Idea to Reality: 8 Steps to Make It Happen

So Elisha said to her, “What shall I do for you? Tell me, what do you have in the house?” And she said, “Your maidservant has nothing in the house but a jar of oil.” – 2 Kings 4:2 (NKJV)

Some time ago I wrote a post called “What’s In An Idea?” I discussed what an idea involves – Imagination, Development, Empowerment, Achievement. The purpose of that article was to get your thoughts rolling about the ideas you have had and maybe dismissed them and didn’t pursue for one reason or another. I wanted you to see how important the thoughts you have were and what pursuing them could do for you and others. You can take time to read that post here.

Today I want to develop that original post a little further. To have an idea is great but to do something with that idea is even better. It takes discipline to move what ideas you have – whether it is to increase you income, change you career, have better relationships with your family members, grow deeper in your walk with God – from thought-state into reality. For the last few months, I’ve been occupied with many ideas and I’ve been learning in the process. Some of what I’ve learned is what I want to share with you.

As God’s creation, you are full of ideas. For me, it doesn’t take much for ideas to start coming to me. As I interacting with people in ordinary conversation; thoughts of what that person can do or what I can do will start to swiftly come to mind. I get lots of ideas when I am listening to the word of God whether at church or at home on my computer or from the television. Reading books can also trigger new ideas. Most importantly in my alone time with God; I often receive God-breathe thoughts or ideas.

But there are some realities about ideas that I’ve also experienced:
• Ideas don’t die. You may recognize that one or two of your ideas seem like repetitive ones but with a slight twist to the previous. Those ideas are hard to ‘shake’ off and almost seem to be screaming at you to bring them to reality.
• Good ideas are God-breathed and are given to you to implement. Even if you don’t carry out the ideas you’ve been given, God in His providence will pass that idea unto someone either within your family or without to bring that idea into reality
• Ideas benefit you as well as others within your immediate sphere of influence and beyond
• Ideas – whether many or few, big or small – can be overwhelming. In this case, you and I must get God’s direction on what to do. This requires constant connection with Him
• Ideas are unique because you are unique. Even though someone else may have a similar idea to yours it’s not the same as yours. You bring your own personality, experience and perspective to every idea you have.

But the purpose of the post is to talk to more about what you can do with your ideas especially those that don’t seem to leave your thoughts. What do you do with the ideas that you want to see become reality? There are two initial and necessary responses to such ideas: First, write down the idea as clearly as you can and second, seek God’s purpose for your idea and ask for success.

In 2 Kings 4, the account of the indebted woman seeking advice from the prophet provides a backdrop of how an idea can go from thought to reality. Although we often look at this as the “getting out of debt” process, it bears close resemblance to the steps we need to take to get our ideas into reality.

1. Get direction
Seek advice for sound people – business people, pastors, people with specific expertise like lawyers, accountants, medical professionals, etc., – to help you get started on the right path.

2. Start working on your idea now
Don’t hesitate. After writing out your plan and seeking help from God and others, it’s time to buckle down and get a move on that idea. The quicker you start the more likely you are to finish it.

3. Avoid distractions
Avoid too much chit chat. Avoid social media and socializing too much when you know you have something great to accomplish.

4. Have an inner circle
Get your family and friends involve in your goal; specifically those who can be trusted and who will work with you and not pull you and/or your idea down.

5. Delegate some tasks
You can’t do everything. (I am still working on this one!) If you are building a business you can’t do all the associated business related task. You will become overwhelmed and worn out. Know your strengths and work those. But where you are weak or where the task is time consuming and un-enjoyable for you, delegate it. Maybe you can even rendered one of your services or products in exchange for something that you need for your business.

6. Don’t give up!
Keep moving forward until your idea becomes a reality, until you reach your goal or until you are experience the level of success in a particular area that you’ve always desired. Even when you attained a certain level of your dream reality, you have to keep moving forward to maintain it and to accomplish even greater. Why? The more you grow the more ideas will come to you of other things you can accomplish.

7. Always seek advice
Yes, at the beginning of your idea you would have received some direction but you still need more. At different stages where you may hit a roadblock and you’re not sure what next to do – go back to God, go back to your trusted advisors, do some research, read books and study other information to help you get over that hurdle. When you get the answer – move on, act on it.

8. Make History
Really, make history? Yes, you can! You may be the first in your family to do something different but that okay. Be the ‘you’ that God created you to be. Don’t be a stereotype or a copy of others. Your idea may be something that no one in your generation has done before. So what! Go for it!

I hope that this article gives you some encouragement to move your idea into reality. One last note…I journaled these two thoughts earlier in the year after attending a conference and captioned it as “From the Lord”:
“Don’t allow the greatness you see inside of you to scare you but rather let it propel you to move forward until it becomes a reality.”
“With every great dream and thought you have, invite God to partner with you to make your dreams become real.”
(Signed and Dated: PC. 08-Jul-2017 @ 12:24am)

This is my encouragement to you. As you seek God and aim to carry out His specific purposes in your life – ideas, great big ones, will come. Don’t hesitate to act on them. God’s got your back while you’re in the trenches working out His plan in your life. He will be with you all the way. If you don’t give you, you will receive your rewards. Let this encourage you and be the empowerment you need to take action in any area of your life you desire success.

God bless. PamC

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Don’t Give Up On Your Vision

Then the Lord answered me and said, “Write the vision and engrave it plainly on [clay] tablets so that the one who reads it will run. “For the vision is yet for the appointed [future] time it hurries toward the goal [of fulfillment]; it will not fail. Even though it delays, wait [patiently] for it, because it will certainly come; it will not delay. “Look at the proud one, his soul is not right within him, but the righteous will live by his faith [in the true God]. – Habakkuk 2:2-4 (AMP)

How has your last year been? Did you accomplish any of your goals? Regardless of how small or big, congrats! You have made progress! Therefore, be thankful and press forward ahead a bit more.

