“2014 Resolutions” – Dec 29

December 29, 2013

“So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.  Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy.”  1 Corinthians 13:13-14:1

A year is an effective measurement of time.  It is long enough to accomplish difficult tasks and make marked improvements.  Yet, it is short enough that you can actually remember its beginning.  This makes a year the perfect period of time for resolution making.

Goal setting has become a necessity for me.  I am not a free-spirit.  I can’t afford to be a free-spirit.  I am not naturally talented; I have never been the bright student; nor have people whispered of my gifts while watching me.  Very few things, other than lethargy, have ever come easy for me.

I am a grinder.  I have been blessed with some tenacity.  I have learned that I can accomplish most goals once I incorporate that objective into my routine.  However, no goal will ever be accomplished if you don’t have a reasonable and rational strategy to achieve it.  I have found that if you have enough time, a goal is achievable, and you have a good strategy, then you can usually accomplish it if you are willing to grind away.  This video sums up my approach to the difficult things I hope to accomplish.

Welcome to the Grind

Here are my goals and strategies for 2014:

(I did not read the books that I had hoped to read this last year.  There are few things more edifying to me than reading so I want to be intentional about making time to read.)


Pilgrim’s Progress – John Bunyan
Extravagant Grace – Barbara Duguid
Religious Affections – Jonathan Edwards
Think – John Piper
Mere Christianity – C.S. Lewis
Hole in our Holiness – Kevin DeYoung
The Cross of Christ – John Stott
Business for the Glory of God – Wayne Grudem
Institutes of the Christian Religion, Book 1 – John Calvin
No Argument for God – John Wilkinson
(My goal is to read the works of one dead author for every live one.)

The Greater Journey – David McCullough
Flags of Our Fathers – James Bradley
Jean Jacques Rousseau – Leo Damrosch

Robert Frost – Selected Poems

The Last of the Mohicans – James Fenimore Cooper
The Nutmeg of Consolation – Patrick O’Brian
Renegade – Ted Dekker
Ender’s Game – Orson Scott Card

Read my Bible every day – stay on my reading plan; all other reading will be suspended until I am caught up.
Make book time greater than TV time.
Read some portion of a book daily.
Read a poem every other day.

(I wanted to memorize Romans 8 last year; I blogged about in “Will You Train with Me”.   I struggled when I got up to 23 verses and then gave up.  So, I want to give it another run this year.)

Goal – Memorize all of Romans 8

Memorization Strategy:
Recite the passage on the way to work.
Recite the passage on the way home from work.
Use ScriptureTyper.  (Kindly recommended by Shawn Martin at Shawn’s Journal )

(I feel like the most lacking area of my spiritual life is prayer.  Therefore, I want to take a year and focus on communing with God.  I want prayer to constant and as natural as breathing.)

Goal – Be a man of prayer.

Spiritual Discipline Strategy:
Set aside time every day for a minimum of 15 minutes in prayer.
Have my prayer journal by my bedside.
Ask for prayer requests from my family.
Intentionally slow my decision making to allow for prayer.

(Writing has become a blessing beyond my expectation.  I am humbled that after a door of ministry as a pastor was closed that an avenue in blogging would open.  I am so very thankful to all who have shown the kindness to read my writing.)

Write 325 blog posts (currently at 420 posts);
Increase to 3,000 followers (currently at 2,127)

I would like to write a book… but not ready to make that a goal.  I keep it as a dream for now.

Writing Strategy:
Write concisely; keep blog posts between 800-900.
Write a devotional blog every two days.
Respond within three days to comments.
Read WordPress blogs daily.
Follow the advice of C.S. Lewis:  “In writing. Don’t use adjectives which merely tell us how you want us to feel about the thing you are describing. I mean, instead of telling us a thing was “terrible,” describe it so that we’ll be terrified. Don’t say it was “delightful”; make us say “delightful” when we’ve read the description. You see, all those words (horrifying, wonderful, hideous, exquisite) are only like saying to your readers, “Please will you do my job for me.””  C.S. Lewis’ Letters to Children

(I really don’t want to pack 14 extra pounds around the Boise Ironman course or up the second summit of the 4 Summit Challenge.)

Goal – 186 lbs by June; currently 200 lbs

Weight Strategy:
Ordered P90X3
Continue triathlon training
Eat less than 2,000 calories a day; loaded app to track food consumption.


