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

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.

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

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!

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 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?

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.

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.