What about this year? At the start of a new year, many are filled with great ideas and create some exciting goals. For others, the idea of goal setting is overwhelming. But personally, setting goals is not just something to do at the New Year but on an ongoing basis. Why? I have seen the benefits. Goal setting keeps me focused. It helps me keep the main thing the main thing. It also helps me determine when to put off some of my plans another time. It resets me when I get off track. It helps me access my progress. It even helps me to rely and depend on the Lord Jesus more because I want my goals to be aligned to His plans or purpose for my life.

Setting goals gives you something to measure by. It gives you something to look forward to beyond the daily grind. Some goals are short term like my plan to develop a workshop within a 3-month period. Some are mid-term – 9 months to a year – while some go far beyond a year to bring to completion.

At the end of this year, my family and I experienced the unfolding of one of our long-term goals – a new house. With tired bodies but grateful hearts we spend the last part of the year preparing to and moving into our house. As I pause to ponder over this, I realized that in reality it was a long term goal which took 14 years to accomplish. Yes, we had owned house before but today, I believe we are now settled in our lifetime home. So some goals can seem to take “forever” but eventually we prayer, effort and tenacity they can become a reality.

Today, please, no matter where you are in life – don’t give up on whatever goals or dreams you would like to accomplish. In Habakkuk, God instructs that you should write down the vision. What vision? The one that He reveals to you. That means that your vision has to come from God. That means you have to seek God concerning your life plans.

Why do you have to write out the vision? God says, “And make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it.” In other words, in order to act on it, the vision needs to be clearly writing out. To run is an active verb. When you clearly see what you’ve got to do, you will work on it. Therefore, it is important to write your goals but more importantly to keep it in clear view. Don’t hide your goals. Post them where you can see them every day and create habits that align with those goals so that every day you are getting closer and closer to achieving them.

Then God says; “Even though it delays, wait [patiently] for it, because it will certainly come; it will not delay.” As I mentioned earlier, some of your goals may seem to take “forever” but wait. This requires patience. This requires faith. As the word of God says, “the righteous will live by his faith [in the true God].” No vision just drops into your lap or become reality within minutes of it being formed in your heart. It takes the process of time – “though it delays”. In the process there is work, there may be setbacks, frustrating moments, giving up thoughts, Aha moments or seasons of revelation, times of thanksgiving, and more. During the progression toward the goal, faith is paramount. It first takes faith to set the goal and believe that it will happen. As a children of God, you and I ought to live by faith in God that what He breathed into our hearts to achieve, He will do through us.

As you enter into this new season and you ask God want He would like you to accomplish is life, do so by faith in Him who is able to do exceedingly more that you can ask or imagine. God bless.

To help you start or to continue the goal setting process and accomplish great things, check out the Make Your Year a Living Success Goals Workbook. This will help you not only set the goals but work through them to bring them to reality.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

How to Make FAITH Goals Rather Than SMART Ones

wirting goals_16732976_sFaith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. –Hebrews 11:1 (NLT)

Goals and God, do they mesh? The short answer is, Oh, yes, they do! The worldview for goal setting is the use the S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time sensitive) method. The aim of this is to make sure that a person set goals that are realistic and that they can achieve. Unfortunately, SMART goals leave no need for God because these goals are set based on a person’s natural ability to achieve it. Don’t get me wrong, I am not knocking this method of goal setting. It helps you to think through what you really want to achieve in a methodical or logical manner. To me, that’s good.

S.M.A.R.T. goals have their place especially if you are new to goal setting but even for those who’ve been setting goals for a long time. You can find this method beneficial too if you feel intimidated by the idea of writing out and seeing your dreams laid out before you because it breaks the process into small steps. But as a Christian, when you set goals being S.M.A.R.T. about them can be a hindrance to God’s best for you.

How’s that?

S.M.A.R.T. goals are specific and maybe too specific in that you may not make room in your mind for anything greater than the amounts, times, places, people that you’ve identified in your goals. In other words, you can make these S.M.A.R.T. method mistakes (1) setting your goals too low or (2) wanting to accomplish them too quickly. You likely would overestimate what you can do in a year and underestimate what you can do in ten.

I like the idea of being specific, and that’s naturally me. But I’ve learned that when you do this you can become so bogged down with the specifics that you don’t see anything more or less than the goal you’ve created. But what if God wants more for you that you’ve determined?

Consider this: Instead set big goals with God for your life and spend the rest of your life going after them.

S.M.A.R.T goals are said to be achievable and realistic. Achievable by whom – You? Realistic to whom – the world standards? When you set goals that fall into this two categories, therein lies a problem. The goal is all dependent on you and not the Lord. First off, that places a lot of the burden on you to perform. Secondly, there is no reliance on God to help you. Thirdly, you miss the opportunity to ask God to show you His plans for you and help you craft then according to His will.

So enough said about S.M.A.R.T. goals. I like using the method but keep in mind the limitations for you and me as Christians.

Now, what I want to propose to you or challenge you to do is to set F.A.I.T.H. (Focused, Audacious, Inspiring, Transforming, and Hopeful) goals. Goals that will be require faith not in your ability to achieve them but in God’s ability to achieve them for you. I want you to set goals that will stretch your faith not in yourself but in God, in His word and in His ability.

So here is what I think F.A.I.T.H. goals should look like…

FOCUSED

A focused goal directs your attention or efforts to a specific task that is measurable and time-bound. A goal is a dream with a deadline.

These are S.M.A.R.T. goal setting aspects that are still needed. Why? When God works in you, through you, with you and for you to help you achieve your goals, you need to know what they look like so that when you receive the blessing you can clearly identify God’s handiwork and give Him all the glory for what He has done.

AUDACIOUS

This is where F.A.I.T.H. goals become interesting. An audacious goal will take you outside your comfort zone and inside the realm of God possibilities. Goals like these require you to be bold, daring, fearless, and highly inventive. This requires outside the box thinking that doesn’t conform to the norm for conforming sake. When your goals are audacious you take bold steps but with faith in God that He will reward your efforts.

