The Bible says “good planning and hard work lead to prosperity” (Proverbs 21:5). It’s wise to set goals and to teach our children to do the same. Here are a few areas in which we can encourage our daughters to persevere this coming year.
Spiritual Growth—Our relationship with the Lord should always be top priority. How do you plan to grow in your faith this year? Ideas might include keeping a daily devotional journal, taking or leading a Bible study with friends, committing to reading six books of the Bible before summer, and so on. Discuss certain areas in which your daughter wants to grow, such as in gratitude, prayer, generosity, etc. Then come up with a plan to pursue growth in that facet of her Christian walk.
Relationships—How are you doing at honoring your mother and father? At loving your siblings? Being kind to friends and obedient to authority? Identify any particular relationships you’d like to work on this year, and discuss how you can actively strengthen those family or friendship bonds.
School—Working hard to do our best at school is one of the ways we can glorify and honor God. Is there a certain class you’d like to excel in this year? A goal you’d like to reach—such as earning a spot on the Math Olympics team, raising your grade in science, or joining the debate club? Discuss how school is not just about academics but also learning how to respect teachers, forgive our peers, and make God-honoring choices about our actions and beliefs.
Personal Interests—God has given us much to enjoy here on earth, and He wants us to use our talents for His glory. What personal interests do you want to pursue this year? Do you want to improve your skills in the activities you currently enjoy, such as piano, karate, soccer, dance? What about trying something completely new? Now is a great time in life to hone a skill or to explore a new one.
By taking time now to identify goals for the coming year, we can be intentional about pursuing them in the months to come. However, remember that “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps” (Proverbs 16:9). So even while encouraging your children to become wise planners, make sure you also teach them to be flexible. Often God’s plan turns out to be different from our own, and it’s always in our best interest to trust Him.