“This year, I will lose 10 pounds.”
“This year, I will pay off my debt.”
“This year, I will not watch Netflix until midnight every night”
“This year, I will … ”
If you are anything like me, you’ve probably heard or made statements such as these over the last week. As soon as the last Christmas present was unwrapped, something shifted and we all faced the reality of the New Year.
Hello, 2016! Let’s do this!
The great thing about the New Year is the opportunity for a fresh start. And with it comes the big life questions:
- Am I the person I want to be today? Why or why not?
- What should change in my life in this new year?
- What habit have I developed that is actually sucking the life out of me?
(I’m looking at you Netflix.)
In case, you’re reading this and thinking, “Oh, great, another blog about New Year’s resolutions.” Let me stop you right there. I don’t necessarily believe in resolutions. First of all, the word “resolution” reminds me of the word rule. As far as I can tell, no one in the history of the world has ever been transformed by following rules alone. I can tell myself, “No Diet Coke” all day long, but unless there is something greater motivating me to make a change to my diet, then the “resolution” alone is pointless. I’ll be guzzling a 32oz movie theatre soda before you can say “SuperSizeMe”.
“A resolution is a well-intended action plan, but because a person hasn’t really connected to the ‘why’ behind it, the old way of life, the chaos, comes back into play and they can’t really sustain it.” —Jack Groppel, Co-founder of the Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute
Resolutions alone don’t change us. We must have a clear vision of who we want to be that fuels our discipline, effort, and resolve. Friends, I’m here to say, for the record that I’m resolving not to resolve anymore. Instead, I’ve opted for something proven to work— I want to become a woman of vision.
Vision-the ability to see: sight or eyesight
something that you imagine:
a picture that you see in your mind
Becoming a Woman of Vision gives us clear direction and proper motivation when making daily choices such as how we should eat, how we should spend our money, time and talents.
VISION GIVES DIRECTION
I’ve read so many blogs and books lately about decision making. One says we should say “no” more often and the other says we must choose our “Best Yes.” While I whole heartedly agree with both of these sentiments, what I’ve discovered is that we don’t have a clue what to say “yes” or “no” to if we don’t’ know where we are going in the first place.
Imagine a ship sailing at sea. That ship sails according to coordinates on a compass determined by the desired destination. Why? Without a clear destination, the ship is just adrift at sea. The coordinates give the captain the ability to navigate. The captain knows whether to go north, south, east or west depending on the destination.
The same is true of life. So many people live adrift at sea instead of with a clearly defined vision of who they are and what they are living for. Before we can “resolve” we must first determine our desired destination—this is our “why” to make the change. Vision is what gives direction to our daily decisions.
- How should I spend my time each day?
- Why do I need to lose weight?
- What relationships should I cultivate?
- How should I spend my money?
- Should I say “Yes” or “No” to this opportunity?
These may seem like simple questions, but in reality, our daily decisions determine our destiny. When we ponder these daily choices in light of vision, they become stepping stones towards a destination. Long ago I defined my personal life vision statement as: “All of life comes down to just one thing: To know Jesus and to make Him known.”
Each year I stop and evaluate my goals, objectives, and calendar based upon the woman God created me to be. This vision is my compass. When life gets hectic and the days of ministry difficult, it is my life vision that reminds me of why I do what I do and what my purpose is.
Not only does a vision give direction for our lives, but it also provides the motivation needed.
VISION PROVIDES MOTIVATION
Friends, it is clear life vision that gets our lazy butts up out of bed in the mornings and empowers us to say no to distractions that would keep us from our eternal purpose.
There is an old parable about three bricklayers that helps illustrates how a vision motivates us to do our best:
“There were three bricklayers working beside each other on a wall. Someone came up to the first one and said, ‘What are you doing?’ ‘What’s it look like I am doing?’ he replied sarcastically, ‘I am laying bricks!’ The man asked the next guy on the wall what he was doing. He said, ‘Can’t you see what I am doing? I am building a wall.’ Then the last man was asked what he was doing. He exclaimed, ‘I am building a great cathedral for God!’
A clear life vision transforms our New Year’s resolutions. Now we have a vision for “why” we need to lose those 10 pounds. Instead of just a superficial desire, we have a motivation to live for God’s glory that knows our bodies are God’s temple and this truth empowers us to resist the call of Krispy Kreme donuts in a moment of temptation. We choose to say “no” to the temporary temptation in order to say “yes” to our greater vision.
Now it is your turn!
CREATING YOUR OWN LIFE VISION STATEMENT:
Set aside time this week to pray and write down your Life Vision Statement. The following prompts are to help you process and to discover your own.
- Read the following verses and journal what the Holy Spirit speaks to your heart: Isaiah 43:7; 2 Corinthians 5:9-10; Colossians 3:17; Ephesians 2:9-10; Matthew 5:14-16;Matthew 25:14-30; Colossians 3:23-25
- Why do you think you were you created or born?
- What fires you up?
- What do you want to accomplish with your life?
- How do you want to be remembered?
- What does God’s Word say about your purpose?
- How can you gifts, talents, experiences and passions be used to glorify God?
I also recommend the following books as excellent resources for Becoming a Woman of Vision. Each has inspired me to become a woman of vision, I think they will encourage you too!
- Audacious by Beth Moore
- The Best Yes by Lysa Terkeurst
- Unstoppable: Running the Race You Were Born To Win by Christine Caine
- The Apostle: A Life of Paul by John Pollock
- Make it Happen: Surrender Your Fear. Take the Leap. Live On Purpose. by Lara Casey
Friends, I am praying 2016 is the year we become women of vision I hope we discover and live out the purpose for which God created us!
Jesus is better!