Therefore be audacious! Stop thinking inside the box and stop the negative arguments against yourself and your goals. Let the size of your God determine the size of your goal. Don’t limit God by small thinking!

Now to Him who is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly more than all that we dare ask or think [infinitely beyond our greatest prayers, hopes, or dreams], according to His power that is at work within us. –Ephesians 3:20

INSPIRING

More specifically, faith goals are God’s inspired goals. These goals produce feelings or thoughts towards that which is kingdom oriented. They build confidence in you – not in your ability but in God ability to help you do what you need to do and in His awesome power to perform a great work in your life that you’re not capable of alone. When you have F.A.I.T.H. goals you are inspired by the belief in a better future.

This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. –Joshua 1:9 (NLT)

TRANSFORMING

No matter where you are in your Christian walk, you would have realized by now that God is at work in you to change you and others into better His image and likeness. So whenever you set F.A.I.T.H. goals aim to impact others in your sphere of influence. The beauty of goal setting is that it doesn’t end after you have put it in writing. There is more involved. The journey to achieve your goals is a journey in which you and others will see transformation in your perspective, your character and other areas of your life. You will with God’s help know Him more and make Him known to others. You will become more like Christ. In the midst of the goal setting and goal getting, you should be kingdom-focused and kingdom driven. Therefore, be the light and the salt of the earth while accomplishing your goals.

HOPEFUL

F.A.I.T.H. goals give you a hope and a future that are good and exciting to look forward to. They will give you the impetus to get up and go in the morning. They will spur you on when the going gets tough. They will keep your eyes on the prize (particularly I you review them regularly). They will inspire you to do good works.

When you create F.A.I.T.H. goals, you are expressing hope. You are expressing your belief that you will succeed at what you are about to do. In reality, goals are statements of faith or statements of hope. When you set an F.A.I.T.H. goal you believe that God will help you to accomplish it.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. –Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)

I hope that this post in inspire and challenge you to set your goals full of FAITH in the Almighty God. As you go through the goal setting process and as you work on this through the year, as yourself, “Will this require me to have faith in God?” Matthew 9:29, Jesus said, “According to your faith let it be to you.” Your faith determines what you receive or achieve in this life. God works with your faith. God acts on your behalf based on your faith. And it pleases Him when you have faith in Him. So remember, how much He does in your life have a lot to do with how much you believe He can do in your life. Your F.A.I.T.H. goals make that statement, “Lord, I have faith in you to accomplish…”

My friend, as you take this journey to dream great dreams. The question isn’t who you think you are but who do you think God is. Create F.A.I.T.H. goals to speak to the greatness of your God. God bless you!

It’s not too late to start setting F.A.I.T.H. goals and living out God’s success in you. I created the 2016 Living Success Goals Workbook & Planner out of a desire to have a goal setting process with a Christian perspective. I hope you’ll get a copy and start the road to living successfully in Christ.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

7 Reasons Why Christians Should Make Life Plans

22867681_s_where is my life goingGoal setting is making life plans and it’s a God-thing. What do I mean by that? God sets life plan or goals. One such life plan was the plan of salvation so that all would come to Him and have eternal life through Christ. Think about it. It was a goal – to save mankind from his sin. It took planning, timing, implementing in order to make this gift of eternal life available to all. That is an awesome plan that many people had and continue to reap the blessings from.

Throughout the word of God there is evidence of God setting goals or life plans for His children and for the effective working out of each of those plans in their lives. Today, it’s no different, God has life plans for you and I and wants to work with us to accomplish them.

Even though, goal setting is a God-thing. There are several reasons why you and I should set goals and work to make them happen.

1. Goal setting is spiritual
How is that? Your life plans should reflect the will of God for your life. For sure the plans He has for you are good and are worth looking forward to.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” -Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)

However, when it comes to you there are plans specific to you and no one else. This is where life planning or goal setting gets spiritual. You will need to spend time in reflection, prayer, thanksgiving in order to learn His plans for you.

The good this is that you may already have a good start at knowing His specific will and plan for you. Usually the very desire of your heart is the very thing God desires for you. The things in life that you’re passionate about form part of the big plans God have for you. The important key is the ensure that these inner desires a good and acceptable to God (Romans 12:1-2).

2. Life Planning Set the Course of Your Life
If you choose not to plan, then you live by default and everyone else’s suggestions and plans become your own. You react rather than respond to life because you have no life plan to keep you from wandering through life aimlessly
diverting away from your main goals.
However, to plan and do it with God is to be purpose-driven. Jesus and the Apostle Paul as excellent examples of meaning specifics. They had an aim and worked towards those goals, their life’s purpose regards of the obstacles.
Have goals or a life plan means that you know where you are going. You are not side-tracked or easily distracted when you have a plan.

3. Goal setting is faith-based
Goal setting and faith go together. When you set goals you are making statements of faith. You are saying that you have faith in God to accomplish a specific thing by a specific time frame or period.

Are you confident in God that the goals (the hope you have) will happen?

“Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.” -Hebrews 11:1 (NLT)

FAITH goals please God. Those mentioned in the Hall of Faith had an aim, a life goal that they believed God would be able to do. Set your goals with faith in God. Believe that God will help you make them happen.

4. Goal setting is faith-stretching
Your faith in God is stretched or challenged only when you set goals that not is within your reach and therefore require God’s intervention in order to be achieved.
The bigger the goal, the risker the goal, the more your faith will be stretched. A faith-stretching goal compels you to run towards God and to believe that He will reward you as you seek Him.

Try setting goals based on what the word of God says in Ephesians 3:20 MSG “God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.”

5. Goals focus your energy
When you have goals, they keep you from wasting time, money or energy. When you have focus you have an effective life. Like Paul you are driven by “this one thing I do”. The more you focus your life the more powerful and effective it will be.

Don’t think that you have to do everything. God doesn’t expect you to. You are human and knows that very well. Set the goal and then focus your energy to achieve the goal. The key is to do what do what matters most. Do what has eternal value.

