I’ve lost count of the posts I’ve seen in the last week about ‘making the most of 2015’, or ‘reviews of the year’ or ‘setting goals for the next year’ or a topic related to it.
There’s nothing wrong at all with these. They can be useful – and many of them have challenged and inspired me. And it’s good and healthy to make plans and set goals with a new year coming.
But to me there’s something else we need to do first.
My biggest challenge to you all for this coming year, is before you execute any plans, goals or anything else,
to begin with grace.
To realise your true identity, your true self, as you are right now, with all it’s complications, mess, and difficulties
is enough. Already.
It’s healthy and important to make plans and set goals for our year – I’ve been doing some of my own – but remember whatever the outcome of your plans, whether you achieve your goals or not
you’re already enough.
Begin the year with grace.
Our journey to discover our identity and calling has to begin with grace. (you can tweet that here). It starts by accepting the truth of who we are – for good and for bad – and then being willing to confront what needs changing,
but also to accept whether we change or not, we already have infinite value and worth as we are right now. That we are enough, as we are today.
I’ve found doing this much more difficult than keeping to any goals or plans. And ironically, when we confront the truth of who we are, then plans and goals become much more natural, much more simple. Instead of being uncomfortable decisions we make – often because we feel like we have to (after all, new year is a natural time to make changes and big decisions) – we make decisions out of a genuine movement forward in our lives.
In the last month, I’ve been confronted with some harsh truths in my own life, about habits, self-discipline and managing my life. And these have been difficult, painful and challenging – I’ll talk about those next week. But in the process, I’ve been able to receive grace.
I’ve had to begin to accept that whether I achieve my goals or just miss them, whether I fulfil my plan for 2015 or not, I’m still valuable as I am. If it doesn’t work out, I’m not a failure, I’m not worthless, and I don’t need to give up.
So, approaching 2015 I am setting smart goals, making a life plan, and setting targets for the year – in life, and in my writing.
But these have been birthed in grace.
So instead of setting goals out of obligation, they’ve been an organic, forward step. They don’t feel forced, they feel natural.
Transformation, goal-setting and making plans, become almost organic when you begin with grace.
So in 2015, make plans, and set goals. Smart ones. But before you do any of that, begin with grace.
Begin with the truth that you’re enough today, right now, before you’ve put any plans into action.
And then you’re free to confront the truth of who you are, where you need to grow, and make those changes organically, as an act of will. Because real change doesn’t begin in the mind. It begins in the heart.
So begin the year right.
Begin it with grace.
Question For Reflection:
What would it look like for you to begin your year with grace?
Let me know in the comments below!
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(Picture: Wordswag/James Prescott)