Questions To Move Your Goal Setting In The Right Direction

Question marks_ID-10062766If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.James 1:5 (NIV)

Sometimes it can be a bit challenging when setting goals to define clearly what you want to achieve. In the Living Success Goals Workbook & Planner, you’re asked the question, “Where Am I Today?” which you use to rate and evaluate seven life areas. This can be challenging but it is necessary if you want to move forward. This exercise helps you to determine which areas of your life you need to focus on more.

Following that exercise, you will start setting your goals or creating your life plan. Again, even though you may have identified areas that you want to improve, putting a plan together can be quite the challenge. In the post I have created questions that you can use to help you plan in each of these life area.

I know for the most part taking time to question yourself may seem hard and time consuming. However, there is a benefit because for every question, even the hard ones, an answer can be found. As you start questioning yourself about your life, also ask God for already He knows the answer. He will search your heart and give you the wisdom needed to move your life in the right direction.

LIFE VISION
What would make you smile with satisfaction when you look back at my life?
How can you get closer to your 10-year goal in this year?
What can you do to make the world a better place?
How would you like to be remembered?

FAMILY
Who do you need to have a better relationship with in your family (spouse, children, siblings, in-laws)?
What family values and/or traditions (e.g. celebrations, fun events, special occasions, family devotions or prayer) do you need to develop or reinforce in order to leave a lasting legacy?
What family goals (e.g. buy a house, family reunion or vacation, stronger relationships) do you have for this year?

FRIENDS & COLLEAGUES
What relationships do you need to improve?
Is there anyone who you need to disconnect from because they are a negative influence?
Is there someone who pulls you down rather than lift you up and encourage you?
Are there people you interact with that drain your energy in one way or another?
Who do you most admire in your sphere of influence? How can you connect with them?

FINANCIAL
What are your immediate financial needs?
Do you have a workable spending plan? Does it need to be revised?
Do you have a financial plan aligned to your values?
Do you need to a financial increase? How much? What will you do to achieve this?
Are you satisfied with your current income level? If not, why and how can you improve it?
How much do you plan to give, save and invest this year?
Is there a plan to reduce debt or to get out of debt completely?

HEALTH – PHYSICAL
What can you do this year to improve your overall health?
Do you need to create and follow a healthier eating plan?
What plan do you have to keep physically fit (have a personal physical assessment and exercise plan, start walking, participate in fun sporting activities, purchase and use workout videos, partner with a few exercise enthusiasts)?
Have you booked your annual health checkup and regular doctors visits? Would you prefer to work with a nutritionist or with an alternative health practitioner?

INTELLECTUAL / PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT
Should you enroll in an academic or professional course or other course of interest to you?
How many books do you plan to read this year? What topics would you like to cover?
Who can you connect with as a mentor, coach or mastermind group to provide support and accountability?

CAREER / BUSINESS
Are you in the career of your dreams? If not, what do you need to do to get there?
Do you need to study in a particular field? Or do you need to get on-the-job training?
Do you need to make a complete change in your career and embark on a new adventure?
In what ways can you improve service and product offerings in order the generate business income and be profitable?
How can you better serve your customers (internal and external)?

SPIRITUAL
What can you do to have a closer relationship with God this year and beyond?
How can you better serve the Lord not only in church-related activities but in all areas of my life?
Do you spend enough time in prayer, bible study, reading books on Christian living to help you grow in your walk with the Lord?
How often do you set aside time during the day to spiritually rejuvenate (such as having moments of quiet reflection, listening to uplifting music, watch short but inspiring videos or having a talk with God)?
How can you be a more effective witness for Christ?

This does seem like a lot of questions but they are just designed to get you started in your planning. You don’t need to answer all these questions or set major goals for each of these life areas. In some cases, you may need to set small goals – simple life habits – that can and will greatly improve your life. In other cases, based on where you are today, you may need to do a makeover on one or two areas of your life.

So take a step. Look at where are today and ask yourself a few of these questions to help you set purposeful goals. Ultimately, whatever goals you set, make sure that they align with your values and with the will of the God.

If you need help with goal setting, it’s not too late. Check out the Living Success Goals Workbook & Planner.

Here’s to your best year ever!

PamelaC

Make the Most of Your Time with Goal Setting

Goal setting is a word that some don’t even want to hear. It’s a time that many dread and as a result do not even pursue. You may have tried setting goals and because you didn’t reach the goal you don’t think goals are worth pursuing. On the other hand, you think it’s time wasted and that you should just let life happen. But really, if God has plans for you you should make it your business to know what they are, pursue them and trust Him to help you see them become a reality in your life.