“You know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize. So run to win! All those who compete in the games use self-control so they can win a crown. That crown is an earthly thing that lasts only a short time, but our crown will never be destroyed. So I do not run without a goal. I fight like a boxer who is hitting something—not just the air.” – 1 Corinthians 9:24-26

6. Goals keep you active and persistent
Having goals fills you up with hope and give you something to look forward to. They make you persistent even when the going gets tough. You are able to see past the pain and aim at the prize. This is just what Jesus did – “who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2, NKJV)

Goals give you a reason to get out of bed in the morning and to be enthusiastic about life. They give you something to look forward to. However, without goals you feel hopeless; you don’t see a good future ahead of you (Job 6:11, NLT)

Have something to look forward to. Have something to live for. If you do you won’t loose hope and give up.

7. Goals build your character
The greatest benefit of setting and working on your goals in not the achievement of the goals but what happens to you in the process. Success is said to be a journey – a journey that starts with you and produces a better you as you work with God and allow God to work in you.

Through the process of goal-setting and goal-getting, God is more interested in your character than your accomplishments. He is more interested in who you are and who you become. While you are working on the goal, God is working on you.

As you create your life plans, aim to be more like Christ – to know him and to make him known to others. You cannot become the man or woman God wants you to be unless you’re intentional about it.

8. BONUS POINT: Good goals will be rewarded
The beauty of goal setting for Christians is that you have the advantage of doing it with God and of being guided by the Holy Spirit on a daily basis. This is an uncommon advantage but one that is often taken for granted or not recognized.

As you set your goals and work toward them, you will be rewarded on earth by people and by God in heaven. The key to success in the depend solely on God, the CEO of your life to guide you and help you every step of the journey.

“Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed.” -Proverbs 16:3 (NLT)

So as you start this New Year, commit all your plans to the Lord and one day and one step at a time let Him work in you, through you and with you to bring into reality your heart’s desire. I wish you a year of Living Success!

The 2016 Living Success Goals Workbook and Planner is now available. As an added bonus this year, a full year planner is included for your convenience. Enjoy!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

7 Ways You Can Overcome Discouragement

David was greatly distressed, for the men spoke of stoning him because the souls of them all were bitterly grieved, each man for his sons and daughters. But David encouraged and strengthened himself in the Lord his God. —1 Samuel 30:6 (AMP)

13378330_s_woman discouragedLife can be really challenging – from keeping up with your daily responsibilities to facing unexpected and unpleasant situations – discouragement can set in. Even in the process of pursuing your purpose and living for Christ, you may sometimes experience “the blues”. There are moments like these when no one is around to help you or encourage you. But sometimes in the best of circumstances, you can find yourself feeling alone and discouraged also. Regardless of how many friends and family members you have supporting you, there are moments when you feel the heavy weight of discouragement. It is in times like this that you have to encourage yourself in the Lord.

  1. Talk to yourself

Stand in the mirror, look at yourself and give yourself a positive pep talk:

“I can make it with Christ being my help.” (Phil. 4:13 AMP).

“This situation is only temporary; I will overcome in the name of the Lord.”

“Smile, God is on my side and I will win this battle because he will fight it for me.” (2 Chron. 20:15-17)

You can easily depended on someone else to give you that pick-me-up talk but it is not always possible. You must learn to talk yourself out of discouragement and believe that the future ahead of you is good.

20832754_s_happy woman

  1. Sing & Dance

Sometimes when I am feeling low, I turn the music up loud and have a praise party. It is so refreshing. Many times I have felt the presence of the Lord while doing this. Occasionally, I would get my husband or daughter to dance with me. They usually think I am a bit too loud but I just rather feel great and sing praises to God (Ps. 47:6-7) than be low in body, soul and spirit. When I’ve done doing my song and dance, I feel energized to keep going and I do!

  1. Read a book

Read a Christian inspirational book or better yet read The Book. Yes, read the Bible. I love to read, there is no topic that has not been written about. If I think reading will help me through discouraging times, I would either search my bookshelves (physical and virtual) or buy a book. I would pick something relevant to what’s happening in my life or what’s concerning to me at present that has me feeling low. I would search the Word of God for answers to my questions. As I read, God faithfully reveals His will, He encourages me and I gain insight or get new ideas to help me move forward. I often say that if someone has taken the time to research and share their or someone else’s experiences – you should take full advantage of it and learn from them instead of going through a long and hard process of “reinventing of the wheel”. Reading brings encouragement.

  1. Pray, of course

David inquired of the Lord (1 Samuel 30:6 AMP), that is, he asked God what to do. Sometimes you may go through the pity party scenario way too long instead of seeking God for direction and uplifting. God not only speaks to instruct but also comforts to assure you that He will be with you and will help you to prosper in life. Spend more time with the Father when you are discouraged. It will be well worth it.

  1. Remind yourself of God’s goodness

Go down memory lane. Think back to the days, weeks, months, years that you have been through some very tough times. What happened? How did God see you through? What did God do for you? You’re still here. Yes, maybe facing another challenge but you survived and overcame the other times. Give thanks to God for His goodness on your life (1 Thess. 5:17-18). Since God is a never-changing God that means He will express His goodness toward you again. So look up, you won’t lack a thing! You will triumph over this challenge!

  1. Rest in God

Relax. Take it easy. God is always at work (Ps. 46:9-11). Let Him act on your behalf. He is able. Take a break from the norm and refresh yourself physically as well as mentally. Often when you step away from stressful situations or from trying to solve problems, you come back to face the challenge with new energy and new ideas. Sometimes even in your busiest day taking a few minutes to refresh and regain your composure will make a lot of difference to the progress you make in the remainder of your day – you will accomplish a whole lot more.

