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.

Vision – Do You Have One?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

7 Ways to Live on Purpose

Lately, I’ve been hearing a lot about living on purpose and the importance of pursuing your dreams. But what does it really means to live on purpose? I’ve defined this as intentionally living out your vision – dreams, goals or pursuits. It’s living out God’s will for your life. To live on purpose is to live your life by design.

That sounds great but how do you do this? I’ve noticed that it can be challenging to keep the fire burning and remain purpose-driven. In my life recently I’ve been telling myself that “there too many moving parts” towards my pursuits. I’ve been wondering how to keep up with all of life and still live out my dreams in an effective manner.

The question is: How do I daily keep focus on my purpose? What do I do to continually move forward and achieve my goals?

This post includes some of the habits I use to maintain intentional living.

Know what your purpose is. This may go without saying but still we need to be reminded. What is your dream or the major goals you want to accomplish in your lifetime?

  • Ask God for direction if you’re not sure of the specifics. God’s will for you is wrapped up in you waiting to come out.
  • Assess yourself. Learn about you. What are your likes, dislikes, gifts, talents, education, personal experiences (problems you have overcome), passions, and interests? A good question to ask is: What do I love doing and would be willing to do without being paid for it?

Have a vision and write it out. Sit down in a quiet place with no distractions of any kind and dream a little, no, a lot. This can be a scary thing but you need to take time to think about your life and what you want it to look like. The challenge is linking it to God’s will for you but if you approach this time with prayer (and fasting, if possible) the Lord will guide you. Remember He is your Shepherd.

  • Whatever your dreams are – write them down. Get it out of your head and on paper. It will clear your mind and relieve the mental load you may have been carrying.

Set small goals. I would suggest that you do this the same day as your dreaming day but don’t delay too long.  Choose another quiet time and begin to put your big dreams into smaller goals.

  • Span those big goals into your lifeline from current tasks and projects, to one- to two-year goals, three- to five- year goals all the way up. For your one year plan break it down in quarterly, monthly, weekly and daily tasks.

Create signposts. We are encouraged to know the Word and keep it close wherever we can see it. I believe that you can do the same with your goals. You’ve written them out but to keep focused on them and act on them you’ll need to develop signposts.

  • Post these goals along with God’s promises to your computer or mobile phone as the wallpaper or in a file that you constantly refer to
  • Post them where you frequent the most: your dresser mirror, refrigerator door, home office desk
  • You can even create picture collage that represent all the different aspects of your dream and post it where you can see it often.

For example, maybe you have goal to lose five inches off your waist (my wish) and strengthen your abs – post a photo of a fitness advertisement and write on it, “How am I doing today?” Make sure it is strategically placed where you can see it to motivate you to exercise and eat right.

Depend on God’s direction. Again, I refer to what God says about His word – talk about the Word when you get up, lay down, with your children, at all times really. You need to do the same for your goals.

  • Talk to God throughout the process. God is the CEO of your life. He is the Master Strategist. He will give you direction to help you live on purpose and fulfill your destiny. Trust God through the process and enjoy the journey which is all part of living on purpose.

Talk about your dream. When you talk about something a lot it becomes more and more real to you. Talking positively about your dreams is a great self-motivator.

  • Speak the word concerning your dream. Visualize and confess the word as it relates to you dream. Speak those things as though they already exist even though they are yet to become real. Your tongue is a creative force. Use it well to build your life and fulfill destiny.
  • Talk to trusted friends. Choose carefully those who you share your most important goals with. There are some who will support you and there are others who will question your dreams. Find and hold to those who will rally around you and support you in prayer and in practice.

Work on your purpose daily. Work your dreams. This requires daily effort but you can do it.

  • Review your goals daily and every night write at least seven things you want to accomplish the next day.
  • Keep that list where you can clearly see it and make sure to act on what you have written down. Set you mind daily to do at least two or three tasks related to your goals.

No amount of planning is useful with acting on the plans.

I hope my list above will benefit you. It is by no means an exhaustive discussion on the topic but hopefully it’s enough to either help you move in the right direction or encourage you to continue living intentionally.

Tell me and encourage others too: What do you do to keep living on purpose?