The New Year is fast approaching. For many, 2012 is a godsend. This will be THE year; the year they finally lose weight, the year they out of debt, the year they do ____________ that they have been meaning to do but never accomplished. Change is not necessarily a bad thing. Certainly, there can be bad motives associated with making changes but, overall, I think change is good.
There are some changes that I need to make in 2012 and, as a result, I have identified seven goals that I want to accomplish over the next year. Goals are little more than dreams without actions steps, so I have also included the particular actions steps that I plan to take. The main reason for publishing these goals on the web is accountability. So be sure to send me an email occasionally asking how I am doing. Here are my 2012 goals:
1. Read through the Bible.
2011 was the first year that I read through the Bible during the course of a single year and it was nothing short of amazing. Scripture fits together in a remarkable way and seeing it come alive day after day is a great experience. I am planning to work back through the Bible this year using the Read The Bible For Life plan developed by George Guthrie. I have no doubt that this will be another great year in the Word. It only takes about 20 minutes each day to do the reading, which is accessible to everyone – we can all carve out 20 minutes in our day to spend in the Word. The benefits, though, will last a lifetime and have an impact on your life today.
– Print out the Read The Bible For Life booklet.
– Make reading a priority each day.
– Pick out one verse to meditate on every day.
2. Memorize the book of Ephesians.
I have attempted to memorize the book of Ephesians several times over the past few years but to no avail. My failure has been nothing less than a lack of discipline in making Scripture memory an important aspect of my life. Andy Davis’ booklet has been a huge help in this area and I plan to use his approach to memorizing Ephesians.
– Work back through Andy Davis’ booklet.
– Set a schedule for when I want to have the book finished.
3. Lose 30lbs.
I have a picture in my office of my wife and I on our honeymoon and sometimes I wonder who that good-looking guy is standing next to my wife! Exercise and healthy eating was an important part of my life all through college since I played baseball. Even though I am still very active and exercise, I need to lose about 30lbs. I would like to accomplish this by my 29th birthday at the end of March but I want to do it in the right way. If it takes longer that 3 months then that is fine – I just want exercise and healthy eating to become a habit.
– Count my calorie intake each day (1800 max).
– Set up an exercise schedule (6 days/week).
– Find an accountability partner for support.
– Set several small goals and rewards to go with each one.
4. Run a half-marathon.
I enjoy running but have only ran in a few 5Ks throughout my entire life. I would like to build up to running a half-marathon over the course of this next year with the eventual goal of running a marathon at some point in the future.
– Lose 30lbs first.
– Find a half-marathon training plan.
– Find a half-marathon race and pay the entry fee (that’s motivation!).
5. Read 1 book every week.
I love to read so this goal is pretty self-explanatory. If I hit 52 books by the end of the year, I have no doubt it will have a huge impact on my walk with Christ and my ministry. My plan is to read in 4 categories – (1) Biblical Studies, (2) Theology, (3) Pastoral Ministry, and (4) Personal Development. Non-fiction books usually range from 250-300 pages, which means I will need to read 40-45 pages each day – completely doable but it will take discipline.
– Follow Stott’s 1hr per day/3hr per week/8hr per month reading plan.
– Gather books ahead of time that fit in each category.
– Read old books.
– Write book reviews of each book.
6. Re-learn Greek and Hebrew.
There are always things in life you wish you would have paid attention to more and made a priority. After all, hindsight is 20/20. I enjoyed learning Greek and Hebrew in seminary but it didn’t stick. That was my fault. I crammed vocab in my head and regurgitated it for tests but I did not learn either language. Now, after 4 years out of seminary, I see how valuable the languages are for study and preparation. John Piper’s article entitled “Brothers, Bitzer Was A Banker!” (also a chapter in his book Brothers, We Are Not Professionals) has haunted me for several years and challenged me to do the hard work of re-learning the biblical languages.
– Carve out time in my schedule to work through the chapters and exercises in each text book.
– Keep vocab notecards with me so I can study “on the fly.”
– Focus the 1st half of the year on Greek and the 2nd half on Hebrew.
I know this one breaks all the “rules” for a goal. Goals should be specific and easily measured to determine success or failure. The problem is I’m not sure I know how specific to be or what success would even look like at this point. The truth is I love to write and I do not write enough. It seems that there are always several book ideas floating around in my head at any given point in time. One thing I know I want to do is write a book this year (Parent-Driven Discipleship) based off of a great deal of the research I did for my D.Min. project. I also want to blog consistently over the next year (3-4 posts each week). Beyond those two desires, I just want to make sure that writing is a part of my daily life and ministry.
– Carve out time in my schedule devoted specifically to writing.
– Research publishers for my book (too much work to just sit in a file).
– Write posts before they will be published and stay ahead.
*I would love to hear your goals or resolutions for 2012 and, yes, please email me over the next year to check in and see how I am doing with mine.