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Thursday, January 1, 2015

I Failed

I confess . . . I failed to reach my goals for the past year.

Maybe they were too big and unreachable. Although, I really hate to say that. I believe in setting high standards for myself, and sometimes others. For better or for worse, we live up (or down) to expectations. On January 1, 2014, I wanted to try something I'd never done before, so I set a big goal. I was really excited about it too. I decided in 2014 I would write and publish three books—April's Storm, Stage Woes, and a book on faith.

But . . . (gulp) . . . I failed.

I honestly did work hard and faithfully on April’s Storm, but it took most of the year. It will be released later in January, but, still, none of those three things I'd hoped for happened in 2014.

So, on this shining, brand new day in 2015, I'm wondering, should I set any goals for the year? What if I fail again? Maybe if I hope for the best and see where things lead me, I'll be okay. Perhaps, I'll even be surprised. Things might work out better than in years past. I could see some success. Maybe. If.

That reminds me of how I feel about cleaning my house. It's one of my least favorite things to do. Especially the bathrooms. If I don't have a plan in advance to clean house, or do a certain task, I can pretty much guarantee it won't get done.

I used to be way more motivated and driven. Now that we live in the country and don't have kids in the house, things easily fall by the wayside. “I've got to give the dogs a bath,” can be said many days in a row. Something smells “strange” in the fridge, but it goes untended for a week. Days morph together, and suddenly, it's Sunday again, and I don't know how that happened.

I definitely need a list. A goal. A plan. But what if I don't succeed?

I've heard some scoff at New Year's resolutions. “I'm going to lose ten pounds.” “I'm going to quit ______________.” “I'm going to write a book.” Those doubters don't believe people will follow through with their commitments. And, maybe they won't. Maybe I won't. But the thing is, what will we (I) accomplish without a goal? For me, New Year's Day 2016 would show up, and I wouldn't have finished much of anything.

Is there something you'd really like to see happen this year? A trip to Europe? Writing a book? Moving to a different house? Going on a mission trip? Living by a budget? Why not make a list of goals to work toward? Sure, you can be afraid that you won't stick to your plan. Or, you can look yourself—and your list—in the eye each day and say “I can do it. With God's help I can do anything.”

Even though I failed at my goals last year, I've decided to make another list today—January 1, 2015. The thing I'm going to do differently, that I didn't do in 2014, is post my goals in a prominent place where I can see them every day. I'm going to recite that verse “I can do everything through him who gives me strength” over them. (Philippians 4:13) And, because I'm following the Lord, I'll add “Your will be done,” because I want His will to be done in all areas of my life.

Sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith.

And even in the areas where I think I failed, did I learn something through the process? If so, then I probably didn't fail as much as I thought I did. And that is good news.

Got a list?


  1. Mary, Thanks for your candid and encouraging blog. My year was a lot like yours! There was so much I didn't get done, but like you, a lot that I did. Best wishes for a wonderful 2015. Katherine

  2. Katherine, Thank you so much for sharing. I always want to get more finished than I do. Blessings on your new year. May 2015 be filled with peace and joy.