Happy New Year, friends! I’m curious to know how if you have a specific routine or goal-setting process you follow at the beginning of each new year. When I worked in the corporate world, my superiors typically set goals, and it was my job to implement a step-by-step plan to ensure that I met those goals. Being a performance-based overachiever, I never settled for less than exceeding, not just achieving my boss’ expectations. I wish I could say the same is true for my writing career.
I love to write about the things God teaches me as I read and study Scripture. Rather than taking my writing seriously, I make the mistake of treating it like a hobby, but I’m determined to do things differently this year.
Goal setting is a spiritual responsibility
While studying the Scriptures recently, the Lord reminded me that goal setting is more than a method to help us achieve our dreams for the future; it’s a spiritual responsibility for every believer in Christ. First, in Matthew 25, where Jesus uses the parable of the talents to emphasize faithful stewardship and the tragedy of wasted opportunity. Then again, in 1 Timothy 4 where the apostle Paul stresses the responsibility that accompanies spiritual gifting.
Why is goal setting important to changing my life?
I always begin the year with fresh vigor and good intentions, but my lack of follow-through in setting SMART goals is the primary reason I’ve had few accomplishments to celebrate in my 10-year career as a writer.
Maybe you, too, are finding it difficult to make plans for the future while sitting in the uncertainty of our current circumstances. But without clear goals, we’re just coasting through life, reacting rather than living.
Since this is an area of weakness for me, I fasted from social media during the last 40 days of 2020 to eliminate distractions and reserve that time as a season of infilling and direction from the Lord. I learned the Bible has a lot to say about goal-setting. Today I’ll share three biblical reasons why goal setting is essential to changing lives.
1) Goals are statements of faith (Matt 9:29)
2) Goals focus my energy (1 Cor. 9:26 NCV)
3) Goals build my character. (Phil 3:12 TEV)
Godly goal setting begins with prayer
Every person is born with a God-ordained, predestined purpose that goes beyond our natural skills and abilities. When we successfully fulfill that purpose, we make a positive difference in the world and help grow God’s Kingdom. (Eph 2:10) As a woman who loves Jesus, I won’t settle for less than pursuing His goals for my life, and neither should you.
The first step in the believers’ goal-setting process is to pray; ask for God’s help to identify, set, and accomplish His writing plans for me in 2021. I want to be a good steward for Jesus and do what I can to make this world a better place. Setting goals in the early stages of our writing career will help us achieve them faster and more often than those who fail to take the processing Pray-oritizing and pursuing God’s goals for our lives seriously. So I’m taking a step of faith this morning and starting the new year with a prayer, asking for God’s help, and I invite you to join me:
Father, my heart desires to please You, to lead the people I know and love to You so they can see and experience the depth of Your love and amazing grace. I cannot do what You’re calling me to do without Your help, so I’m following Your instructions that say if I lack wisdom, I can ask You, and You will give it generously without finding fault. (James 1:5) Your Word promises that You’ll teach me, show me how to go, and counsel me with Your loving eye on me, and I’m trusting you to do just that. Thank You, Father, than you never call us to do anything You haven’t already equipped us to accomplish through Your strength. In the mighty and precious name of Jesus, Amen.
How do I know my goals are worthy of God’s blessing?
2 Chronicles says that the Lord strongly supports those whose hearts are completely his. So let me ask you: How important is it to you that the Lord strongly support what you are doing? If it is important, then your heart must be completely his. When you embrace what is important to him, you bring your heart into alignment with his. When your heart is completely his, you are blessable.
What kind of goal does God bless?
- Will this goal honor God? (1 Cor 10:31 CEV; 2 Cor 5:9 NIV)
- Is this goal motivated by love? (1 Cor 16:14 NLT; 1 Cor 14:1 NLT)
- Will this goal require depending on God? (Proverbs 16:9 MSG)
To illustrate the process, I’ll share one of my goals for 2021, to write one new blog post each week with all content themes cohesive across my social media platforms.
I know this goal will honor God because the content I write and share brings the good news of the Gospel to others.
The motivation for my goal is a yearning for the people I know and love to come to know and love my Jesus
I can’t achieve this goal without God’s help because I need His spirit to empower me. (Zech 4:6 NCV); His Word to guide me (Joshua 1:8); and the wisdom, support, and resources of other believers.
Friends, the Bible tells us that obedience ALWAYS leads to blessing. As we make our plans for 2021, let’s take the time to ensure they are in alignment with God’s will and worthy of His blessing and favor.
Sending peace, love, and prayers to all!