  1. Express your heart

Tell God your Father – your frustrations, your weaknesses, your insecurities (1 Peter 5:6-7). But don’t end there. Seek Him through the Word and remind yourself of His promises. When you release your frustrations to Him and ask Him for the grace to move forward or when you cast that net of discouragement on God don’t go back and pick it up. He is able to replace your weakness with His strength. God promises that He will hold you up and give you the victory (Is. 41:10). Remind yourself that Jesus cares and He is diligently watching over you and protecting you. He is able to take care of your cares better than you.

  1. Share your burden

Please, don’t wallow in self-pity and don’t allow yourself to remain discouraged for long periods. The longer you remain discouraged the harder it is to get out of that state of mind. If you know you can’t go it alone, find a trusted friend – one who supports and encourages – and share where you’re at with that person. God has a way of working through your good friend to pray with you, give you a word and to help you soar again.

At some point in life, you will face discouragement but I want you to keep moving forward. When all else fails, don’t give up. Pick yourself from where you are and keep moving forward in spite of how you feel. You will soon realize that those feelings of discouragement are gone and you are able to progress.

Always, find strength in the Lord Jesus.

What do you do to overcome discouragement?

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

How to Fulfill Your Purpose-Driven Goals

God works for God_05_40_10_prev

Every one is born with a purpose. Whether you are a stay-at-home who is called to bring up godly children who impact the world for Christ or the CEO of a large conglomerate; you have a purpose. You are called by God for a special assignment. And there is no other person on the earth like you to fulfill it. Your uniqueness (personality, gifts, education, life experiences, and sphere of influence) makes you the perfect candidate for what God purposed for you. Just where you are God can cause you to have a positive impact on your family, your community, your nation, and the world.

So your life is valuable and has purpose. There is a destiny attached to your life. However the goals you set towards your destiny may often seem impossible to attain. But not so; the Lord will make it possible. He will give you the strength to do all to fulfill destiny (Phil 4:13)

Having a vision for your life and creating purpose-driven goals that are aligned to God’s will is a great start. As you work towards what you believe God has called you to do, you will find some challenges along your journey. But there are some lessons you can learn from the word of God about how to achieve your purpose-driven goals and ultimately fulfill your destiny

1. Keep The Vision
Joseph is a classic example of a dreamer and one who fulfilled destiny. His dreams from God angered his siblings and left his father wondering what they meant. But Joseph kept the dream even when siblings opposed him so much to sell him into slavery. One thing you can do (if you haven’t already) is to write the vision God has given you (Hab. 2:2-3) and review it often. Don’t worry if it isn’t all clear, God works with you where you’re at. As time goes on, you will understand more about it.

2. Don’t Complain
When things don’t go as you planned, curb the temptation to complain about it within yourself, to others and to God. It interesting that much was said about Joseph and his hardships and his successes but no where is it said that he complained to God or others. He took the opportunity once when he interpreted the dreams of others to mention his situation but even when forgotten Joseph didn’t complain. Instead of seeing the bad and ugly, see the good, the goodness of God in your life and be thankful to Him.

3. Serve Where You Are
Joseph though sold into slavery was considered a successful man. The Lord was with him and he flourished at whatever he did (Ps. 1:3). This was a recognizable trait in Joseph both in Potiphar’s house and in prison. His service or his work ethic was commendable and God honored him for this by causing others to see it and to promote him to positions of leadership. Make every effort to work to be best of your ability – at work, in your business, in your home, in your community, in your church. View your work as service to God.

4. Fear God
This is two-fold. Have a personal relationship with Christ and honor God in all you do. Don’t yield to temptation. Don’t compromising your godly values in order to get ahead. Keep the word of God in your heart; this will keep you from sin (Ps. 119:11). Recognize that God is with you at all times and ask for the grace to overcome and walk away from any temptation. Joseph was able to do this even though he seemed to be the one at the loosing end. But in the end God lifted him even higher. Having the fear of God will not only keep your from sin but will prevent you from delaying or hindering the progress of your purpose-driven goals.

5. Obey God
Wherever God leads, follow and whatever He says to do, obey. This isn’t always easy but you can rely for God’s grace and strength. God knows your heart is willing and He will help you. Moses did not complete his mission because of disobedience (Num. 20:7-12). He was able to deliver Israel from Egypt but he did not lead them into the promise land. Why? Probably because he was angry and frustrated with the Israelites complaining and instead of doing as God instructed, he struck the rock. Please, beware of your weaknesses and rule over them. Don’t let them cause you to miss the blessings of God.

6. Be Driven
Be determined regardless of the ups and downs along the way. No one told you it would be easy. Your purpose-driven dreams are worth the effort, the risk and the challenges regardless of how long they take to come to fruition. During this time you will learn more about yourself, find your value in Christ and trust God more than ever. Like the apostle Paul did, keep pressing, keep pursuing (Phil. 3: 13-14). The prize is worth the price.

7. Believe God
I don’t know how many times I have said or will say this. But this is one reminder you need when the going get tough: Have the faith of God. Be certain of this also: Your set time will come. Remember that God is working out everything for you – He will take the good and the bad and make it all good for you (Rom. 8:28). That’s His promise to you therefore don’t forget it. Joseph was able to see this; he saw his life from God perspective and knew in his heart that God had a plan for him. It was just a matter of time. Yes, time. And your set time will come when God makes all the hard work, prayer, fasting, etc. falls into place and your purpose-driven goals will become reality. Believe God.

This year focus on God regardless of the challenges and how much there is to do. There is more than enough of God’s grace to fulfill the purposes of God in you.

What do you do to help fulfill your purpose-driven goals?

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

How to Align Your Goals to God’s Will

Prayer for SuccessA man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.—Proverbs 16:9

January is a month when Christians across the globe spend time praying, fasting and reading the Bible more. It is a time of reflection and projection. It’s a time to seek God purpose or will for the coming months and seasons as the body of Christ. As well as a time to declare what God has said concerning our future.

God is a goal setter too. He has plans for Himself and His church and that includes you. The very reason you have come to know the love of God through Jesus Christ is because God designed a plan for your salvation and set it in motion. God’s plan wasn’t just about saving you so you can get to heaven but that you would also experience a full abundant life. Yes, that you would be a Living Success who glorifies His name.

