Dreams and Goals: Preparing for a Fresh, New Year

PicMonkey Collage goals

Is there anything more beautiful than an empty page waiting to be filled with fresh hopes and dreams?

Almost 10 years ago, I started what I call my “Dream Book”. I love this book. It’s filled with short-term and long-term goals. Some dreams are for the immediate future. Some dreams are carried over from year to year, as circumstances change unexpectedly. Some dreams have grown much, much bigger over the years. Others have faded or disappeared completely.

But no matter how things turn out, every New Year, I look forward to reviewing the previous year’s successes (and failures)

and then turning to a crisp, white, empty page

and dreaming new dreams for a new year.

I get out my paper punches, my markers, and my favourite patterned paper. Sometimes, I simply write things down. Other times, I dig through old magazines and cut out pictures. Sometimes, I pour myself a big cup of coffee and sit at the kitchen table, music playing softly in the background. Other times, I climb onto my bed, scraps of paper strewn across the covers.

There is no set formula for this sort of thing.

Once my page is laid out the way I like it, I dream. I dream about my husband, my children, my health, my job, my finances, my purpose in life. I dream about my friends and family that need Jesus. I dream about writing.

I dream and I pray. Because I don’t just want to dream me-dreams for my life. I want to dream God-dreams.

Once I’ve dreamed and prayed and dreamed some more, I set goals.

Practical, bite-sized goals.

Every big dream starts with small steps. Those steps can be anything. A day trip to take with the family. A practical way to work on a character trait. A person to invite to church. Articles to write. Friends to make. Dietary changes.

Anything.

From time to time, throughout the year, I pull out my dream book and take a look. I remind myself of my dreams and of the steps I need to take to achieve those dreams.

At the end of the year, I evaluate my goals again. I celebrate the successes. I’m always surprised at how many there are. And the things that get missed? Either my dreams need to change or I need to change.

So I pray about it. Ask for grace and wisdom.

And then turn to another beautiful, crisp, white page.

And start afresh.

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