photo courtesy of & geralt

photo courtesy & unsplashI’ve found there is a kinder side to goal setting. Now that I’ve crossed over into my senior years I have learned a few things that serve me well when setting goals for the New Year. I wish I’d had this epiphany when I was younger, but I will have to be thankful that the revelation finally came.

The first rule for my present New Year’s Day goal setting is to be kinder to myself and to not let expectations be unrealistic and beyond my grasp. My lists in years past were far beyond reach and therefore, doomed me to failure. I was a busy mother, working outside the home, with duties of a minister’s wife added to my full plate and I wanted to excel in each area of my life.

With the dawn of New Year’s Eve I now steal away with the Lord and listen for His voice. I ask for guidance in the living of each day. I then choose a book with numbered days and a place for notes on each page. This year, I found a journal with the year 2016 printed in bold, block letters on the front. It is a simple navy book with clean lines. When I spotted the journal it reminded me of how I want my days for this year to play out—simple and clean before God. Proverbs 16:3(NIV) tells us,
“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” As I glean from the Word what actions Jesus desiresphoto courtesy of & unsplash from me, I write it on a daily page and then I write what I need to do to fulfill His will, committing wholeheartedly.

I then spend time in the Word and meditate on what priorities I need to set. In years past, I wrote a full page of goals with no regard to what the Lord wanted most from me. With this kinder approach, I feel like I live more purposefully for His kingdom.

At any age, I hope that we, as His children, will trust Jesus to guide our steps. The world is full of bells and whistles to distract us from staying close by the Lord’s side and we lose site of His plans for us.

“If this is to be a happier New Year, a year of usefulness, a year in which we shall live to make this earth better, it is because God will direct our pathway. How important then to feel our dependency upon Him.” Matthew Simpson

As you design the year ahead, I encourage you to be kinder to yourself. Trust His guidance and His timing.

I’m praying we will all have a wonderful and blessed 2016 nestled under His wing.

Dee Dee Parker

Dee Dee Parker infuses wisps of Southern grace throughout both her writing and speaking. She is the author of a children’s book, Josie Jo’s Got to Know. She has contributed to numerous anthologies, such as Chicken Soup for the Soul, God’s Provision for Tough Times and Clothes Lines. Dee Dee writes for Christian Devotions US, Guidepost books as well as Focus On the Family’s Clubhouse Jr. magazine. Her first Christmas novella has landed in the hands of her agent. Dee Dee lives snuggled among the NC Appalachian Mountains with her husband Jim, a retired minister, and their spoiled snoodle, Greta. Email Dee Dee at

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  1. Dee Dee,
    As a working mother of two, I appreciate your insight to be kinder to myself and to have realistic goals and expectations. I am continuing to trust in plan and timing.

    1. April, it took me a good number of years to learn this lesson. Keeping you in my prayers.

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