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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Welcome!  Today I've got a devotion running on Proverbs 31 Ministries Encouragement for Today.  It might be a bit controversial, because it seems to contradict traditional thought about resolutions.  Actually, it challenges the idea of announcing any goals. 

I should clarify, since I'm sure some of you are saying, "Huh???"   My point is that some of us, (those who struggle with pride) need to make sure our motives are right before announcing New Year's Resolutions. With impure motives, we could sabotage ourselves.  Do you have a history of not finishing what you start?  If so, perhaps there's something here for you. 

God keeps calling me back to a place of quiet determination.  A place where it's just me and Him.  A place where I'm honest before Him about my strengths and weaknesses, and acknowledge His power in my life more than my own.  It's where I place my pride on the altar, and submit my plans in humility.

I'm not always a lone ranger.  I do need accountability with other believers.  I'm involved in a small group where share honestly.  But when it comes to future plans, it's wiser for me to keep most things to myself. 

Not everyone struggles with this.  But I'm a do-er.  My history is littered with times I've taken the lead; when my confidence was misplaced.  I get a lot done, but God repeatedly has shown me He cares more about my heart than my accomplishments.
The message I got from 1 Kings 20:11 was to check my heart. It really didn't have anything to do about making resolutions or announcing them.  So I'm digging in deeper this year.  I'm narrowing my focus ... my blinders are on.  God gave me some big assignments last year.  He entrusted some responsibilities to me that need my attention to bring about fruit.

I also promised to provide the video to that talk, so here it is.



What do you think about this idea?  Has announcing goals ever helped or hurt you?  Is there a way to do this wisely?

Please leave a comment and I'll select someone at random to win a gift package from my online store, Rose Lane Cottage.  I'll announce the winner on Friday. 

In His Love,
Glynnis

51 comments:

Tracy Nunes said...

Loved this post Glynnis! I think we all need encouragement to do more doing than talking about doing, especially, as you said, in our Twitter/FB world of constant "updates."

Donna said...

Yes. This happens to me. The less i talk about it the harder i work. It's very interesting that it has been proven through testing. Thank you for being different in this area.

Victoria said...

First, your blog looks great! It has been a while since I visited, but it is very nice. Second, AMEN! I could never figure out why, after I talked about a goal, I then COULD NOT accomplish it, when it was very do-able. Boasting and pride, very clearly the reasons. Thank you so much for sharing this message and the scriptural reference. Now I will focus more on keeping quiet and doing it, then giving God the glory! God bless, and I pray God gives you all you need for your new responsibilities you mentioned.

Michelle said...

I learned the hard way about announcing to everyone what I wanted to do. My goals seem to get accomplished more when God is my accountability partner! Great post.

Amy said...

Wonderful devo this morning, Glynnis. It gave me a lot to chew on, and I know that it was just what I needed to hear this morning. Last year I blogged about my resolutions. Guess what, I realized just last week that I had done one for about 3 weeks and then promptly forgot about it. ACK!

Jodi said...

I agree Glynnis! Thanks for sharing this verse in your devotional today. It makes sense and will motivate me to accomplish my goals with God, quietly until He finishes His work with me. Then He will be glorified!

Anonymous said...

I felt very strongly about this last year- that I should DO my resolutions and not announce them. By my silence, my husband assumed that I hadn't set any goals for 2010, and he was very disappointed in me, and brought it up often, which was hard to bear. I am still thinking through what I learned from this. But I am convinced that, for me, the doing is what counts- not what I say I'm going to do

Anonymous said...

Wow - great post. I have the same problem and I thought it was just me. Right now I am on a healthy diet and keeping it all to myself, while reading Lysa Teurkurst's Made to Crave book and sharing only with my husband who is my encourager. It also helps him understand why I am a little crabby as I break this awful habit of eating while stressed- haha. I've promised to not take this out on him or the kids (or anyone for that matter).

Thanks for sharing your experience!

Jo Chesterman said...

Glynnis,
Thank you for putting words to this subject that made perfect sense to me. This has been an issue for me over the years and I owned the failure but never realizing that I set myself up for it.

There is an answer to every situation in God's Word. Amen

Anonymous said...

This challenge is very interesting and the video information thought provoking. I can look back and see where I lost steam because of announcing goals. Thanks Glynnis! mheard11@frontier.com

Jack said...

Powerful message, especially Ahab's advice. Women are so insightful; men are so good at talking "smack" before they put their "armor on", wish I could find this kind of stuff on a man's devotional sight.

scout said...

This is so me. I always find myself giving up way before I'm finished. I seem to run out of steam or lose interest in what I am trying to accomplish. Thanks for the wonderful nudge towards God. That's where I need to be focused. Thanks for all you do.

Pam said...

Thanks for your devotion and blog post today. Since I've been in the blogging world, I do find myself a little more careful about blurting out my "what I'm going to do" list. It is a bit embarrassing when it doesn't turn out exactly the way I planned.

I see both sides - telling and not telling - but I suppose it really depends on your motivation. If you're telling just to say "Hey, look at me and what I'm doing" then I would say there definitely is a pride issue there. On the other hand, if you're not telling because it gives you an "out" in case you don't follow through then that's also a problem.

Ecclesiastes 3:7 says there is a time to speak and a time to keep silent and knowing when those times are is the key. Only through allowing JESUS to be in charge of our days can we know the difference.

Shannon902 said...

Morning friends! I apologize in advance for the long post, but my hope is maybe I'm not alone and my words will help someone else too! I know we're not supposed to announce goals, :-), but I am hoping to be more reflective this year and to start journaling.

I always receive "something" from every single day's P31 devotional, but there is just something about your words, Glynnis, and how they speak to me; we must be soul mates somehow!

I struggle with pride and boasting, but unlike you, I am still at the very beginning of my journey of finding ways to be silent (which is SO against my nature!) and to not crave recognition for my accomplishments. You inspire me!

My standard excuse for NOT being silent is that I am a full-time working mother of four boys (five if you count hubby and SIX if you count the new puppy!) and at home, I feel invisible and unheard. At work (for the most part), I feel recognized and appreciated. I feed off of that and constantly strive for more, but because it comes rarely and in small doses, I'm left feeling empty there too.

I'd also like to share another approach to New Year's resolutions (which I agree rarely work!) Two years ago, and again next week, I attended a "Year of Intentional Living" women's retreat. Rather than resolutions, we reflected on an INTENTION for the year, and we strategized ways to accomplish that intention. The group then meets monthly to reinforce the intention, report victories, and get support for failures with new strategies. For once in my life I was able to change something and feel good about it!

I think my intention for this year might be to be silent...

I have to tell you, sisters, my stomach is churning right now at the thought of that...

Only with God's Grace,
Shannon

Anonymous said...

Interesting speech. I had already made up my mind that I was not making any New Year's resolutions long before I saw your blog. I support your decision Glynnis about not disclosing your goals. I will pursue my goals quietly while seeking God's grace, wisdom, direction and guidance to achieving them. I will strive to work hard at my goals with God's help knowing without Him I can do nothing.

Momma Shoe said...

This really hits home with me! I tend to have these giant goals that I want to accomplish or huge things that I want to make a change about, and that tends to take time. Unfortunately, I get easily discouraged when I don't see instant results. I'm one of those great starters but not so great finishers:( I think that pride IS something that plays a part in my problem and I so appreciate both posts today! Thanks so much for the great perspective:)

Patty Coleman said...

I struggled with the same issue for the first three days of the new year and this is what I posted on my blog yesterday:

Over the last few days, I have been thinking about goals for the year, things to accomplish, and resolutions. As the list changed, I realized that I wanted to put God first in everything I do.

So instead of posting a long list of must do, should do, want to do; I found this verse. Keeping to this verse wil ensure that no matter what I do this year, God will lead my way...not me.

Trust God from the bottom of your heart; Dont' try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; He is the one who will keep you on track. Don't assume that you know it all.
Proverbs 3:5-4-The Message

We can still make life goals for the year, but I think we need to start with Him first and tell Him. He is always faithful to guide our steps.

Patty

Anonymous said...

Glynnis, I like this post. It doesn't mean that we avoid goal setting or growth, but we don't fall into the traps of pride. I stopped making public resolutions years ago, but I have almost given up on goal setting. That is not good. I need to seek God and press forward with His priorities and His grace to accomplish what He wants. Thanks for the reminder. I love the video clip as well.

Molly grahls@sbcglobal.net

Stacy N said...

I agree whole-heartedly with you on this one. I have noticed it time and again that when I talk about what I "plan" to do somehow the doing doesn't happen. One year for Lent I didn't tell anyone what I was giving up and it was my most impactful Lenten season ever. I took all my efforts and failures to God instead of friends and He was a much more valuable source of encouragement and inspiration than I could have imagined.
Sometimes I do need an accountability partner for a certain goal, but again I've found that asking one close friend to help is better than announcing it to everyone I know.

V said...

I am one of those people who keeps my goals to myself, most of the time and I have found that this allows me not to follow through...since no one know but me. This year I am announcing my resolutions to a few people so they can be prayer partners with me. It is great how we all have the freedom and wisdom to learn what works for us and then do it. Thanks for your "different" approach to New Years Resolutions.

Debbie said...

This is a new thought! I can see the wisdom behind it. Besides the fact that you are more likely to accomplish your goals and get the satisfaction from achieving it if you keep quiet about them, the opposite is true: if you announce it and you fall short you had an audience watching!

Anonymous said...

I am so glad others struggle with this too. I did not think it was a "pride" issue. I always thought it as an "accountability" issue. I could never figure out how come every time I said I was going to go on a diet....I would gain weight. Another issue where I thought I was sinning and God was punishing me. I'm not going to say anything and see if it changes anything. Nanci @ kelbla@aol.com

Glynnis Whitwer said...

Great conversation! Thanks for sharing. And I love hearing from guys - thanks Jack!

Karen said...

Whoa! This really hit home...how is it that this phenomenon has been known for so long and so many of us feel like we're alone while suffering its effects? Pam made a really good point that if not telling makes it easier for you to give up it's also a problem...I have BOTH issues. So I'll be practicing the hint given in the video: announcing what I WANT to accomplish along with what I'll NEED to do/change to accomplish it...all with the grace of God!

God's Girl said...

You are absolutely right! I hadn't put my finger on it, but this year I have not discussed my goals with anyone and it feels very different. First, I have not set myself up to fail and be embarrassed if I have a set back, but if I do fall, I know I will fall into God's arms where He will pick me right back up and I will continue this time, to the END!!! Thank you for your honesty!

Tasha said...

Glynnis, this post was for me! I am the world's worst at starting something and not finishing it. That is hard to admit too. I get all gung ho about a Bible Study or something along those lines, get it started only to get through 2 weeks of it. "Lord forgive me." I have not made a New Year's Resolution this year, never have been real big on them anyway. Thank you again!

Michelle said...

I loved your devotion today! Your first paragraph made me laugh out loud! I'm with you!

Heidi said...

I have to agree as well. I had someone ask me on my FB page what my New Year's resolutions were and I never answered.:) She then texted me to ask and I said I was still thinking through them (which was true). Thanks for this...loved it!

greenbean said...

i wholeheartedly agree!

Emily B (emleepc@yahoo.com) said...

There is only one resolution I remember keeping, and it wasn't really a resoultion, but more of a challenge to see if I could do it. One year I gave up french fries...it was hard, but I'm stubborn. I found other things to take the place of fries, so I'm not sure what I accomplished, other than actually sticking with it for that year.

I have decided that this year, I will share my goals with a limited number of trusted people, which I think will help me achieve more. Thanks for the words.

No No Nanette said...

I totally understand what you are saying. I recently went through a trial where I kept it within a small circle of friends and family so that I would know "my help cometh from the Lord" instead of my help cometh from getting attention and sympathy from blog comments. There will be a time when I publish the goodness of God in the situation, but after He has done His work in my heart, and it is for His glory, and not for mine.

You are right about fb, blogs, etc. - we talk so much about ourselves, and need to think so much more about what God thinks about us than others do. Thank you for this post and devotional.

Hanah said...

I've been asking HaShem for community as I have not had that since moving back to Texas. It has been interesting the journey that He has taken me on in answering that prayer. Such a wonderful thing to know I am not the only person that experiences an announcement of a goal as if the goal has been accomplished.That has become the marker for me as to how serious I am about doing something. If it is announced, I find there is something within that wasn't really ready to get that goal done in the first place.

slds56 said...

Glynnis,
You got me when you asked the question "Do you tend to not finish what you start?" I also have decided to not make any new year resolutions. I agree with your thinking on this. I also have found that when you share a goal with some people it is like they are just waiting for you to mess up or get off focus and call you out on it.
The one thing that I will say is that I want to grow closer in my relationship with the Lord this year and to listen and follow Him in obedience.

Amy said...

This is a good concept for me...then I can focus on working out my goals, not just feeling depressed when I don't accomplish them. I Kings 20:11 is an interesting verse...thanks for sharing!

Beth said...

This was really a good post for me to read! I have such a problem with not following through with my resolutions and goals. This message was a wake up call! Thanks!

Jodi Faye said...

I have never thought about it that way before. It makes sense! Thank you for this post, I will be reflecting on it a lot today :)

Holly N. said...

