January 1, 2019 @ 7:00 AM

January is a wonderful time to chart a new path for yourself. Some call that new path new year’s resolutions or new year’s goals. I call them desires. I group my desires in 7 buckets all beginning with the letter “F”: 1. Faith, 2. Family, 3. Finances, 4. Function, 5. Fitness, 6. Friends, 7. Fun. Into each bucket I identify desires I’d like to see happen in the new year. I often come up with as many as 45 desires. Here’s the key. If I accomplish even 1 of those 45 desires, I’ve had a successful year. Desires are not the same as goals.

Neil T. Anderson, in his book, Victory Over the Darkness, defines a godly goal as “any specific result reflecting God’s purposes for your life that does NOT depend on people or circumstances beyond your ability or right to control” (p. 133, emphasis mine). The idea is that a goal is not capable of being blocked by anyone but God or yourself. If others are involved and can block it through their actions or decisions, it isn’t a goal. It’s a desire.

Desires depend on the “cooperation of other people or the success of events or favorable circumstances you cannot control” (Ibid, p. 133). Desires can be blocked by others. Goals cannot be blocked by others. An example of a good desire but not a goal might be my goal of having my grandson get straight “A”s in school this year. Who could block that goal? My grandson could block it. Every teacher he has could block it. Outside sports, a job, or activities could block it. Getting straight “A”s might be a good desire but not a good goal. If it’s a goal and he doesn’t achieve it, I’ll be disappointed and perhaps frustrated or angry.

What does a good, godly goal look like? As I mentioned it is something only you and God can block from happening. An example of a godly goal is that I would be the best grandfather I can be for my grandson. Who can block that? No one but me and God. We often confuse desires for goals. When those desires are blocked it leads to frustration, anger, and resentment. If we understand the difference we will live more peaceful less stressed lives.

It was my desire that you read this article, not my goal,