12073677_s_dream, plan, wrok

Goal setting time

“Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible, intelligent people), Making the very most of the time [buying up each opportunity], because the days are evil. Therefore do not be vague and thoughtless and foolish, but understanding and firmly grasping what the will of the Lord is.” Ephesians 5:15-17 (AMP)

Goal setting does not have to be a difficult process. It can be a rewarding and yet fun time in your life. As the word of God says, there is a time for everything under the sun and yes, that includes setting goals. Consider this as a time for planting – your vision, your dream, your destiny, your purpose – where you lay out what you want to be and to do. And remember that this time of planting will become a time of reaping or harvesting once you (with the Lord) have worked towards to goal to attain the prize!

Life planning and goal setting in a time to look forward to and a time to access if you have and to make sure that you make the most of the time God has given you on this side of heaven. Goal setting is a time of:

REFLECTION
This is a time to look at the past and the present to prepare for the future. This is not a time to be negative but use this to learn from your mistakes and from the setbacks you experienced. Also make note of the what your did achieve and started to do as well as the positive things that happened in your life.

Ask yourself a few important questions:
– Where am I today?
– How and what did I do to get here?
– What made this year great or not so great?
Make sure to reflect on each of these life areas: Spiritual, Family, Financial, Health (Physical), Intellectual / Personal Development, Social, Career development, Business development. This will help you to understand why you are where you are and help you continue the work to become who you want to be and do what you desire to do.

THANKSGIVING
Oftentimes you can live with regret, frustration or disappointment because you didn’t achieve what you wanted to. However, this is not the place for you to remain. Even if you “cry over the spilled milk” don’t keep crying. Get up, clean up the mess and move on.

Learn to be thankful for what you have and what you do not yet have. Be thankful in all things at all times (1 Thess. 5:18, AMP). Thank God want did work and for what small steps you made towards your goals. Have a heart of gratitude because no matter how bad things look there is some goodness in your life and that goodness came from your Father God.

Write a love letter to God – a note of appreciation. Don’t know how to start? Start with, “Dear God thank you for…” and make a list of all His goodness in your life. Or maybe you can start by worshiping Him just because He is God and then thanking Him for all the goodness has brought into your life. Think of yourself, your family, your friends. Thank Him for life, love, good health, safety and protection, provision and whatever else you recognize as God’s handiwork in your life. But for sure, His done you good, so be thankful.

CREATIVITY
Goal setting is a time to dream. In my goal setting workbook, I have a space for dreaming, there are at least three options you can use to start your dreaming process:
1. My Dream List – is a blank sheet or a mind map type sheet – you choose the either list in short form what your life looks like in the next year or two or beyond or you use the mind map page with cloud thoughts to express your heart and God’s heart for you.
2. My Vision Board – for those who are more visually inclined, you can collect images (from the web or from books or magazines) and create a collage of your dreams.
3. My Life Story – you can write in present tense what you life looks like several years from now. You choose the time and place you want to start seeing your dream become a reality and just write that vision.

This is a time to be imaginative, to let go of your doubts or fears and not limit yourself. It’s a not the time to think that God is limited in anyway. It’s a time to remove all the stops and road blocks from your mind. It’s a time to let your spirit soar, your heart smile as you gaze into your future of infinite possibilities God has planned for you (Jer. 29:11, AMP).

Goal setting is creative planning. As a Christian you plan your life according to God’s plan for you. This will require spending time in prayer to understand God’s heart for you.

PRAYER
Goal setting is a time of asking, seeking and knocking. However, depending on the size of your goal; you may need to fast, weep, vow or wrestle in prayer. In some case yours prayer regarding a specific goal may be turned to praise even though you haven’t seen the actual goal as yet. Nevertheless, goal setting requires time in prayer.

You may need to ask God, “Lord what do you want me to do in this coming year or the next 2, 3, 5, 10, 20, 30 or 40 years?” or “Lord, what is your Word to me for this year?”
Seeking the Lord is a time or season of drawing closer to Him and He coming closer to you also. It’s a time to connect with Him to know His heart and His plans for you which are totally good.