Just as your Father sets goals or plans, you also ought to. As Christians, successful goal setting and achievement involves connecting to God and aligning our goals with His. To help you succeed through life, God in His love and wisdom has given you the Holy Spirit.

Unfortunately, believers can walk through life like orphans; like children with no Father but yet God has given the Holy Spirit as your 24/7 companion. You have a constant help but sadly may not rely on Him enough.

Many of us want to conduct our lives on our own believing that we know how well to manage our lives. Although we have the Holy Spirit we rely on our human limited wisdom and strength more than the Spirit of God to progress through life.

If you want your life to be pleasing to God and your goals aligned to His will then you need to connect to God’s spirit and take your lead from Him. As you set your goals and you begin to work through and towards accomplishing them, make every effort to stay connected to the Holy Spirit.

  1. Acknowledge God’s Sovereignty – Proverbs 3:6

God is King of Kings and Lord of Lords no matter what. Sometimes in planning your focus can be so much on what you want to do that you try to superimpose your will over God’s. One way to avoid this in the questions you ask yourself. It shouldn’t be just, “What do I want to accomplish this year?” Yes, that’s a starting point but consider asking, “Lord, what would you like me to accomplish this year?” Another question may be, “Lord, what great things will you do through me, for me and with me for your glory?”

These questions should keep things in perspective by reminding you that God’s will is best. Knowing God’s plan for you and working through them with the Holy Spirit as your Helper will make any year your best year.

  1. Quiet Yourself & Listen To God – Matthew 6:6

Quiet the noise around you – TV, emails, radio, people and get alone time from others to be with God. Do this on a daily basis. Give yourself this gift – to be in the presence of God and be renewed to face the days, weeks and months ahead.

Apart from your alone time with God, even in places where there is noise be conscious of the Holy Spirit and be ready to hear Him speak. God always has something to say that will move you forward and improved your life. He has a Word to guide you as you set out to achieve your goals.

  1. Let God Speak Through His Word – Joshua 1:8

God promises that if you meditate on His Word day and night, speak His Word and obey His Word, you will be successful in all you do. So when you read the word of God ask the Holy Spirit to enlighten your understanding and give you a Word to help you throughout each day. Applying God’s word with the help of the Holy Spirit will make your whole life prosperous.

  1. Recognize The Presence Of God Everywhere You Go – John 14:16-17

You are not alone. Whether you are facing good times or bad times, the Lord is still with you.  No matter where you are, God is there. Don’t be timid to talk to Him and ask Him to guide you. Give Him thanks. Ask Him what to do when you are uncertain. Please don’t put God in a box and think you can only speak to Him in your prayer closet. He is with you because His Holy Spirit is in you. He is readily willing to listen and to guide you each day and help you fulfill the good purpose He has for you.

Try to keep your mind focused on the Lord and His goodness. Recognize that the presence of God is with you all times.

  1. Make God’s Kingdom Your Priority – Matthew 6:33

I can’t emphasis this enough. His kingdom, His will should take priority. God promises and – He does keep them – that if you go after His kingdom and righteousness, He will provide for you. Whatever you need that others go after so diligently – food, shelter, clothing, etc. – God will make sure you have when you make Him first in your life.

  1. Have Faith In God – Mark 11:22-24

When you seek God’s will for your life and you plan accordingly, some of your goals will require faith. They will stretch you (so to speak) because they are bigger than what you would normally aim for. Therefore, set your goals in faith and act in faith. Since God has put these goals on your heart He is able to help you complete them. Whatever you have to do; He will give you the strength to do. Trust Him.

  1. Obey The Holy Spirit’s Guidance – John 16:13

Your goals aren’t etched in gold and they can change. The Holy Spirit has been given to lead you into all truth. The book of Act demonstrated the working of the Holy Spirit in building the body of Christ. One account I particularly like is God’s conversation with Ananias about Saul (Act 9). I like the detail with which God described Saul to Ananias – who he was, where he came from, where he was staying and what he was dong and even what he will do. I also like the assurance God gives Ananias about going to meet Saul.

As you go about creating goals and working to make them happen remember to ask for guidance but also to obey when you get it. God’s direction may not always seem logically but whatever He says to do will be for your good. Obey Him.

When you set your goals and continue to work at them, there is a tendency to get occupied with the goal and what you are doing and forget that the Holy Spirit is there to help you. Remember Jesus sent you the gift of the Holy Spirit and His participation in your life can only lead you to good success.

My desire for you is that you will have good success as you align your goals to God’s will.

Have you set your goals for this year yet?

If you are looking for a step-by-step guided process to goal setting, I’d encourage you to download the Living Success Goals Workbook.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

How to Win the Prize of Goal Setting

“Don’t you realize that everyone who runs in a race runs to win, but only one runner gets the prize? Run like them, so that you can win.”  – 1 Corinthians 9:24 (GW)

I have been writing about goals recently and I have also been setting goals for myself. I realize that act of goal setting is the easy part and it brings with it hope and exciting. Once you have set a few goals, the next step is the process is to achieve them. This can prove to be a challenge but you can make them happen. Here are a few tips to help you achieve your goals:

1. Keep Your Eyes On The Prize
Life is hectic and you can easily loose sight of what you want to accomplish. It is important to keep focused on the what, why and how of your goals. One way to do this is by reading your goal list daily. Keep them close on your bedside table and pray about them. Plan your week and your days by asking yourself, “What can I do today (tomorrow or this week) to bring my goal closer to reality?” You may even consider adding them to your smart phone for quick reference and as a reminder especially during challenges. I would also suggest a weekly, monthly and quarterly review. However, one fun way to get that daily reminder is by creating a dream board and posting that collage of your dreams in a place where you can keep your eyes on the prize.