Tour of Ontario Cycling – March
2014 Time Trial Goal – Age group top 10
2014 Road Race Goal – Age group top 20

Camel’s Back Duathlon (Long Course: 5K- 30K-5K) – May
2014 Goal – 1 hours 50 minutes; Age group top 3

Ironman 70.3 Boise – June 7
2014 Goal:  5 hours 30 minutes; Age group top 20

Spudman Triathlon Boise (Olympic) – July
2013 Finish – 2 hours 51 minutes 37 seconds
2014 Goal – 2 hours 45 minutes; Age group top 3

4 Summit Challenge – July 26
2014 Goal – 6 mph up second summit

Emmett’s Most Excellent Triathlon (Olympic)– August 9
2013 Finish – 2 hours 42 minutes 10 seconds
2014 Goal – 2 hours 35 minutes; Age group podium

Pedal for Patients (Century Ride) – August 23
2014 Goal – 20 mph average

Ontario Aquatic Triathlon (Sprint) – September
2013 Finish – 1 hour 7 minutes 3 seconds
2014 Goal – 59 minutes 59 seconds

Run for the Hills Half Marathon – October
Goal – 1 hour 58 minutes; Age group top 15

Athletic Strategy:
Follow training plan at 18 Week Half Ironman
Ride once a week with local cycling club.
Run once a week with Meet Me on Monday club.

The above list is what I came up with for 2014 and then I read Jon Bloom’s excellent blog on Desiring God entitled Your Most Courageous Resolution for 2014 .  I felt his challenge to “make 2014 a year where we pursue love with more intentionality than we ever have before”.  I looked at the above list of goals and strategies and realized that it was lacking a key category.

I have goals and strategies that I believe with help me pursue a love of God with intentionality.  However, I did not have goals or strategies to help me pursue a love of my neighbor.  I know how important loving my neighbor is.  Jon Bloom helped me to remember that I need to be intentional about the second greatest commandment.

I considered many possible goals to help me pursue a love for my neighbor.  In all honesty, I do not want to do any of them.  Most of the goals that come to mind also turn my stomach.  The above list of goals and strategies are all things I want to do.  In fact, I have already started in on all of them because I find enjoyment in every category.  Many of the goals in the “love your neighbor” category, represent sheer obligation.

I found myself questioning my obedience and asking God to change my personality.  I then remembered something that I had written… it is always odd when a past post  preaches to the present you.  I was reminded that I am who God created.  Allow me to introduce myself once again, “Hello my name is JD and I’m an introvert.”

God loves a cheerful giver.  That means that we need to be obedient to God’s commandments with a joyful heart and not out of sheer obligation.  I can grind out in obedience the actions of love for my neighbor but that will not be a pleasant smelling offering – to my neighbor or God.

God could change me into an extrovert but until then I am going to follow a reasonable and rational strategy to pursue a love for my neighbor that glorifies God.


Goal – That those who are in my life will experience the love of God.

Love Strategy:
Write; share with others what God has shown me in His word.
Encourage; write at least one note of encouragement per week.
Start a home Bible Study in January – actually invite people to it.

I conclude this list with advice from Julie Gillies in her blog How to Pray When You’re Setting Goals.  (Thanks to Julie Garro for posting the link on her Follow the Light blog)

“…goals that aren’t infused with and a result of prayer can lead to unnecessary frustration and disappointment…
My goals must = God’s goals.”

PRAYER: O Lord, not my will but your will be done.  Father, examine and transform my thoughts so that they align with your thoughts, make my desires to be your desires and cause my goals to come from a heart eager to do your will.  Make the goals that are pleasing to you succeed and remove that which does not glorify your name.  Give me wisdom to recognize the plans that I need to relinquish and those I need to change.  I pray for this coming year that your name will be hallowed; that your kingdom will come and your will be done; I pray that you will provide for all my needs.  Father, help me to forgive and keep me from temptation.  I pray this in the precious name of your Son,  Jesus Christ.   Amen.

NOTE:  Sorry for the length of this post. I realize that I am not off to a good start with my strategy of shorter posts:)


  1. […] I concentrated on my athletic goals for 2015, I could not keep from reviewing my other resolutions for 2014.  I did not do very […]

  2. […] Related Post: “COST OF AN IRONMAN” – Nov 2 “2014 Resolutions” – Dec 29 […]

  3. You sir are quite ambitious! I like your categories and list. I’m thinking of developing a reading list as well. My shelf is full of pretty books I’ve bought because they looked interesting. Maybe I should start actually reading them? In addition to your list I wondered have you ever set “family” goals, personally and as a group? It’s a thought I’ve been tossing around here. Maybe thinking outside of my personal growth and what we could do to grow as a family and what I need to do to better serve my family. Maybe a future post idea?…Thanks for all your encouraging writing. It’s been awhile since I’ve read so now I’m trying to catch up 🙂

  4. […] or not I am going to do something and then do it right away. However, after reading this blog post https://boyslumber.wordpress.com/2013/12/29/2014-resolutions-dec-29/ , I became motivated to make a New Year Action Plan to my current life […]

  5. Great book list! I agree with your comment on dead authors, esp. the ones you picked.

  6. Worthy goals that will surely assist you in your desire to live more deeply in God’s will this year. If I may be so bold, may I suggest one more book to add to your list. “Practicing His Presence” by By Brother Lawrence and Frank C. Laubach. It’s a very short book easy to read in short sessions, but extremely though provoking for any one desiring a deeper walk.
    Peace and blessing to you in our Lord Jesus.

