7 Simple Steps to Achieving Your Goals
This time of year everyone has goals. Goals are something that help us reach our potential. However, it is so easy for goals to quickly fall by the wayside. If that often happens to you, you are certainly not alone!
One of the primary reasons people do not achieve their goals is because in reality they have none. It is not much of a goal to say, “I would like to grow as a Christian.” Neither is it much of a goal to say, “I would really like to start eating better.” Those statements are too vague to be real goals.
The following simple strategies will help you reach your goals.
(1) Set the right goals. Ask for God’s help in setting them (Mt. 7:7). The right goals should reflect the right priorities (read Mt. 6:33; Col. 3:1-2). It only makes sense to desire eternal goals more than temporal goals. In addition to that, goals should be measurable. Making your goals measurable makes it easy to evaluate progress. Also, in general, they should be big. Big goals give you something to shoot for and brings out your best efforts. However, you should know yourself. For some it is better to start with small goals. Three general areas to consider are: spiritual, physical, and personal goals. Don’t neglect the spiritual! (see Mt. 16:26).
(2) Define your goals clearly and concisely on paper. This will make your goals easy to remember and much more concrete. If you don’t have a precisely stated and written goal, you really don’t have a goal. Write them and look at them daily!
(3) If possible, work toward your most important goals in the first part of the day. No matter what happens after that, you have worked toward something that you know is worth accomplishing. That may not be practical (or feasible) for you. You may have another time of day that is better to work toward a specific goal you have. As a general rule though, work on your most important goals as soon as possible. Work toward your goals before you play!
(4) As the year progresses, get rid of some of your goals! Decide that some of your goals are really not that important (if indeed they are not), or they are getting in the way of obtaining more important goals. Also get rid of some that simply are not attainable (at least at the present time). Pray for wisdom (James 1:5) and make sure you are reading God’s wisdom in the Bible!
(5) Keep the outcome before you. Think about why you want to reach a particular goal. Visualize what reaching it will be like. Consider if that goal is worth the amount of time and effort you will have to invest in it. Any good goal is worth the effort that you put into it. Thinking about obtaining that goal will help provide motivation to carry through.
(6) Don’t allow yourself to be sidetracked with trivial matters. Don’t trade an important goal in your life for a television show. Cell phones and Facebook can also steal very important goals if we aren’t careful. We shouldn’t even allow good things to get in the way of great things. Continue to seek God’s wisdom!
(7) Make some of your important goals public knowledge or confide in a friend. This will help keep you accountable. Going one step further, if you are serious about spiritual goals, you should commit your plans to God (Prov. 16:3). In the volume entitled: A New Testament Commentary, by Wayne Jackson, brother Jackson tells how he determined that he would spend a year writing that volume if the Lord granted him reasonable health. I would assume that our brother had a difficult time not working on the volume when he felt good since he promised God that he would complete it!
Start thinking, praying, reading God’s Word, and get your goals is writing. After that, with the help of God, set out to accomplish them. I hope you have a great 2017!