Philippians 3:14

I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:14

This time of year finds many people, including lots of the entrepreneurs and business owners I know, focusing on the last push for reaching 2014’s goals, and the introspective process of setting goals for 2015.

Setting the next year’s goals can be a fun and exhilarating challenge because we’re allowed the freedom to dream more than at any other time. Where do we want to be a year from now? What do we think we can accomplish? What contributions do we want to make to the world? What legacy are we trying to build?

And if we reverse engineer getting there, what would it look like? What steps would we have to take to achieve that result? Can we commit to those steps? What do we need to do, learn, procure to do it?

Most importantly, if we haven’t fully done the exercise before, what’s our “why?”

This is often the missing ingredient in goal-setting… It’s the reason why New Year’s resolutions are soon abandoned, treadmills are left doubling as clothes racks, etc.

You see, our “why” is that undeniable reason that will make us push through even the most unpleasant circumstances because it is more important to us than any discomfort could ever be. For some people, their “why” is about what they want to have, financial freedom, stability for their family, more time with loved ones, notoriety, a fast car, and so on. For others it’s about what they want to avoid, like that feeling of telling their kid that they can’t have something because the money isn’t there, or disappointing a client because we just didn’t follow through the way we know we should have.

In today’s passage from Phil. 3:14, Paul shares that his own goal, once achieved, would win the prize for which God called him heavenward in Christ.

And I think that’s true for all of us. We can have more than one goal in life. There will be short-term ones and long-term ones. But then there are the goals that we base our life’s mission on.

So what was Paul’s goal? And what would it look like when he achieved it? And what was his “why?”

He reveals that earlier in the same chapter, in verse 10. “I want to know Christ.”

He wanted to know the power of his resurrection, participate in his sufferings, and become like him in his death. He saw these attributes as the necessary stepping stones to attain his goal, which was the resurrection of the dead.

According to verse 12b, he pressed on to take hold of that which Christ had already taken hold of for him, salvation, forgetting what was behind and straining toward what was ahead.

It was God’s calling for him, and it was his life’s mission.

As writers, we set goals too. Every time we write a story outline, we strive to fill in the gaps and create a compelling and believable story. When we submit our pieces for publication, we strive for acceptance and greater exposure.

When we share of ourselves, we seek to change the way people think, feel and act hoping to positively affect our readers by what we have so painstakingly created. We work and rework our writing, coming to know it intimately, forgetting what was behind and straining toward what was ahead.

Each time we pick up the proverbial (or literal) pen, we work to create more clarity, more connection, and more inspiration, continually striving to improve what we do so that our words may be worthy of the time people spend with them.

I encourage you as this year draws to a close to look at how far you have come in the past year. Consider what you want to accomplish in the year ahead.

What is God’s calling for your writing? What has He given you to share that He has uniquely equipped you to do? Pray about it. Think about it. Dream about it.

And when you’re through, forget what lies behind and begin again.

About Tara

Tara R. Alemany is a best-selling author and speaker. Her books include "The Plan that Launched a Thousand Books," "The Character-Based Leader," "My Love to You Always," "Celebrating 365 Days of Gratitude," and her latest title "The Best is Yet to Come."

In her spare time, Tara is a recognized thought leader who runs Aleweb Social Marketing, does her best to raise her two teenagers, and serves on two Boards of Directors. She is also Chaplain of her local Word Weavers chapter, and is a black belt in Tang Soo Do.

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