    • I have read “Practicing His Presence”, although it has been several years ago. I think I will put it on my list. However, I am a really slow reader so I think my reading appetite is already outpacing my reading speed. Thanks for the suggestion.
      God Bless!

  7. Wow…challenged and a bit amused as I follow another blog which also challenged readers to place Spiritual Resolutions as their priority for the year. I had committed myself to morning prayer, scripture, spiritual reading. Evening prayer with examination of conscience. I realized after reading your blog that possibly I have not set specific enough goals and that I had not made any specific goal of charity to neighbor…or set goals in other areas of my life. For years, I wondered with amusement if The Lord had a disciple as difficult as I, but with age…I say it with more sorrow…

  8. Excellent post! I am usually the type to not make resolutions, but many of your Spiritual goals have prompted me to also make Spiritual goals.

  9. We just moved and know no neighbors nor did any of them come calling for an introduction. My wife baked 12 tins of Christmas cookies and attached a card. She literally dragged me to all the neighbors one at a time for introductions. We now see how lonely they are. My heart is changed (at least a little bit) and your post is great (not to mention convicting).

    • Hey Gary – thanks for you comments. That is a wonderful reminder that there are a lot of lonely people out there who want to be reached out to. It helps went our wifes brag us alone – LOL, love that.
      God Bless!

  10. Good Post–I hope you achieve each and every one of your goals for the coming year–and give yourself room to ‘breathe” now and then:) Take it one day at a time–and sometimes I find it is easier to add one “new” thing at a time-I think they say it takes about a month or6 weeks to develop a habit of something. Don’t be discouraged when things get in the way of your accomplishing your goals–life has a way of doing that–just roll with it and learn perhaps new ways to work in a goal–around a set of circumstances you didn’t anticipate. And double–triple thanx for liking my blogs:) God Bless

    • Thanks for the advice. You are very correct. Goals should not rule over us but be a tool. I appreciate the wisdom in giving ourselve room to breathe.
      God Bless!

  11. […] very diligent man of strong good character who writes about his new year’s plans (read more here https://boyslumber.wordpress.com/2013/12/29/2014-resolutions-dec-29/) but I’m not ready to go there in my blogging life. I will end this year and begin next year with […]

    • Vera – thanks for the link and the kind words.
      God Bless!

  12. […] very diligent man of strong good character who writes about his new year’s plans (read more here https://boyslumber.wordpress.com/2013/12/29/2014-resolutions-dec-29/) but I’m not ready to go there in my blogging […]

  13. JD
    excellent post! I have another book to add to your list “Once We Were Brothers” by Ronald Balson. I just finished it. It is a dialog between a holocaust survivor and a lawyer as he seeks resolution to his past. It is written as a mystery that you know the answer to almost immediately but are captivated by how it will be solved…and no I did not skip ahead to the end!
    Your list for the new year is intriguing and challenging…kudos to you if you complete it.
    You have given me some ideas for 2104 that I had not considered so am thankful for the detail. And now …I think it is time to configure my own 2014 goals.

    • Thanks for the book recommendation. I am always looking for good books to read. Looked it up on Amazon – I added that one to my list. However, I probably won’t get to it until next year since I am a bit of a slow read. I am glad this post could be used to give you some ideas for 2014. I hope you have a great year.
      God Bless!

  14. JD, it has been a joy to read your biblical and life-based reflections and devotionals. I have been very belssed by your ministry as you serve Christ and his Body through this blog. Thank you kindly, dear brother in Christ. I pray that the Lord will bless you in this coming year. Blessings in Him, Sherryn

    • Sherryn – thank you so very much for encouragement and prayer. I appreciate it very much. I hope that you have a great 2014 and our Lord’s blessings will be upon you as well.
      God Bless!

  15. Wow that’s encouraging to see you share this;
    Makes me want to read more too! Some good books you have listed there

  16. Amen!!!! Thank you for this past year of sharing, of the Word and of yourself. May God grant your desire to live more deeply in His will this coming year.

    • Thank you AR. I hope and pray that our Lord will richly bless you as well in 2014.
      God Bless!

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