The New Year is almost upon us. It is the time of year that we start to think about what we want to accomplish in the coming months. Maybe you have already made some resolutions, which is a good start. However, resolutions tend to be all or nothing. And we often don’t plan how to sustain the resolution throughout the year. Let alone talk to God first about what He wants for us and the goals we should set in the upcoming year.
Setting goals can be hard. Pick one that is too difficult and you either give up or beat yourself up for not accomplishing it. Sometimes we resolve to make the same ones year after year hoping it will stick: lose weight, improve ourselves, travel more or make better financial decisions….the list goes on. I know how frustrating it can be when our goals are not successfully met.
A key reason our goals are not met is that they are usually self-fulfilling and aren’t made in alignment with God’s plan. This year, you can change that.
Tips for Setting God-Centered Goals
Take time to evaluate what you really want to achieve in this next year while surrendering your plans to God. Here are some practical tips that I am using to help with my own goal setting this new year.
Pray and Reflect
God gave us special gifts and talents and doesn’t want us to just sit around without acting on them. Ask God to reveal to you what goals, dreams, and plans you should be pursuing that align with His will and seek it out. Be quiet enough to hear His voice. If he gives you a Big Audacious Goal, trust Him to lead and guide you along the way.
“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” Proverbs 16:3.
In order to move forward, we need to reflect on what happened in the past. What is working? What isn’t? Looking back can also be an exercise in gratitude. So take time reflecting on the past year or last few months. Open your heart and mind to seeing the good and the not quite so good, and focus on what made your passions come along as well as what God is telling you so you can make new goals aligning with those things.
Set Specific but Challenging Goals
Goals are the “map” that will guide you towards your God-given purpose. Set three to four goals that will keep you motivated. I personally set goals in several areas of my life including faith, health, professional, financial and relationships. If you set realistic goals that are measurable and just beyond reach, you are more likely to achieve them.
“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” Proverbs 19:21.
People are more successful if they write down what they want to achieve. As you write them down, take action steps to achieve those goals including weekly, monthly, or quarterly steps. Set milestones so you can remember God’s faithfulness throughout the year. Make sure you also give yourself room for God’s grace which is an essential tool to help us plan and achieve goals.
Review Your Goals Throughout the Year
To hold yourself accountable, review your goals and the steps you have taken to achieve them on a regular basis. I love reviewing my goals to see how far I have come, set milestones and celebrate along the way. As God reveals more and more information about His plan for you, make sure you are realigning your goals.
“I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philemon 3:14.
As you establish, pursue and achieve your goals remind yourself that your purpose is to serve God, not to serve your own glory. Seek His will and discernment. Remember – God is with you every step of the way helping you stay on course.
Pray that God will give you the strength to achieve what He has laid out before you. Be confident of God’s favor and power in your endeavors. Leave room for Him to work and direct you as you move forward. Keep an open line of communication with God and listen to Him speak to you through His word, other believers and the Holy Spirit.