This time will also require you to knock on the doors of heaven and on the heart of your Heavenly Father. Why? To accomplish whatever goals God has placed on your heart you will need open doors. In other words, you will need God to supernaturally give your favor with others, create opportunities for you in whatever area you need it most, mend relationships and establish new much needed ones. You will need God to miraculously make things happen that normally would be difficult for you to accomplish on your own. Knocking prayer is needed when your goal is FAITH-filled goals that requires much of God’s intervention at every step as you press towards your prize.

As you can see, for the Christian goal setting can bring you closer to the Father. One thing I must also mention is that when you set you goals you must apply the Word of God to them and create a prayer strategy for each of them. (I will write about this in more detail in another post.)

As you set your goals for the coming year and years ahead, remember that you are working with God to carry out His purpose in your life and to see His kingdom come here in the earth (within your sphere of influence and beyond).

Now is your time! Go ahead, set those goals and see what God is able to do through you and for you.

Make the most of your time with the 2016 Living Success Goals Workbook and Planner. As an added bonus this year, a full year planner is included for your convenience. Wishing you experience the best year ahead!

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.

9 Reasons Why Setting Goals Is Good For You

setting goals_5411685_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

In my last post, I discussed, 7 Quick Tips to Make the Best of Goal Setting. This week I want to highlight a few benefits to setting goals. People have a tendency to look at goal setting negatively mainly because of the time and effort it takes to start and continue the process. However, I hope that looking at the positives of goal setting will encourage you move towards a Living Success year.

Goals setting will…

1. Give direction or focus to your life

The aim of goal setting is to make you think about your life. If no one dreamed, planned, set goals and pursued them this world would be full of problems and no solutions. It’s the pursuit of man providing solutions to the problems that makes life better. God created you to have dominion, to be fruitful, to be productive, and to do good works. Setting goals is a start to being such an individual. When you set goals you are creating your life’s road map that brings everything you’re doing and will do into focus.

 

2. Energize you

The very act of writing your goals and seeing them in black and white will inspire you to start working on them. The more you act on your goals and accomplish them step by step, the more motivated and energized you become to keep working at them until they are completed.

 

3. Provide a challenge

Sometimes goal setting can be intimidating. Why? Because our dreams often feel bigger than we are. Your written goals can prove to be a challenge. Tell yourself, “If I dream it, I can do it with God’s help and strength.” The key to any challenge is to go after it in faith and with the certainty that God on your side. If God has put a dream or goal on your heart, He can give you the grace to achieve it.

 

4. Turn the seemingly impossible into possible

The purpose of goal setting is not to write down a few items on a list and leave them alone, there is more. Your goals need to be specific, definable and time sensitive and then be broken into smaller more manageable tasks. The aim of goal setting is the make impossibilities become smaller possibilities.

 

5. Hold you accountable to yourself

Writing down what you want to do have a way of standing out. When you keep your eyes focused on your written goal it speaks to you. What does it say? You need to make this happen. Studies have shown that those who write down their goals are more likely to accomplish them than those who don’t. The more you study your goals, the greater commitment you have to accomplish them.

 

6. Help you to believe in yourself

When you set aside time to dream and create goals, you begin to believe in your ability and God’s grace to complete them. What you really want and what your purpose is become clearer to you. As you write the desires of your heart, you become more certain that you can achieve them because they are aligned to God’s will and who you are in Him. As you review your goals regularly, the more you believe they are doable.

 

7. Bring you to live life to be fullest

What if you don’t set goals? Those I have known that set goals and pursue them, they are some of the happiest, thankful and confident people to have in your circle. For those who haven’t set and pursued their dreams, these often live in regret and talk much about what they could have done. Setting and pursuing your goals will cause you to experience a life that you once dreamed of. Go out and live your life as God intended for you.

 

8. Measure your success

Good goal setting provides a benchmark to compare to – Your goals vs your current successes. Every week, month or quarter you should take time to access where you are against the goals that you’ve created. When you do this you learn where you need to improve, what is working for you and where you need to adjust. Measuring your success is a good time to give thanks and celebrate what you have achieved with God’s help.

 

9. Help you overcome procrastinating

Identifying the next 3 action steps for each of your goals is an important part of the goals setting process. As you do this and assign timelines to these small tasks, you will be driven to do them immediately. The fact that they are manageable steps or easy tasks eliminates the intimidation factor present in large goals that often cause us not to pursue them.

