to fall into. The more I follow others in social media, the more I find myself sizing myself up. When we do nothing but look through the instagram lens for what God is doing through other people, we are simply getting a snapshot of their lives. Social media is a billboard, not a journal. Ministry is hard, whether it's 10 people or ten thousand. You're called to fulfill what God has called YOU to do...not someone else.
3. BECOME BETTER AT RESPONDING TO ALTARS THAN MAKING ALTARS
That's old-school lingo to simply say, reduce the high amount of spiritual activity in your life and choose seek God first, as often as you can, when you can. We become good at being concerned about helping others become better spiritually at the expense of neglecting our own walk with God. Your "yes" to God's request will produce far better results for you and others than your "yes" to everybody else's requests. A well that is dry is just a hole in the ground but a well that is full of water becomes a source of life for a whole community.
4. IN YOUR WEAKEST MOMENTS GOD IS ALWAYS THE STRONGEST
Your maturity is evident when your leadership becomes less how you feel and more about your faith. We have to move beyond emotion to believe that God loves us just the same when we're at our worst and when we're at our best. It takes faith to believe that God will use us in my least confident moments to produce a strong result to affirm our leadership. Strength is not measured by might or power but by God's Spirit (2 Corinthians 12:9/Zechariah 4:6). So allow your weakest moments that you are experiencing to become the strongest moments with God to produce the greatest faith you have ever seen.
5. BE FAITHFUL...STARTING NOW
The "next" will always call out for you. Especially if you are talented, gifted or have a platform that gets recognition. In our culture we have a tendency to overvalue "15 minutes of fame" and undervalue faithfulness. We curate 140 characters on twitter but don't cultivate character in our relationships. Faithfulness is an attritbute of God. Faithfulness is a fruit of the Spirit. Opportunities are everywhere. Success is valued but can be misleading. Succeeding at the wrong thing could be your biggest failure. That's why it's important to steward your "now" well because it is training and shaping for your "next." Don't take shortcuts. Shortcuts "cut short" the work of God on your life. Grow where you're planted. Become grounded and develop a root system. I was out to dinner with a great friend this weekend and we were talking about the unseen parts of our lives are so critical and rarely celebrated. We don't celebrate the prayer lives of others, we don't instagram our "dad diaper changes" so mom can take a few minutes breather, we don't periscope our devo lives consistently to show the world we know how to seek God, etc. What's underground isn't as celebrated as what's on our platform. The reality is roots precede fruits. To bear great fruits you need great roots. Stay grounded and focused and watch God bring your future to life.
6. DISCOVER WHAT REFUELS YOU AND FILL UP OFTEN
Some things give you energy in life, some things drain you. Figure out what refuels you. Most likely it's not going to be what you think. Sometimes the most spiritual thing you can do is watch a movie, go to a baseball game, hit up a new restaurant with friends, finally get that redox you've been wanting, take a nap, etc. What ever fills your tank... do more of it.
7. MAKE YOUR CHARACTER A PRIORITY
Character sustains what God is building around you. Your skills, talents and personality will take you only as far as your character can sustain you. Choose to do the right thing no matter what...you won't regret it.
8. DON’T LIVE IN THE INDECISION
Living with regrets comes from bad decisions or in decision. Bad decisions are easy to spot because you usually recognize them after you've made them. Indecision is harder to see. Because deciding not to decide is still a decision. This avoids living a life with regrets because you "wish you could have done something." Make the best decision you can with the information you have, then pursue it with everything you’ve got from a posture of humility.
9. BOOK APPOINTMENTS WITH GOD AND DON’T BREAK THEM
Your calendar will naturally fill up with urgent things other people believe are important. And you will watch a decade or more pass by without doing anything really significant. Anything done without God isn’t fruitful.
I put appointments in my calendar that I don’t move so I keep that time with God and I don’t break them. I use that time to seek God, pray, have my blank journal page and write down the vision, plans and purposes God has for me. Then when someone asks you if you’re busy, you can truthfully say “I’d love to help, but I have a commitment with someone and I just can’t break it.”
10. FORGIVE AGAIN AND AGAIN
Forgive and trust again. Don’t let what someone else did sabotage your future. Let’ your future thrive because you chose to forgive, and move on. The second you stop trusting people you start living a life of isolation. And a life of isolation is a life without impact. Not to mention…you’ll be awfully lonely.
11. DEAL WITH YOUR ISSUES NOW
It’s easy to blame others for what’s happened to your life. And I hate to say it, but the common factor to the issues in your life is mostly going to be you. So deal with you. You have issues. Everyone does. You may not be able to change the other person but you can absolutely change YOU and how YOU respond to a person or situation. Give people permission to call out your "stuff." Go have some serious conversations with those that you trust. Do what it takes to deal with your junk. You'll hi-five your future self!
The New Young Christian is a discipleship platform that focuses on personal inspiration and spiritual formation. We believe that discovering your faith, developing meaningful friendships and encouraging you forward provide substantial meaning for the next generation and are critical for your future as The New Young Christian.