Many people decide not to make ‘New Year’s Resolutions.’  But I think the transition into a new year is a great time to evaluate what’s been going on in your life and chart a new or adjusted course.  If you’re having a hard time setting goals for the new year, maybe I can help. And even if you’re reading this and it’s not New Year’s Day, go ahead and make some goals.

I gave up calling them resolutions and now just call them goals.  I have set up a whole list of life goals I call my ‘trumpet list’, rather than ‘bucket list.’  These are things I want to accomplish in life before God’s trumpet sounds for me to go to Heaven.

Knowing these life goals, I set annual goals to keep my life goals on track.  I even keep track of monthly goals. For instance, in my lifetime I want to run the equivalent of a race around the world. That’s about 25,000 miles. So to accomplish this I set an annual goal of 1,000 miles. My monthly run goal is 85 miles a month.

Some goals are just one time events, like my goal of going to Hawaii or preaching for my missionary brother in Cambodia.

So, every year on New Years Day, I think of some of the things I want to accomplish.

I try to spread my goals out over many areas of my life. It’s easy to come up with health goals or vocation goals.  But when I researched all this, I found several general areas of life to set some great goals.  I’ll share with you some of my goals and maybe it will help you make your own list.


These are goals about your body. For some, it may be to lose weight. Others it may be to stop smoking. For me, one of my goals this year is to finish a life goal of donating one gallon of blood.  I also want to run 1,000 miles.


These are places you want to visit. Some might be very specific (like kiss my wife, Judy, on top of the Empire State Building) and others are general (visit 5 new states. My life goal is to visit every state. I’m at 25). I like to not only set a goal of a place, but include what I will do at that place. One of my life goals is to kneel in prayer at the traditional site of Jesus’ crucifixion, Calvary, in Jerusalem.


Rather than places to go, these are things you want to experience. One of my goals this year is to shoot a deer with my dad’s gun. My dad liked to hunt, but I’m not a hunter. This is something I can do in honor of my dad, who passed away at age 54, with my son, Josh, who is a hunter.


These are goals you want to accomplish in your service to God. A great goal is to read the Bible. As a pastor, many of mine are related to my leadership in my congregation. For instance, I want to lead my congregation to give $1 million dollars to missions since I became the pastor in 1994. I have a personal spiritual goal this year of being involved in 50 people trusting Jesus as Savior. I know a person’s decision to trust Christ is dependent on God and their own choice, but I want to see 50 people come to Christ for salvation.

These are just some of the major categories of goals I have. Other categories include financial, personal, family, and influence. Ask God to help you set some goals and work hard to accomplish them this year.

What are some of your goals for the new year?