Here we are at the halfway mark for 2010. Every year, about this time, I seem to make the same observation. So, I might as well echo the familiar sentiment: “My, how time flies!” Seriously, it does seem as if it was just yesterday when we welcomed in this year with enthusiasm, goals, good intentions, and hearts full of hope. We were determined to make this a successful year as we made commitments to do more of some things, less of others. Our intentions were well meaning and our momentum was strong as January began. Then the year unfolded, the busyness of life set in, unexpected challenges and opportunities came along, and some of our intentions may have given way to distractions and life alterations. We meant well, yet, perhaps without realizing it, we were drifting off course. Now here we are, midway through the year, wondering. Are our goals still reachable? Can we really do what we set out to do? Can we keep the pace all the way to the finish line? If you are still working on your goals and are in line with your expectations, these four tips can help you continue on that path. If you’ve drifted off course, don’t be discouraged. It’s not too late. Now is a great time to regain your focus, reevaluate your goals and expectations, and rekindle your commitment. Wherever you are on your journey, consider these four tips that will help you “stay” the course and turn your positive intentions into end-of-the-year successes. S – First, Set a course of direction and Sharpen your focus. Ask yourself: What do you want to “be”? What do you want your life to reflect? Now, what do you want to “do” with your life that will help you be that reflection? Spend time asking the Lord to show you his desires for your life, then sharpen your focus in the direction you want to head this year. T – Take time to set goals that will move you forward along the path you’ve chosen. There are many good things to choose from but it is up to each of us to carefully, and prayerfully, choose only those actions that will help us live our best lives and honor God’s unique desires for each of us. That means we need to take time to seek His guidance. He tells us He knows the plans He has for us. He also encourages us to seek Him with all our heart. A - Once you set those goals, look ahead on your calendar and mark time periodically (perhaps monthly or midway through the remainder of the year) to Assess where you are with your goals. Some are great and need to continue. Others made need to be adjusted or set aside and replaced with new goals more in line with the shifts that occur in life. Taking time to assess where you are versus where you want to be and what you want to do is a critical, yet often overlooked step. Not doing so may result in drifting off course and not making it to the finish line. Y – The final letter in our key word stands for You. If you want to reach your goals this year, and if you want to enjoy the journey along the way, you must take care of yourself. Physically. Emotionally. Financially. Spiritually. In your relationships. In all aspects of your life. Demands pull us in different directions, draining our energy and resources. If we’re not careful, we’ll get caught in the web of life’s stresses and pressures, and loose ourselves in the process. Make sure that in the busyness of life, you set aside time to care for yourself so you can fully live the life God designed for you. While we don’t know how the remainder of this year will unfold, we do know that God promises to walk along side us if we invite Him, and to provide us with all we need for the journey. As we draw close to Him, we’ll not only find what we need, we’ll also find joy along the journey. So, step out, stay the course, and see what He has in store for you. Nancy Williams, M.Ed, LPC is a licensed professional counselor, life coach, speaker and writer. Send comments to her at www.nancywilliams.net.

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