By Terry Frisk
Happy new year! Most of us greet the new year with resolutions for the upcoming year. However, many of those resolutions are broken within a couple of weeks. Why? Much of the problem is due to resolutions being too generic and the lack of taking the extra step to turn resolutions into formal goals. Establishing formal goals will help you identify and take the necessary steps to achieve your objective.
Young people seem to set goals for themselves naturally. They may have goals for their career path, getting married, starting a family or going on a church mission. They also have the discipline to complete the activities necessary to achieve these goals. When I was young, my career goal was to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). To do so, I needed to complete my college education, receive an accounting degree, pass a comprehensive exam, and incur one year of experience working under the direction of a licensed CPA. I just knew what I wanted to do and the steps it took to get there. However, as we grow older, we seem to lose this ability to establish goals and take the necessary steps to achieve them.
God intends for us to set goals and work toward attaining these goals to achieve our full potential. Proverbs 21:5 states, “The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.” We all need goals to establish direction in our lives. In addition, whether these goals are personal, professional or spiritual, they must align with our Christian values to further our walk with God.
How do you attain your goals? Here is a simple process to follow to help you establish and reach your goals:
- Prayerfully consider your life’s purpose and direction, then define your top six goals. Make them specific so you have a way to measure your progress (i.e., instead of a goal to lose weight, set a goal to reach a certain weight level) and write them down along with deadlines for achievement.
- Plan your strategy for achieving your goals. Define the activities you will need to complete to arrive at your goal. If you are trying to achieve a certain weight level, then your activities might include switching to healthier foods and increased exercise. I like taking the dogs for a walk. I not only get some much-needed exercise, but it also allows me to clear my mind and enjoy God’s creation.
- Review the goals you have written down frequently and build your belief in achieving them through affirmations and visualization. Replace negative thoughts with positive self-talk such as “I can achieve this!” or “With God, all things are possible!” Visualize what it would look like to achieve your goals. This will reinforce your belief in achieving your goals, making it easier to stay on track.
- Pray for the strength and wisdom to complete the activities necessary to accomplish your goals. Remember Jesus said, “And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith” (Matthew 21:22). When you experience setbacks, refocus on your goals to get yourself back on track. Avoid giving up on yourself. God never gives up on you.
- Develop a support group of individuals with similar goals. Find people who will provide unconditional support and hold you accountable for achieving your goals. You may find support groups with similar goals at your church or, if not, create a group.
- Regularly measure your progress. Celebrate your success along the way and praise God for blessing you.
Following these steps will set you on your path to achieving your goals. While it is easier said than done, remember the words of Paul to the Philippians, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). May God bless you on your goal achievement journey.
Terry Frisk is a retired business financial advisor. He also counsels individuals on personal financial matters through the Cathedral of the Rockies Budget Coaching ministry. He can be contacted through e-mail at [email protected].