Setting Goals to Fulfill Your God-Given Purpose
With New Years’ right around the corner, we’ll likely be hearing more and more about setting goals. Or, resolutions as some people call them. If you're living a Christ-centered life, creating goals provides an opportunity for specific measurement, and setting specific goals helps you move forward in the direction you want to go.
With that in mind, when it comes to making goals for yourself, stay away from anything generic or vague. For example, the goal “to be a godly woman” or “to walk with God” is honorable but hard to measure. It’s far more beneficial to be specific.
Answer the question, “What does a godly woman do?” Then, let your answer give you specific and measurable behaviors like Bible study and prayer time. Write down steps you can actually take toward those behaviors and mark them off as you accomplish them.
Steps to Achieve Goals
I’m often asked about my writing, including questions like “How do you do it?” and “What must I do to write a book?” My answer is always the same. I have a goal to write five pages each day. Now that’s specific. There’s nothing vague about it. And because it’s measurable, I know when I’ve achieved it.
I wasn’t always this specific and disciplined in my goal-setting. There were times when I was aimless in many areas of life. But, today I can’t imagine a day (or a life) without goals. Goals give me a target. As I rise each morning and take aim at my day, the arrow I shoot may wobble and weave, but at least it’s in flight and headed somewhere. Just as goals help us in the day to day, goals are also important when it comes to our spiritual growth.
How to Achieve Goals Successfully
It’s definitely true that if you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time.
When I was a mom with preschoolers, I aimed at reading one book a year. I asked myself, “If I could read only one book this year, what would it be?” I read a suggested parenting book that helped me determine the road I wanted our family to head down. I read it in bits and pieces, remembering that something is better than nothing. I set a goal and reached it.
And do you know what? That one book I set out to read went straight into my heart and my life. As time and years went by, my list of books with Christian values grew to include various other titles, all of which have contributed to my personal and spiritual growth and to my ministry to others.
Goals Provide Encouragement
When a week, or month, or year is over, do you ever wonder, “Wow, what did I do? Where did it go?”
I was able to answer this question year after year by maintaining a planner. Of course, it compartmentalized my goals, to-do lists, and plans for the future, but it also provided me with another beneficial feature: I could use it as a journal to record what happened each day.
Keeping a Journal to Reach Your Goals
The journaling aspect isn’t like what I would do as a young girl when I started off each passage with, “Dear Diary.” Instead, if we had a visitor that day, I received a revelation during quiet time, one of my children hit a milestone, or someone had a prayer request, I could journal it on the day it occurred and look back on it for reference in the future. This was a turning point for me.
When I wrote down specific, measurable goals and kept track of progress in my planner, I could see firsthand the growth that had taken place. By reviewing the notes in my planner, I knew the number of books I’d read, the variety of classes and seminars I’d taken, the women I’d shared God’s truth with, the number of family reunions and birthdays celebrated, and even the number of pounds I lost.
The Value of Goals
That's the value of goals, as you keep track daily of your efforts and God’s grace, you will be able to observe the progress made and give God thanks. And the power of gratitude, it can't be measured. It multiplies too rapidly. Try it!
Lord, guide me as I assess my goals today. Help me set constructive goals, prioritize them appropriately, and submit them to Your leadership. May my goals lead me to my highest goal of knowing You better each day. Amen.
Creating a Beautiful Life by Elizabeth George —This book with a built-in Study Guide prepares you to create a more beautiful and productive life. Click here to view this helpful Bible Study.
What accomplished goad have you been able to celebrate in your life? Or, have you’ve been stirred to set a new goal today? Share here so we can celebrate and encourage one another toward God’s good goals.
Goals help you to have an impact — when you achieve them, you’ll have grown as a person and hopefully others will benefit from your efforts.