 

10. BONUS Benefit: Make You Think Outside the Box

When you set goals, one of the questions you will find yourself asking over and over again is, “How am I going to do this?” With prayer, research and creative thinking, you will find the answers. Even when you are not looking for the answer, ideas or solutions will come to mind that you normally would not have thought of if you didn’t have goals to pursue. You’ll be surprised at the kind of “out-of-the-box” thinking you will do and the bold steps you will take to achieve your goals.

Goal setting really is worth the effort. When you habitual set goals and pursue them, you will happily look back over the years and be thankful that you did. One thing I have noticed is that goal setting has helped me to accomplish more than I thought I could and through this process I learned to trust God to fulfill the desires that He has placed on my heart.

Now you know why goal setting is good for you, will you take the time to create the life you’ve been dreaming of?

If you’re haven’t set any goals yet, it’s not too late to begin. If you need a step-by-step guided process to goal setting, I’d encourage you to download the Living Success Goals Workbook.

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.

How to Thrive Through Financial Difficulties

When Isaac planted his crops that year, he harvested a hundred times more grain than he planted, for the Lord blessed him. He became a very rich man, and his wealth continued to grow.                                                                                                                                                                                      Genesis 26:12-13 (NLT)

thriving

Are you in a financial famine? Or do you say like many do, “I need more money.”? The above scripture often touches our hearts during financial difficulties and rightly so. It reminds us that God is still in control even when the world around us is falling apart. It also reminds us that we are not forgotten by God and that He can and is able to bring us out of any financial trouble we may be facing.

This account of Isaac’s encounter with God occurs during an economic hardship that affected many. There are a few principles we can take from this part of God’s word that would help during challenging financial times as well as when we experience financial increases.

 

Be open to hear from God. Be open to hear the most unusual and seemingly illogical instructions.

Gen. 26:2 -3, “Then the Lord appeared to him and said: “Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land of which I shall tell you. Dwell in this land, and I will be with you and bless you; for to you and your descendants I give all these lands, and I will perform the oath which I swore to Abraham your father.”

God wants to be an integral part of your life. Even in times of financial difficulties God wants to relate to you and to help you through the rough roads.  He wants to encourage and direct you so that you would prosper through life.

As God speaks to Isaac He gave a command with the promise of His presence and of His blessing, “I will be with you and bless you” (Gen.26:3).

Just as He did with Isaac, He is willing to do with you. He wants to direct your life and be with you all the way as you carry out His will and in the process of life bring blessings to you.

 

Obey. Do what God tells you to do; even when it doesn’t make sense to you.

The blessings God gives goes beyond the person and the material. They extend beyond your generation. Imagine that – because of your relationship with God your family is blessed for generations. As God’s oath to Abraham was transferred to his son Isaac and to Isaac’s descendants, so does His blessings to you reach forward to your family for generations to come.

 “because Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws.” Isaac learned that well and obeyed God and stayed where he instructed him to (Gen. 26:5-6).

Think about this. Does it make sense?  Imagine you have the opportunity to go where the economic climate is better. Or you have a job offer or business opportunity opened to you in another country and the prospects indeed look promising. As you ponder and pray about it, God tells you – “Don’t go; stay here with your family.”  What would be your first response? Human as we are, we would think much about it and even question God. Although we know God wants what is best for us when a good thing comes along we might think that God is holding us back. In some cases, we may even think that it is the enemy trying to dissuade us from receiving the blessings of God. This is a tough one. But obedience to God is always best. Obedience to God is key to life and financial success.

 

Speak the truth at all times.

I like the Bible. It shows how much God is willing to relate to us even in our sinful state. The relationship of imperfect man with a perfect and loving God rings throughout.  Sometimes when we are in difficulty (like Isaac being in a strange land) we tend to put up defence mechanisms to protect ourselves. From a financial perspective, during difficult we may lie to the creditors or avoid taking their phone calls. But there is no need to do this when God is with you.

When Isaac’s lie was discovered, it actually resulted in his safely being guaranteed by the very people he feared would kill him. Telling your creditor about your loss of income and your inability to repay as required can actually open the door for some relief. I have heard of cases where the debt has been cancelled! The creditor may be able to give you a longer grace period or offer an alternative that would help until you get back on your feet financially.

Don’t be afraid to be honest. God will honour that.

 

Take action to create wealth.

Gen.26:12-14 really encourages me to move forward with my goals regardless to what the economic forecasters as saying.

 You don’t have to wait for the external conditions to improve or change in order to make an internal shift and take decisive action. If you wait you will likely never achieve your goals.

