The first three weeks of the new year have me reflecting on a different set of goals of my own.

It’s typical for me to want to achieve tangible goals i.e. more productivity, lose weight, save more money, cook more…

However this next year I want to have a different kind of freedom. I want to focus on the kind of freedom that stems from heart issues. Wouldn’t you want to be liberated from heart issues of your own? Maybe you can relate? Would you like join me also?

Here are some heart issues I strive to be free from this year. Some of these buggers are similar in nature and you might agree:

1) Anger

This one is a huge one for me (I’m sure my husband will agree). I’ve now come to the realization once in a while its OK to be angry, but at what cost? Is it worth it? Was my reaction necessary? Did I practice being slow to anger?

2) The Need for Control

Most times, the root of anger stems from the need for control. This is a hard one for people with less patience. And Lord knows I need patience! I want some form of control in my environment and when things don’t seem to go my way, I lash out in fierce or raging anger. Or worse I shut down and expect other people to know what I want. I need to face the facts, there are just some things I cannot control – like my dog peeing in my house (yes it’s been an issue for me). However, I can release the need for control and ask God why the need for control is so important to me. Or ask God for more patience (eventually my dog will be potty trained, right?). In the meantime, is my reaction worth risking relationships? Is it helping anyone? Is it worth risking my own sanity? God has given me the power of free will, which ultimately that gives me control over my reactions. He has equipped me through His Word to overcome things I cannot control.

3) Criticism

This little devil. Criticism gives the impression things are never good enough. When I catch myself criticizing, I have stopped to ask…”Patty – why does it matter to you anyway!?!” Eighty percent of the time, it doesn’t matter! I have learned if I am complaining, I can do something on my part to fix it. Not happy with someone? Tell them. Not happy with the way things are operating at work? Make a suggestion. Not happy with certain government policies? Petition for change. I have a voice. And I plan on using it wisely.

4) Ungratefulness

This is where I focus too much on my wants and less on God’s blessings. God doesn’t give me me what I want because He wants to steer me towards humility or complete surrender towards Him. Sometimes the thought crosses my mind that my husband should be doing more around the house. And then the Holy Spirit quickly reminds me my husband already does contribute to the family in ways I’m not seeing. This year, I’m praying for a more grateful heart! (1 Thess 5:16-18)

5) Poor Attitude

Woe is me. The epitome of pessimism. I have to get up early for work. I have to get up early to tend to my child. Guess what? I should be happy I’m getting paid and God is providing! I should be happy I have children, because some people can’t bear children. More often than I’d like, I find myself dragging feet out of bed. Have you ever been on a trip for fun and sometimes there’s this one person whose attitude seems to sink everyone else’s joy!? Or perhaps you have asked an employee to do something in particular and their attitude is about as ripe as a rotten tomato to every request? Doesn’t their attitude seem to create misery for everyone else? This year I’m striving to be the anti-misery maker! LOL

Do you have heart goals you want to work on? Maybe it’s bitterness towards God. Perhaps its unforgiveness towards a close relative. I encourage you, free yourself from these heart attitudes that could ultimately hurt you in the tangible areas too. For example, a better attitude at work could give you more projects or a raise. Showing you are grateful could cause your spouse to do more things around the house (well it’s worth a shot right? Lol).

Love you and praying for you to succeed this new year. This new year of new beginnings and a big heart transformation.

Patty