As we turn this 2023 page in the book of life, and anticipate the precious time that lies ahead, it seems to also be a great time for reflection as many of us set goals for the year ahead.
Without goals, we can’t expect to be any different this year compared to last year. There always seems to be short-term setbacks as we propel forward in our dreaming and goal making.
1 Cor 9:26 says, “I do not run without a goal. I fight like a boxer who is hitting something-not just the air”.
Just setting our own goals without a successful method of approach probably isn’t the answer. We want to invite God in to be part of these endeavors along the way. I’m sure He hasn’t always appreciated several of my goals over the years. Although at the time I made those goals, they each sounded terrific to me.
Goals need to be more than a good idea. Instead, it’s best to strive to make them a ‘God idea’. To gain God’s blessings over each of our upcoming goals, here are some useful guidelines that to contemplate:
- Before setting any goals, start with prayer: prayer can provide the groundwork for successful goals that are in alignment with God’s will. No doubt we will struggle and fail at times, but it’s always and only about how we glorify God the Father in the process.
- Honor God with your goals: it’s just so much easier to honor ourselves when creating goals and dreams, isn’t it? While there’s nothing inherently wrong with this methodology, there’s higher probability for fulfillment when our goals and dreams instead and intentionally honor God.
- Set goals motivated by love: keep the focus on what things you’re doing to improve in relationship goals with your spouse, family, and friends, as this helps avoid the pitfall of focusing instead on what your spouse, family or friend either are or are not Shared goals come to mind, as they then become relational glue between you and those around you. Achieved shared goals seem to double our overall sense of joy in accomplishments.
- Set goals to fulfill one of God’s purposes for your life: Proverbs 16:3 says, “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans”. We can set our goals and carry them out with confidence knowing that God will help us attain them, but we need to be thoughtful to align our goals with God’s will. Also, be sure and make time to celebrate accomplishments along the way. Celebrate goals with those whom you’ve shared these goals along the way.
- Our goals are achieved by God’s power: once we’re able to come to a place of total obedience found in God, we’re better able to avoid the things that dishonor Him. Romans 12:2 says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect”.
- Think in categories when setting goals and make them come to life: many options exist, but starting with things like family, spiritual and emotional, physical, travel, others around you all are categories worth contemplating. If they’re not written down, then goals will not be set. Also share them with those closest to you. It helps to have a cheering section.
In the time starting now, let’s agree to each dream big, and continually do so until the day we graduate to heaven. Let’s agree to at least set some goals that may well take an entire lifetime to achieve. These achievable short-term goals are what we run to, and really love because we can check them off as being completed. Both short- and long-term goals work well. It’s never too late to start….