It is now February, and I am looking back at the goals I wrote down for 2018. I wrote some for work (required) and mentally set some for my personal life. In many ways, I see the value of writing down my aspirations and what I want to attain throughout the year. I know about “SMART” goals, and I know about “BHAG” goals. I usually fall somewhere in between setting realistic (SMART) goals and dreams (BHAG).
I both love and hate the accountability that goals gives me. When I am succeeding in meeting my goals—LOVE! When I have been failing—hate.
Where does God stand on goal setting? God has a set plan for my life and I need to get on board with his plan. If you, like me, have a love/hate relationship with goals, these eight tips can make all the difference toward setting goals with God’s plan in mind.
- Think through your goals and get advice on them. “Without consultation, plans are frustrated, But with many counselors they succeed,” Proverbs 15:22 (NASB)
- Remember that, with God, your past performance does not predict your future performance. “Forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus,” Philippians 3:13-14 (ESV).
- Develop goals that follow God’s heart. “What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8 (ESV).
- Recognize that your goals will not look like the world’s goals. “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,” Romans 12:2 (ESV).
- Let your goals be focused on God’s kingdom, not your own. “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21 (ESV).
- Remember that no matter how big your goal is, if God wants it, it is possible. “But Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’” Matthew 19:26 (NIV).
- Be willing to be redirected by God. “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails, “Proverbs 19:21 (NIV).
- Work hard and the Lord will bless it. “The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance,” Proverbs 21:5 (AMP).
If you have not taken time to set goals with God, pray and ask him to show you where to focus your efforts this year. Let’s be like the apostle Paul and press toward the prize of a life lived in line with God’s plan.