Isaac’s action to plant during the scarcity was a step of faith which God honoured. Not only did he reap 100% of his crop but his cattle and his household increased so much that his neighbours noticed it. When you move forward in faith – whether to change your career, work towards a promotion that doesn’t seem likely or start a new business or even find an extra income stream – God will prosper you and those around you will see it too!

 

Avoid relationship conflicts.

When you begin to prosper (while others are still facing financial challenges) not everyone will be happy about your successes. Some will want to learn from you while others will envy you and try to sabotage you in some way. This is what happened to Isaac. Each time he succeeded in digging a well and finding water – a much-needed commodity then – his “friendly” neighbours came to stake their claim on it.

The blessing on your life may cause others to envy (Gen.26:14), to fear you (Gen.26:16), to quarrel with you, to steal from you and to try to frustrate you (Gen.26:19-22). You may experience conflict in one way or another with friends or family members. People may think that your good fortune is undeserving. You may have ‘sudden’ friction between you and others that didn’t exist before. You may find that people just attach themselves to you to get what they can from you and not because they genuinely care about you. It’s unfortunate but this is how some respond.

The important step you must take in times like these is to let go and let God and not to react rashly to what others are doing. Isaac gave up what he and his servants had worked hard for but in the end they prevailed. So don’t despair. Don’t fight your enemies. God will make room for you and make you fruitful where you are (Gen. 26:22).

 

Finally, be patience, peace (shalom) will come.

The time will come as you continue to prosper and you handle relationship issues well that God will cause even your enemies to be at peace with you.  Why? Your godly response to them (even when they do you wrong), will cause them to acknowledge that the Lord is with you (Gen. 26:28-29). They will want to make amends with you. Being at peace with your enemies will make the financial successes you receive even more pleasant.

Isaac’s situation takes us through the stages from financial struggle to success giving us some insight in how we should respond in times like these. The essence of this is that we should have a relationship with Christ, follow His leading, take action and live out the Christ life as He want us to.

What Does Your Future Look Like?

The future

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams

And then God answered: “Write this. Write what you see.
Write it out in big block letters so that it can be read on the run.
This vision-message is a witness pointing to what’s coming.
It aches for the coming—it can hardly wait! And it doesn’t lie.
If it seems slow in coming, wait.
It’s on its way. It will come right on time.

Habakkuk 2:2-3 (MSG)

Last year, I decided to do something I had thought of doing for years – to learn how to become a life coach. So I took the plunge and now I am a Certified Professional Coach. Praise God!

The effectiveness of coaching is in the ability of the coach to bring out the best in you. As a coachee, you’ll be asked some questions that if answered openly will bring to light a lot about yourself.

As I reflect on the coaching sessions I had, one interesting aspect of the program is the development of a client vision statement. This vision statement is created based on the discovery sessions with your client where questions are asked to understand not only the client’s present situation but his/her future dreams and desires. It is amazing that in a few short sessions, an attentive coach can write a vision statement that speaks truthfully to the client’s life and desires.

The vision statements are written in present continuous tense using the word imagery your client expressed during conversations with them. When a coach listens and then writes in unbiased non-judgmental manner using the client’s voice it’s amazement how clearly you can capture your client’s heart on paper. Each client is encouraged to read and / or listen to their vision statement on a daily until it became a part of them and they began to act towards their vision. You see, it’s how you condition your mind and think, is who you become – as a man thinks, so is he.

Some years back I have done a similar exercise for myself in creating a vision statement. However, there was one element missing that kept me from accomplishing any part of that vision statement – I did not make it a part of me – I did not read or listen to it daily. If I did those words would have made an imprint on my mind that would lead to actions that would make my dreams become reality.

You may not use a vision statement with active and vivid language to describe what your life looks like in the future but you may employ other methods. What I have done for many years is to write a list of 12 goals for each year. I then broke these down into smaller manageable goals. During the year, I would pray about these 12 goals regularly. I kept a list in my Bible and even on my smart phone as a constant reminder. This practice taught in our church and proved fruitful to many with great testimonies heard throughout the year. We were encouraged to look ahead and trust God both for the practical things we could do and our seemingly impossible dreams. I did not always accomplish all I had on my list – some were longer term goals and for these I would continue to include them on my list until fully seen and in other cases some were revised as I got a clear picture of what I wanted.

