The purpose of this exercise is to LOOK BACK on the past season/year; to reflect on what went right and what might have gone wrong. For each of the questions we've provided some categories to consider. They may not all be applicable to you, but it should help get you thinking holistically.
relationship with God, church community, ministries, serving
family, friendships, spouse, kids, co-workers
eating, drinking, sleeping, exercise habits, wellness
interests, books, travel, hobbies, pursuing dreams, learning
job, school, projects, personal development, finances
How would you rate each of these areas?
The button below links to worksheets to capture your thoughts. Remember that this is still a reflection of where you have been at this point.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10
Before diving into creating new goals, let’s take a fresh look at our purpose and calling. Perhaps you will uncover new areas that you have yet to give serious thought to.
You were created ON purpose FOR purpose. God has set apart good works for you to do in your life. And they may shift from season to season, but they are all a part of how He created you.
Your calling is found in the sweet spot at the intersection of your passions, your gifts & experiences, and where there is a need.
Leadership consultant Michael Hyatt says that your calling has four characteristics:
The following section includes questions and brainstorm prompts to think through your passion, gifting, what your heart breaks for, etc. It can be a space to refer to and update periodically. It might help guide you in determining new goals to begin stepping into your calling.
Take a stab at responding to each section, even if you have to come back to a few of them at different times. Some may seem a bit repetitive, but often a slight shift in the question can help you think about it differently. Remember, you don’t have to answer them all at once. You may want to spend time thinking and praying about some areas and come back to them.
Click the button below to download worksheets to capture your thoughts.
Gifts & Experiences
Often other people can see things in you that you can’t see in yourself. Grab a trusted friend or two and ask them what they see as your passion and gifting.
Here are a few questions you can ask them:
Passion & Purpose Brainstorm
Take a look at all of your responses and write down some options that seem to cover these areas. Keep an open mind…don’t be shy. This is a space to explore and generate ideas. Often one idea leads to another until you uncover gold. It will help you think through possible goals for the year to start moving in the direction of your calling.
Passion & Purpose Community
Look for others who share your passion and calling space. Spend time together to toss out ideas and dream together during the year. Perhaps you can even team up to get experience together and share resources and tips.
Put first things first and you get second things thrown in; put second things first and you lose both first and second things. C.S. Lewis
Before you dig into goals, take some time to think and pray about what you want to be your FIRST THINGS this year. Things you want to be focus areas for the year to help guide your goal-setting. Think about the non-negotiables that you want to make a priority and make time for. These are generally things that we value, but let get crowded out by the “second” things that are usually dictated to us and have deadlines and hard due dates. Second things aren’t necessarily bad things – in fact, they are often good things – but they aren’t first things. They aren’t the most important things.
There should always be a spiritual component to your FIRST THINGS, but in different seasons of life, there will be other FRIST THINGS as well.
My First Things
Now that we have reflected on this past year, taken a fresh look at our passion and calling, and given some thought to our FIRST THINGS, it’s time to start thinking about some goals. Following are the categories we used in the reflection section to help you get started (you may not have goals in each category, but this might help think through each area). Use this table to jot down notes about what you want to achieve in each category and we will pull it all together in the next section. Visualize what you hope to look back on in one year and say you accomplished. What goals would be needed to get there?
Goals for the Year
Look back on all of your notes and come up with your top 2-5 things you want to work toward this year. Include your “why” for each one…the reason you want to accomplish them and the things that will keep you motivated to work toward them.
MY ONE WORD
There’s nothing magical about coming up with a “word” for the year or for a season, but it is kind of fun and could serve as a quick and easy reminder of some of your priorities and goals.
Here are a few tips on coming up with your word or phrase...
Looking over your goals for the year and your “first things,” start writing down some words that reflect what you hope to accomplish. Think of words that describe the process, the end state, the achieved goal. The following pages have some blank space to start brainstorming.
Don’t worry if they are silly, just keep writing. Often one word you would never pick will lead to another word that is perfect. Give yourself a good list to choose from. Pray about the word God may be leading you toward.
Following are some ideas to get you thinking about your one word for the season. Jot down(or click on the image to print) and circle some that stand out to you as possibilities.
look for themes
Look over your goals and your ONE WORD brainstorm list. Highlight or star those that really speak to you. Lump like words together.
Do you notice any themes? If so, these may inspire some additional words to add to your brainstorm list.
pick your word
From your brainstorm list, circle those that are your top choices. Step away for an hour or so and then come back to the circled list. One should emerge that is your perfect word for the year.
My word for the year is: ______________________________________
Why I picked it / what it means to me:
Now that you have some goals for the year and perhaps even a word for the year, find a verse to memorize that captures the essence of your goals. You can search “Bible verses about _______,” filling in the blank with your word for the year or some of your goal areas. Jot down several you find that resonate with you as you are searching.
My memory verse for the year is:
Why I picked it / what it means to me: