Embracing the New Year: Goals, Growth & Trusting God’s Plan

3 min readJan 3, 2024
Photo by Nik on Unsplash

The new year always comes with the promise of new beginnings, fresh opportunities, and the chance to achieve new goals. While many people are already planning their New Year’s resolutions, some of us are still in the process of defining what we want the year ahead to look like, and that’s okay. It’s important to take our time and think through what we want out of life before we start setting goals for the year. Our culture has conditioned us to rush through life, expecting microwavable results. However, taking our time with our goals and dreams is not a bad thing, and we don’t need to have everything figured out right away.

In recent years, I have become very intentional about choosing goals that align with the life I want to live and how I want to feel. I used to be caught up in the desire for material possessions like degrees, high-paying jobs, luxury cars, designer bags, and clothes. While there is nothing wrong with desiring these things, I realized that the intention behind my desire had less to do with what I truly wanted and more to do with what I believed these possessions represented. I thought that acquiring them would be synonymous with success, but the truth is that they aren’t.

As I became more intentional about how I want to feel, I realized that success is not measured in material possessions. Instead, it’s measured by the amount of peace, joy, love, and happiness we have in our lives. Success also looks like the absence of stress, anxiety, and the pressure we used to put on ourselves to please others. For me, learning to prioritize myself and my needs is the greatest measure of how successful I am.

I used to set goals that aligned with other people’s vision for my life instead of focusing on the things that were meaningful to me. I wasted a lot of time trying to please others, but I now realize that those experiences were necessary parts of my personal journey of growth and self-discovery. For instance, I majored in Accounting in college, even though I hated math and struggled with it, because it was expected of me. Before I had children, I found it hard to say no to demands on my time because people assumed I had no real responsibilities. However, when you put your needs to the side for too long, you become resentful, and the weight of unhappiness follows you everywhere you go.

Once I became clear on the life I didn’t want, the life I did want became clearer to me. Our lives are like petals on a rose, constantly unfolding, revealing deeper parts of ourselves until we reach the core of who we are. As we peel back the layers of our lives, we reveal our deeper secrets, emotions, ambitions, and regrets. It isn’t until we reach the centermost petal that we meet our most authentic self, our raw, naked self, our authentic soul within.

As you start planning for the year ahead and setting your goals, take some time to peel back the layers of your life. Allow yourself to spend silent time in meditation and prayer. It’s in that stillness that you will connect with your source, your creator, God. Pay attention to what is revealed to you, whether it’s a feeling of ease, overwhelming peace, unexpected joy, a thought, or a vision. Document it, journal about it, and allow God to speak to you about the life He desires for you. God has a plan for each of us, filled with hope, future, and prosperity.

Our duty is to align our dreams and desires with His, letting Him take the wheel of our lives. As Proverbs 3:5–6 teaches us:

‘Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight’.

Aligning our goals with God’s plans for us helps us to gain purpose, clarity, and focus.

It’s tempting to hold onto old habits and ways of thinking, but sometimes, what we hold onto are the very things holding us back. Let this new year be your year of surrender. Trust in God’s plan, set meaningful goals that align with your authentic self, and focus on the things that truly matter to you.




I write stories centered on healing, self-development & growth. “To thine own self be true.”