As we enter into a new season – do you know what your future looks like? Do you know what you want to do, have, experience in the New Year and beyond? Have you took time to imagine what your year would look like, how you would feel, what you want see or hear? Do you have a mental picture of what you want to accomplish a year from now, or in five years or ten years? In what area of your life do you want to see change?

  • Do you want a closer relationship with God?
  • Do you want to be more Christ-like?
  • Is there a desire to study the word of God more?
  • A better relationship with your spouse or other loved one?
  • Do you want to start your own business?
  • Is there a career promotion that you are hoping for?
  • What about seeing your children excel in the things of God and in life? Do you know what you can do help them excel?
  • What do you need to do the move into your God-ordained destiny?

The questions are many but the answers are in you and as a Christian, God’s Spirit will guide you. You just need to take the time to express them outwardly. Today, spend some quality time with yourself and examine these key life areas – Career, Social, Financial, Family, Physical, Intellectual, and Spiritual. Get a few blank sheets, a quite place and write down your dream list for this year and the years ahead. You’ll be surprise at what you write. Take time to digest the dream and make sure to read and pray on those things regularly. Act on what you have written by starting with small steps toward those main goals.

There is always room for improve and I certainly desire better. I desire to live out God’s purpose in my life – part of which is being an author, a good wife and mother and much more. I desire to help others serve the purpose of God in their lifetime too. I think we all want to leave this world fulfilled and complete – knowing what we’ve done pleased God.

What about you? What do you dream of? What do you want to do? What is holding you back from being a blessing to others? As we enter this New Year, don’t remain where you are but decide to be the better you – an empowered you, a successful you, a person who both you and God will be pleased with.

In this year, as you delight in the Lord, may He grant your heart’s desires. May you experience the blessings and favor of the Almighty God.

I look forward to a blessed, favorable and abundant year. Let this be our best year ever!

To Your Good Success

Pamela C

Living Success Goals Workbook

Success Is a Series of I Cans

I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency]. —Philippians 4:13 (AMP)

success comes in cans

I can do all things through Christ my strength

When we see the outcome of someone’s efforts that cause them to be wealthy, well-known in their field or outstanding in some other way, we focus solely on that result. Most people tend to look at success as a one-time event but it really is a series of events that culminate into something outstanding. Success is a series of “I cans”.  Whether we are working towards a closer relationship with God or being better moms, wives, dads, husbands, siblings, children, business owners, employees, or students and so on – it takes a series of efforts to make it happen. Although we may have specific defined goals, success is ongoing positive progress in whatever area of life we are aiming to grow.

A successful life is a constant work in progress and through it we have many responsibilities. In the midst of the daily activities, many have a desire in their hearts to do something beyond the norm, to do the extraordinary for God or to fulfill their God-sized dream. Yet, many conclude that they can’t. `I can’t` become such a normal part of our conversation that we don’t realize it:

  • “My life is too busy. I have so much to do that I can’t possible fit in another thing. ”
  • “What’s the point; I couldn’t possibly get that done even if I tried.”
  • “It’s just too hard. I wouldn’t even know where to begin.”
  • “My uncle didn’t think it was a wise career choice, so this is what I ended up doing.”

Yet the question remains, since God put it on your heart to do something, if God gave you a dream, why do you think you can’t do it. It’s not that it would happen overnight, but it certainly can if you begin by saying, “I can. Yes, I can.” But you have to stop saying “I can’t.” When you say you can’t do anything, what are you doing?

  • Belittling God who imputed His grace and strength in us
  • Believing more in the circumstances around us than in the promises of God
  • Making our challenge or problem bigger than what it really is
  • Thinking lowly of ourselves and therefore making ourselves powerless to do anything good
  • Resigning ourselves to failure and a limiting, fruitless life

Whether you think that you can, or that you can’t, you are usually right.

Henry Ford

Success is a series of “I cans”. This does not mean that we won’t fail at times but the wonderful part is that you’re still alive and well and God hasn’t finished with you and me yet. Every morning we arise from our bed we have another opportunity to do something great. We can honor God in whatever we do. We can minister to someone about Christ. We can help feed a hungry person or pray for healing of someone who is sick. We can work towards our life’s mission or destiny – that passion or desire that God has placed on your heart to complete.