I love the idea of keeping it just between me and God. I have already started that way without realizing it is the best way. I have a lot of expectations for myself this year but am also wanting to be flexible with my self and realize I am flawed but each day is a new day and I can do ALL things through Christ my Savior. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

Keith said...

I think finding an accountability partner (such as a close friend) or an improvement point about your health or emotional stability keeps you focussed on you and not the "goal". Something with "Real" measureable results works best. Using the Bible as direction and thinking "power thoughts" keeps me from needing to seek approval from others and therefore controls my need to discuss my goals. It is always nice to have someone notice your progress and ask about it than to volunteer to tell them all about what you are trying to do(everyone seems to be trying to do something). Results before Rhetoric.

Anonymous said...

thank you,this is so convicting. i'm dealing with major pride and self sufficiency issues and facing the fact that there are some things i will never be able to do unless God helps me.

Cheri Bunch said...

This is one of the best devotions ever! Thank you so much! What a powerful truth to live out! I want this attitude to be in me ... all year and forever! Help me, Lord!!!

Amy DeTrempe said...

Interesting. I've never thought about how keeping quiet and announcing could make the difference. I do know that when I make a resolution to do something it never works. But, when I say I am going to "work toward . . ." I have much better success. I wonder if it is mindset. Working towards - not there yet. Doing = Done? This is something I will be thinking about. Good thing I haven't told anyone my plans for the year yet.

Grace said...

Thank you! they were words I needed to hear.
Grace

Anonymous said...

This was very good, it was to the point for me. Keep it to myself and just completeing the task and let just see what other notice. Writing my goals down and setting them in order or priorities is even better, then give each one a step by step plan to graduate and move on to the next goal was just great but in all I am keeping it to myself.

Thanks for the advice.

Shelia Hall
devotional46@yahoo.com

Brenda said...

Very interesting. Goals are wrapped up in ones purpose/direction in life - I wonder if there are differences in one's psyche (e.g. emotional state).

Dawn said...

Thank you for this post. This is my story too. Now I feel less weird about this. I gained weight when I did a weight loss program with my friends and beat myself up about it. I am learning to talk with God and draw srength from his word. This is something that we have to do for ourselves, no one else can love him for us.

Elaine said...

This post was right up my alley. I happen to be a person that makes NY's resolutions however, I'm very careful to make only a few and those few have to be meaningful to bettering my life for the coming 365 days. My friends know that if I take time to talk about change I've thought about it and I've already set the process in motion. My best friend always tells me "I don't just talk about it...I'm in the business of being about it." So, this post was right up my alley! Thank you so much for some much needed confirmation!

Shannon said...

I love this post! I've been reading your Proverbs 31 stuff but this is the first time I've been to your blog. Thanks for the "okay" to keep things to myself a little more - this is really an encouragement to me. I never even do NY resolutions anymore, but I might just make one now.

Anonymous said...

WOW!! I have NEVER thought of resolutions this way before! I actually have become sick and tired of the old "New Year's Resolutions" everyone makes......I used to be one of 'those' people who made a public declaration to, for example, lose weight. However, about 5 1/2 yrs ago I totally stopped making those resolutions and just worked at losing weight and I've kept off the 35 lbs.

You've really opened my eyes-I definitely think there's truth that I found some gratification from announcing my goal.

To answer your question about is there a wise way to do it? Well, even though I personally don't announce them publically anymore I do think that a wise way to go about doing it is to make it a small, more attainable goal. Instead of "I'm going to lose 50 lbs", it's seems more reasonable to say "I'm going to exercise at least 2 days a week for 30 minutes"....something along those lines. Plus, when you reach those goals, it's very encouraging.

Your devotion has really opened my eyes to a new way of thinking..... and it has challenged me to stop and think about my motives behind what I tell people. Thanks!

~Amy V. in WI

Balsamo said...

Love it!!!

Melanie said...

This was good. I think I would be better off DOING and then TELLING. I tend to get excited when I come up with an idea or a goal but few of them come to fruition. Or I will start too many things at one time and then see how hard and time consuming the follow through is.
My GOAL is to stop doing that!!!!

Anonymous said...

DWYSYWD: Acronym for a similar idea I was taught (have not learned it yet) in a leadership class: "Do What You Say You Will Do" This is a struggle for me and now I have a better understanding of why. I recently lost 60 pounds over a years time, looking back, I made a conscious choice to not announce my decision to begin the journey. I felt it needed to be a lifestyle choice and my goal was to live a healthier life, not to lose a set amount of pounds. So the choice to live healthy required daily choices and a daily goal met, I went about living it instead of thinking about it.