Goals Before Us

It may seem late in the New Year to be talking about goal setting. But, if you are like me, January seems to go by in a blink of an eye. And, it’s sometimes February before New Year’s plans and schedules fall into place.

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 an aid when it comes to our spiritual growth.

Goals provide focus— It’s definitely true that if you aim at noth­ing, you’ll hit it every time. So when I was a mom with preschool­ers, I aimed at something—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 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 grew to include a variety of other titles, all of which have contributed to my personal and spiritual growth and to my ministry to others.

Goals provide an opportunity for specific measurement—Setting goals that are specific helps you move forward in the direction you want to go. So when it comes to making goals for your-self, stay away from the vague. For example, the goal “to be a godly woman” or “to walk with God” is honorable but hard to measure. It’s far better to be specific.

Answer the question “What does a godly woman do?” and let your answer give you specific and measurable behaviors (i.e. Bible study, prayer time). Write down steps you can actually take toward those behaviors (baby steps count!) and mark them off as you accomplish them. 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 that.

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?” As I began to write down specific, measurable goals and keep track of my progress in my planner, I could see firsthand the growth that had taken place, the number of books that had been read, the vari­ety of classes and seminars taken, the women I had shared God’s truths with, the number of family reunions and birthdays celebrated, and even the pounds lost. Believe me, as you keep track daily of your efforts and God’s grace, you will be able to celebrate the progress made, and give God thanks.

Question: 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.

Comments

  1. As a mom of a preschooler I do feel like most of my days are aimed at nothing. I want to raise my child to love God but sometimes that does seem very vague. My husband recently left for a long deployment and I’d say part of me shut down but I still have such an important role to fill.
    Lately at bedtime i’ve practically dropped him into bed and turned and rushed for time alone. I don’t want to be that way.
    My daily goal is for a bedtime routine that consists of praying with my son and reading a book. That’s a start! :)
    Thanks for sharing this today!
    Laura

  2. I have been existing, but not living. In a sense you can say I have been living a life of quiet desperation. My goal the past year has been to get involved in activities that enrich my spirit and lead me to a meaningful life. I read spiritual books, at least every other book is spiritual. I attend a class at church Friday evenings, church every Sunday and read my bible every morning for fifteen minutes. This routine is not rigorous because it fits into my lifestyle. I look at my calendar and I get overfilled with joy by the progress and meaning my life is taking. As a result, I am more prepared mentally and spiritually to be an instrument of God in others.

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