When we say “I can”, we are:

  • Glorifying God in our lives and giving others to opportunity to praise God for the good they see us doing (Matthew 5:16)
  • Failing Forward and progressing toward our destiny. We are seeing the prize before it arrives and pressing towards it. We are focused on the goal (Philippians 3:14)
  • Relying on the strength and wisdom of God to do what seemed insurmountable at first (Philippians 4:13)
  • Walking in the abundance life Christ paid the price for (John 10:10)

You can’t put a limit on anything. The more you dream, the farther you get.

Michael Phelps

Sometimes we think that when we move forward to achieve a dream that we have to give up – time, pleasure, relationships, money, certain foods or overeating, etc.  However, we are actually gaining in life rather the losing. The reward of daily success is far sweeter – what you give up cannot compare to what you will gain. From the experience of giving up you grow in character, in knowledge, in wisdom, in favor with others and if you embrace the success journey you will gain much more that the goal or prize you want to receive.

Success is doing what you have to do to achieve what you have dreamed.

Success is the ability to think soundly, speak confidently and act wisely while trusting and honoring God all the way (Joshua 1:7-8).

Success is a series of I CANs. You have a choice. You have the power to choose – success or failure. You have the power to say “I can”.

I hope today you will choose to say, “I can and I will” and therefore begin TO DO. Remember, you can through Christ being your strength. Recommit yourself today to the Lord and to the desire He has placed on your heart to do. He will give you strength to do it. Yes, YOU CAN!

Share a word – What have you put on hold that you need to say, “Yes, I can” to?

From Tenacity to Success

The soul of a lazy man desires, and has nothing; but the soul of the diligent shall be made rich. —Proverbs 13:4 (NKJV)

It’s April already! Time flies. As my grandma often reminded me, “Time waits on no man.” So true, isn’t it?

Many of us started of this year with a bang. Full of excitement about what is ahead. We created our goals and looked forward to a productive and wonderful year, no doubt. Now we are into the second quarter of the year, and you may have slacked off from pursuing our goals or doing what the Lord has instructed you to do.  On the other hand, you may have become distracted or lost your focus. Maybe you faced with challenges that were unexpected or not anticipated. For me, it’s a bit of all the above but I am still excited. I feel encouraged rather than discouraged. Why, because the year isn’t over yet! It’s just the end of the first quarter. I believe that with God’s help I can keep moving forward to accomplish what He wants me to do and some of what I desire to do. You too can succeed!

Recently when preparing to lead a prayer session at church, the Lord reminded me of the need to remain tenacious. Life requires tenacity. A certain amount of stick-to-itive-ness is required in order to succeed in life or to overcome life’s hurdles, to solve problems (yours and others). An inward stubbornness (so to speak) or persistence is needed. I know that is easier said than done but we’ve got to make the effort. If we press forward, we will gain the prize we have long dreamed for.

Personally, one way I keep moving forward is by revisiting or re-evaluating my goals. That does not mean that I give up on them if they are not progressing as I hoped but I rework some of them in order to get the desired effect I want. This is the time that I also celebrate – I create my season every quarter – to be thankful to God for all He’s done and will do in my life. It’s a time for me to reflect on what I have done, where I am and where I want to go. It’s time to recommit myself to the Lord and His will for my life. Through this God imparts His grace to stay tenacious.

Jesus encourages us to be tenacious in prayer. We must always prayer and don’t give up until we have an answer from God (Luke 18:1-6). In Matthew 7, Jesus also speaks of the need to keep keeping on – always praying, always seeking, always knocking. Jesus promises that if we be persistent in these areas, we will receive, we will find what we are looking for and we will have open doors or opportunities made available to us.

Keep on asking and it will be given you; keep on seeking and you will find; keep on knocking [reverently] and [the door] will be opened to you. For everyone who keeps on asking receives; and he who keeps on seeking finds; and to him who keeps on knocking, [the door] will be opened. —Matthew 7: 7-8 (AMP)

This tenacity in prayer affects every area of our lives. How is that? Prayer covers any and every thing pertaining to our lives and our walk with God. So what do you need to be tenacious about in order to reach your goal?

Looking for a promotion at work? Then be diligent in your work. Do your work well, seek to improve it in some way that benefits you, your co-workers and your employer. Promotion will come.

The hand of the diligent will rule, but the lazy man will be put to forced labor. —Proverbs 12:24 (NKJV)

Do you need to pass your next exams? Then create and work a system of study – set the place, length of time, frequency. It may mean giving up television, socializing or volunteering for a bit. Remember, studying and anything else for that matter, is for but a time but the achievement of the certification or degree will benefit you many times in the future.