2. Don’t Stress Out If You Fall Behind
We are not perfect nor do we live in a perfect world. The challenges of life will often get in the way of what you really want to achieve. It’s understandable if you have a late start or fall behind. The key is to get back on the journey and keep moving. Have a determination to succeed and when you fall down, don’t stay there get back up and get moving towards your dreams.

3. Discipline Yourself
Just like an athlete who trains to run a race, you have to train yourself. If you want to achieve your goals, when you set out your first steps, you will realize that you need to do some things differently. For example, if you want eat healthier foods; then your plan may include creating a meal plan, updating your grocery list, buying and preparing healthier meals, reducing your intake of soda, and so on. That goal requires some discipline on your part. Since discipline may sound like too much effort, consider this: Discipline is when purposely setup yourself to succeed.

4. Factor In Some Time Out For Relaxation
There is no point in working so hard to the point of exhaustion. You should try to enjoy the journey you are on. Two ways you can include relaxation and eliminate stress is (1) take 15 minute do-nothing-at-all breaks during the day (2) take a personal retreat or two during the year. Oh, don’t forget to take a family vacation as well. You will find that relaxation brings not only the benefit of refreshing the body but it will renew your soul and spirit as well. When you are refreshing you are more energized and creative which helps you to achieve your goals. Personal or spiritual retreats will also give you a new zeal for life. These times of refreshing will ignite you to keep moving forward.

5. Create A Sense Of Urgency
Have you ever noticed how productive you are just before going on a vacation or just before a pending deadline? Create a similar urgency with your own life goals one task at a time. One thing I have found useful is to set a timer when I really want to focus and get work completed. Knowing I have that clock ticking keeps my focused. I don’t stop to check emails or to answer calls or to chat. If you can work on projects in half-hour intervals, you’d be amazed at how much you will accomplish. Another way to create urgency is to set a time line within the same month to complete a major part of a project or all of it (provided it is reasonably doable). Knowing that you have a timeline within a few weeks often gets you started on making it happen.

6. Delegate Or Get Help
Ask yourself this question often, “Who can help me with this task?” There may be some things that you’re not skilled at and may need to hire someone to do. You may have a friend who is knowledgeable or experienced in an area that you need help with. For example, my husband did a book trailer for Financial Empowerment and I hired a designer to create the book cover as well as do the interior design of the book. If your time is best utilized in another area and you don’t have the time or talent to learn a new skill, then consider asking for help as you pursue your goals.

7. Tell Somebody What You’re Doing
Some goals are worth sharing with a friend or family member. If you have the goal of losing several inches from your waistline, and there is someone close to you who is into fitness, share your goal with them. Ask them to hold you accountable and even give you a few pointers on how to get started. A word of caution: Not everyone is a good candidate to share your goals with. Some will encourage but unfortunately there are some who will discourage. Your friends can either kill your dream or inspire you to achieve them. Ask the Lord who you should share your goals with. Choose wisely.

8. Join A Group That Supports Your Dream
I like small groups. Although there is the dynamic of dealing with different personalities, there is great benefit to being in a group that supports your dream. Such groups are often referred to as masterminds. If you can find a group of like-minded people whose goal is to succeed and help each other in the group succeed, go ahead and join them. The synergy and energy of being in a group that listens, guides and keeps you accountable for your goals is likely your greatest asset in goal achievement.

Many start off the New Year with excitement at the possibilities ahead. Unfortunately studies have shown that within weeks many give up on their goals. One reason for this is that some do not have clearly written goals. To help you set good goals check out these previous posts on goals setting:

If you are looking for a step-by-step guided process to goal setting, I’d encourage you to download the Living Success Goals Workbook.

I hope that as you work through the goal setting process and at achieve your goals, that God will give you great success.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

7 Quick Tips to Make the Best of Goal Setting

wirting goals_16732976_s“Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.” – Habakkuk 2:2-3

I like December, not only because it’s Christmas – the time we celebrate Jesus – but because it marks the end of a season. December to me is like to ending of an old chapter and the start of a new one.

I usually take the time during this month not only to celebrate with family but to plan the year ahead. As I start to think ahead, I spend time praying and seeking God’s direction for the New Year.

In my excitement to get going this year, I started search for what I could find to help me do a better job at goal setting. I found information in abundance but it would take time to compile a process that would work for me. I found paid products but they didn’t have a Christian worldview. I believe that if you are a Christian, any goal setting you do should always lead you to seek the Lord’s will for your life.

Here are some tips you can use to make the best of goal setting and experience a great year:

1. Seek God’s Will through Prayer
Start your goal setting process with prayer. Ask the Lord what His will is for you in the coming year. Listen to hear His plans. You may already know where God is leading you. Your dreams or desires, the things you love to do, the things that you are eager to change are all pointers to your purpose.

2. Take Time Out to Plan
It’s okay to think about planning but you need to actually do it. Make an appointment with yourself and God. Set aside a few hours, half a day or two days, whatever you think you need to get your goals down on paper.

3. Reflect On The Past
Don’t hold onto the past but embrace it. Review the year with the aim of learning form it. What did you accomplish? What didn’t work well for you? What can you do differently in the New Year? What do you have to be thankful to God for? At the end of this exercise make sure to let go of the past and get ready to embrace the future.

4. Dream, Dream, Dream
Yes, it’s time to dream, not a little but a lot. Making your goals does not need be so rigid that you kill your dreams. I often write a dream list first before actually setting my goals. Get a blank sheet and write down what your heart’s desire is. Do this before making any of your goals concrete.

5. Make S.M.A.R.T. Goals
I don’t think most people like to hear about S.M.A.R.T. goals but the truth of the matter is that this process makes your dreams become goals that would bring them into reality. You don’t have to set big goals and a lot of goals; but you need to write what works for you. That could be 12 goals or 3 goals but write them down anyways.

6. Find Your Why
Why do you want to accomplish the goals you’ve outlined? Why are they so important to you? It’s important to know your “Why” because when the going get tough, the reason behind what you are doing will keep you moving forward.

