So many thoughts and ideas are whirling through my mind at this time of the year, as it does every year. At the beginning of a new year there's always a pull to recommence, reaffirm, and resuscitate. We want to revive the goals and plans that just didn't seem to happen last year, or the year before that. In our pursuit of reviving those dreams we cycle through a series of emotions and thoughts. Primarily, we wonder what will it take to make this year better than the last. There's no perfect answer to that query as we all are different, however, there are some unifying features that are common in the pursuits of our goals. 

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters ... And there was evening, and there was morning -- the first day.

Genesis 1

 Put God First 
Whenever we endeavor to pursue something special we should have God's blessing on that journey. When we start with God at the helm we place our dreams and goals in His control. No matter the bumps that come during the journey we can rest assure knowing that He is with us, that there's a purpose for the detour, and most importantly, that we will get to where He needs us to be. Putting God first is not simply about having a moment of prayer or a day of quiet reflection, it's a daily venture of inclusion, love, and support.  That's the most important part, including God on a daily basis with what we are doing. This not only helps us to understand our purpose, but it helps us to grow in our relationship with Him. 

 Trust the Lord
Trust Him. The road to our goals tend to be very tortuous, but when we put our faith in God, we begin to see our journey from a different perspective. Life is not about the pursuit of a singular goal, no matter how amazing that goal may be, no, life is about so much more than that. And only with faith in God can we truly discover what we are honestly here for, not just the tangible things in life, but something more profound. Our faith in Him is a daily act of trust; that He is directing our path. Communicate with Him daily, not just through prayer, but honest dialogue about life. 

 One Day at a Time
Could God have created the earth in one day? Absolutely! But there is a beauty in doing a little today and a little tomorrow. It's about being consistent with our actions. Taking it one day at a time may seem like the obvious thing to do and at this time of the year, it honestly may not be that hard, but three months, six months from today is a whole different matter. Most of us start the year off well enough, but soon the year, and life, really gets going and it's so much more difficult to keep a consistent pace. So what can we do? There are a ton of suggestions out there about how to be more consistent, but ultimately it comes to down to being in honest communication with ourselves. 

 Checks & Balances 
Lastly, we must create a system of checks and balances that will allow us the freedom to meaningfully pursue our goals while living a full life. This is about setting parameters to ensure that we are creating the life of our dreams. In order to do that we must create a plan and follow through with it. If you've set a time for Bible study, studying, blogging, fitness, whatever it is, make sure to follow through. Do everything in your power to create the best possible plan and to follow it. A plan is only as good as the actions it inspires. Make sure to include time to reflect on your progress and how things can be better. Make changes as needed, but most importantly be consistent and present. 

The new year is so full of energy and possibilities. In order to carry that same feeling throughout the year we must take deliberate actions to put God first, follow our plans, and have faith that what is meant to be will be.