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. —2 Timothy 2:15 (NKJV)

Do you need your business to grow? In this case, you may need to try new things, revamp an old method or business process. Think and move outside the norm and trust God for increased sales and profit.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. —James 1:5 (NKJV)

Do you want to build a strong family unit? Consider be persistent about having family times together regularly and consistently – maybe one-on-one special times with your children, going on a date with your spouse, or having family prayer times together. These both build you and your family’s faith and make the bond between all get stronger.

Through wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches. —Proverbs 24:3-4 (NKJV)

This week, consider taking some time to reflect on your life over the past three months – give thanks to the Almighty God and asking Him for the grace to be tenacious in whatever area of your life you need to push ahead. If you need to revise some of your goals in some way – do so and persist in prayer daily about them. No matter what don’t give up. Your tenacity will lead to prosperity and victory.

10 Ways to Move Forward in the New Year

I like this time of year. Yes, it is filled with much excitement. However, I also like it because it’s an opportunity to start afresh. The New Year is a new season, a new beginning. It’s a time to keep moving forward but with renewed hope and energy.

As I look back on the year it was indeed for me a Year of New Beginnings. The Lord helped me to make some new and wonderful starts in my life. I started a new job, began a blog, purchased a much-needed vehicle, worked hard at completing the writing, editing, and interior and cover design for my new book and published the e-book in December. I achieved more than I expected but frankly it was all that I desired.

As I reflect on last yer there were some habits I developed and things I did which I will continue to do in this year. I hope that by sharing these you too will adopt one or two of them to help you through this year:

  1. Step out in faith. Do that thing you have always wanted to but didn’t because you were afraid that it won’t work or that people would laugh at you. Whatever was holding you back don’t let it anymore. Faith requires corresponding action.
  2. Start and continue with prayer. Try to keep a visual of your yearly goals (in short form) in your Bible, on your cell phone, on your computer desktop or even on your fridge door. At church the Senior Pastor challenges us to write our goals and to present them before the Lord even before the New Year begins. With those goals in hand, throughout the year, as you work at them you would also pray about them. What goals would you like to accomplish this year?
  3. Put fasting in the mix. It’s a good practice spend some time at the beginning of the year before the Lord. Although I normally spend time in January reading through the Bible, in 2012 I added fasting. I felt that I needed to know the heart of God concerning many areas of my life.  Prayer along with fasting helped me to focus more on the Lord’s will for my life.
  4. Keep working steadily. It takes discipline and diligence to keep working toward your goals. Sure, we are not perfect and we may at times fall off track but we have to get back up and start moving again. Revive yourself if you have slackened your pace and start again.
  5. Trust God to help you. Don’t rely on your strength. I like Isaiah 41:10. God promises to help me and strengthen me. I need that reminder very often. Sometimes we can get discouraged and become afraid of those things that are seemingly bigger than us, we need to remember that God is with us and will help us. Not only that He will sustain us and give us success.
  6. Take short breaks. Refresh yourself. I am always on the go and sometimes find myself too exhausted. I have experienced the benefits of taking short breaks – sometimes just 15 minutes during the day is enough to recharge me.
  7. Don’t beat yourself up. If you don’t accomplish the goal when, where and how you want to, make adjustments and keep moving forward to your goal. Tell yourself that you can make it instead of being hard on yourself.
  8. Ask God for favor. You need His goodness all the time and you need others to show kindness to you too. It starts with asking God to touch the hearts of others to help you in your daily activities.
  9. Make adjustments. I can’t begin to mention how many times I changed my timeline for publishing my first book. With family commitments, other responsibilities and the unexpected events of life, I had to make changes along the way but still I was able to achieve what I wanted. Changing course does not mean giving up. A traffic diversion does not mean you won’t reach your intended destination.
  10. Give thanks along the way. Sometimes we can get caught up in the busyness of life and forget to honor God with thanksgiving. As I mentioned in an earlier post, create seasons throughout the year to review and celebrate where you are, where you’ve been and where you are going. Pause (Selah) and think about how God has helped you and give Him thanks for His blessings.

I plan to continue using these habits and principles during this year. I hope you will too. This year, keep moving forward. Challenge yourself and set goals that take you outside of the box.  Expect the goodness and mercies of the Lord to follow you and overtake you.

This year may the blessings of the Lord increase in your life and His goodness be more real to you. Happy New Year!