7. Be Accountable
Ever noticed how much you get done when you have deadlines and someone else to report to. Why? Accountability results in performance. Get the support of a friend or two or join a group of likeminded people who hold each other accountable for their goals. You will reap great success from such support.

8. Simplicity Is Necessary
Yes, this is tip No. 8 but this is important. Goal setting takes effort and many are often deterred from starting or completing the process. Another reason for not setting goals is that you may not know how to set goals and make them happen. The key is to keep goal setting simple and I have created a workbook just to help you do that.

As I mention earlier in this post, I was on a search for a simple goal setting process with a Christian world view but found none. As I thought about it I realized that I already had a process I was practicing for more that 10 years, but I had never compiled into one simple format. So I decided to do just that.

Now available in ebook format (pdf) is my goal setting workbook – the Living Success Goals Workbook & Planner.

If you are looking for a step-by-step guided process to goal setting, I’d encourage you to download the Living Success Goals Workbook.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Vision – Do You Have One?

 Like many of you, I was shocked at the sudden passing of Dr. Myles Munroe, his wife and associates last Sunday afternoon.

As I reflected on this, I came to the realization that others have come to – we need to be ready to meet our Creator at any time. Not only that resonated in my heart but the fact that this man was one who lived on purpose for a purpose. Dr. Myles Munroe is known internationally as an author, lecturer, teacher, coach, and leadership mentor. He was rather prolific and had published numerous best-selling books including one that influenced me greatly – The Principles and Power of Vision: Keys to Achieving Personal and Corporate Destiny (Study Guide).

This book helped me to recognize the potential in me and the importance of have a vision for your life. I was challenged know my purpose and have a vision for my life. I read this back in 2008 and was happy to find a notebook I had jot some notes in while reading it. Here are a few notes and quotes from the beginning chapters that I thought to share with you. I hope that they challenge and encourage you.

  • There is gold within me.
  • Lord, help me to see farther than my eyes can look. Give me vision – to see what can be and make it a reality.
  • Vision makes you persistent and persistence leads to the fulfilling of your purpose in life.
  • The vision-less person is the poorest person.
  • The frustrated person is the one with a vision that does not know how to fulfill it.
  • There is no other person like me on this earth. I was designed by God with a distinct and specific purpose to fulfill here in this world. I am unique and my vision is unique.
  • Lord what is that specific vision that I was born to fulfill?
  • My purpose will become my passion in life.
  • Lord, help me to know my gift, stir it up and make use of it that it may make room for me and bring me before great men (Prov. 18:16).
  • I am the sum total of all the choices or decisions I make every day.
  • Nothing can get in the way of God’s purposes – they always come to pass.
  • Purpose is why you were born, the reason God created you.
  • Vision is when you see your purpose by faith in your mind and you begin to imagine it.
  • Vision is as close as the desires of my heart. It is about God. It is about touching others.
  • Vision is unselfish and should always be accompanied by compassion.
  • Corporate vision stirs up personal vision. You don’t receive your vision through others but you are enabled to fulfill it through others.
  • Nothing we are born to do is to be done by ourselves or for ourselves.
  • Lord, help me to know why I’ve been born and to have a vision for my life. Father, reveal to me the deepest desires that you have placed within me.
  • Mission is the general purpose of your life while vision is a specific, very precise statement with defined boundaries.
  • People fail because they don’t know what they want to succeed in.
  • You will be protected from jealousy when you understand your vision. You won’t worry about what the other person is doing.
  • Indecisiveness is a vision killer.
  • Don’t be a professional starter, i.e. starting many things and not finishing any e.g. like reading a book and not completing it and then starting another. Leaving things unfinished discourages you from completing other tasks. The unfinished has a way of haunting your life.
  • The cost of vision is diligence.
  • Success comes in installments.
  • It is more important to know why you are born than to know the fact that you were born.
  • When you decide on a vision don’t sell yourself short.
  • You must choose where you want to go in life and then be decisive and faithful in carrying it out.
  • My true work is what I born to do.
  • Whatever you were born to do will remain deep inside until you do it.
  • Is your true work – your purpose – making it uncomfortable for you to stay in your present job?
  • What is it that I want to do? Lord, make my purpose and my life’s vision clear to me.
  • My vision is a clear conception of what is not yet a reality but which can exist. It is a strong image of a preferred future.
  • Whatever I was born to do I am equipped to do. The resources I need to do my life’s work will become available as soon as I need them.
  • There is provision for the vision God has put in me.
  • Eph. 3:20 – My imagination isn’t big enough for all God wants to do for me.
  • God has placed His vision and His spirit within me and that is more than enough potential for my needs.
  • God has given us the gift of imagination to keep up from focusing only on our present conditions.
  • Responsibility leads to respond-ability or the ability to respond to the requirements of my vision.
  • Everything God gave me to do, I am able to do. For everything God put in my heart to do, I have the corresponding ability to accomplish.
  • God never gives us dreams to frustrate us. He gives us dreams to deliver us from mediocrity and to reveal our true selves to the world.
  • You can always determine what you can do by the dream that is within you.
  • Plant the seed of your vision and begin to act on it and then nurture it by faith.

Just typing out this notes to share with you has reminded me of some important truths- know your purpose, have a vision and live it out to the glory of Jesus our Lord. From what we have seen Myles Munroe, he not only wrote about serving the purpose of God in your generation but he did that himself and it is for all of us to do.

Reading and studying that book as well as another of Dr. Munroe’s books called The Glory of Living: Keys to Releasing Your Personal Glory were the starting points for me in having a clearer vision for my life. I see a lot of what I wrote then being lived out and continually being worked out in me today. I plan to take the time to revisit these books as they helped me to work through the deeper thoughts in my heart.

I hope these notes have inspired you and encouraged you to live out your life purpose. If you want more, then go visit this Amazon page – Myles Munroe – and choose a book or two from this great author and man of God. I am sure that reading his works will propel your life forward as it did mine.

Have you read any of Myles Munroe books, what stood out for you the most? What changed your life? Share a word.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email