Lauren Bacall was the woman who made famous the line, “I am not a has-been. I am a will-be.” Don’t you just love her attitude and outlook? She saw the future as hers for the taking.
How do you see the future?
For the first two decades of my life, I spent my days looking back…back on my failures, back on how others had failed me, back on the hurts and disappointments, back on the “what ifs”…but also back on great summers spent with my family, back on good times spent with high school friends, back on moments of hilarious laughter, and back on some embarrassing situations that I can’t believe I got myself into.
Not until it was pointed out to me did I realize that life isn’t too healthy if it’s always looking in the rearview mirror.
So I decided it was time for a change…time to start looking in a new direction.
It was time to look forward — my future depended upon it.
It is time for you to look forward — your future depends upon it.
First, the Bad News: If you have never taken the time to imagine how you want to be treated within relationships, or set goals for what you want to do with your dreams, or chosen the main character qualities you desire to be known for, then I am sorry to tell you that the odds are you will never achieve those things. You will join the masses of mankind who allow life to shape them. And you will look back through disappointed eyes with regret wondering why life has felt less than it should.
Now, the Good News: You can start at this very moment to change the future. You are a “will-be” and the future is yours for the taking! According to an African proverb, “Tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.”
So are you excited to think about who you really want to be? What kind of friend or spouse you desire to be? How you want others to describe you? How you want to impact this world for Jesus? What character traits you want to be known for?
Wisdom tells us to diligently sow strategies for our future. Paul, the apostle challenged us to keep our focus on our goals and not get sidetracked or dragged down by our past. Luke, New Testament author, admonished us that there is an order to accomplishing things that always begins with first determining the answers to questions ahead of time.
So, hello Mr., Mrs., or Miss “Will Be,” here’s your chance–start thinking about what kind of a person you want to be for God.
Listed are some suggested questions to get your mind into future gears. Choose the ones you desire to set goals for and to make plans to change:
- What are your physical health goals? How would you get there? (sleep, food, exercise, water)
- What kind of a friend do you want to be for others? List top 3 character traits.
- How would you like to serve your church? What kind of a servant do you want to be?
- Do you want to stop pleasing people? Do you desire relational boundaries?
- How would you want your spouse to describe you? What kind of a husband/wife do you want to be?
- What goals do you have as a citizen/servant that will impact your community or this world?
- Do you long to be closer to God? Know His word better? Look forward to prayer more?
- How well do you settle disagreements? Would you like to resolve conflict more respectfully?
- Are you spending/saving your money according to what you value?
Some Tips with Goal Setting:
- Make sure you know the “why” of your goal. What value do you receive in accomplishing it? Write this down.
- Make each goal specific, attainable, measurable, and bound by time.
- Set up any plan needed to accomplish each goal.
- Give yourself small rewards along the way that motivate you. We need to celebrate success and growth more!
- Share your goal with someone who will check in on you because they want to see you accomplish it.
With God ALL things are possible. Not some things, not several things, not many things, not a few things…ALL things (Job 42:1-2). You are a new creation with the potential for anything imaginable (2 Corinthians 5:17), and every day God’s mercy is new just for you (Lamentations 3:22-23).
Determine who you want to be and how you desire to behave. Think about it. Set goals and make plans. We have to be intentional with our futures.
So, who will you be?