January might be my favorite time of year. Yes, the Christmas season is great, and Summer has it’s perks, but January has that unbeatable “fresh start” feel. When all the Christmas clutter goes away, life instantly feels more simple, and there’s this urge to do life better.
For some of us, the yearly fresh start means New Years Resolutions! But even for those who aren’t all about the resolution thing, they usually note a way or two in which they’d like to improve. But no matter what camp you’re in, I imagine you’ve thought of at least one change you’d like to make this year (And if you haven’t made any goals for 2021, it’s not too late!). Especially as Christians, we’re always wanting to grow in our godliness — so even if our goals have nothing to do with a New Year, we should all have ambitions for improvement!
And today, I want to encourage you to do something very simple with your goals: tell someone about them (if you haven’t already).
Here are 3 reasons why it’s helpful to verbalize your latest goals:
1). Goals become more clear
Until you verbalize your goals, it may be fuzzy what it is you really want to change. But working to clearly articulate your goals causes you to fully process your thoughts. It will probably help you think more about what you need to do to reach your goals, and just saying it out loud will probably cement it in your mind as a worthwhile ambition.
How often we’ve all thought, “I should improve at…” and then we forget about it soon after. But telling someone takes us to the next level of really owning our resolutions.
2). Automatic accountability
This is perhaps the most obvious reason we should tell someone how we want to grow — it provides accountability! If we tell no one, no one will know when we slip back into our old ways. But if we tell someone, that someone may notice when we don’t follow through. Even if that person never asks about our progress, just knowing someone knows will keep us going stronger and longer.
3). Mutual encouragement
This benefit is what stands out to me most this year. When my husband and I talked about our goals, I realized mine were far too vague and immeasurable. Hearing his goals had a way of refining mine. Then later on, I conversed with a friend about our goals for the year, and hers sparked even more ideas for my own.
Basically, each time I’ve interacted about my goals, they improved. And as we provide a listening ear to others and their goals, we can provide the same encouragement. Just talking about issues of sanctification can challenge and spur each other on towards more godly ambition for the year!
If you really want to make some progress, find that person that you should talk to! It could be your spouse, a mentor, a friend, anyone that cares about you and your holiness. It can even be in the form of an email or a text— just list out what it is you hope to change to please God better. Even if they don’t share their goals, I’m quite sure they’ll be spurred on by yours.
Let’s make it our aim — whether we eat or drink, or whatever we do, let’s do it all to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31)! And let’s enlist the help of a brother or sister in Christ to do that better this year!