Note: Since our theme this month is on leadership, and a big part of leadership involves setting and reaching goals, I decided to pull this post from the archives. It's a 2017 review of an article posted elsewhere, about New Years Resolutions, but the principles are still valid today! For more info on moving your church toward its goals, sign up for our Laws of Leadership class. Free through July!
5 Tips to Better GoalsBy Dan Vis
July 23, 2018
Everywhere it seems, people turn the tradition of setting New Year's resolutions into something of a joke. And while it is true that not following through on commitments is a temptation that is "common to all" (I Corinthians 10:13There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.), it seems to me we should take our goal setting a bit more seriously.
Goal setting is an important part of the growth process, as it challenges us to stretch in intentional and strategic ways. And that stretching can lead to great blessings in our life. Furthermore, our failure to follow through on our commitments is not really funny. It reveals fault lines in our character that need to be corrected.
One of my favorite quotes is found in the book Education, where it says: "success in any line, demands a definite aim" (p. 262). The converse is also true. To quote an old chinese proverb: "he who aims at nothing is sure to hit it"!
Goal setting is important to me. I practice it. And I encourage others to as well.
Here are some tips to help you in your goal setting. It's from a recent article by Michael Hyatt entitled The Beginners Guide to Goal Setting. Michael was formerly president of Thomas Nelson Publishers, and has since gone on to form a company where he offers to be your "virtual mentor". I have found many of his blog posts quite helpful. Anyway, here are his 5 suggestions:
1) Keep your goals few in number. No more than 5-7 at most. No sub-goals either. :) Most people can only stay focused on a few things at a time. Set too many goals and you lose focus.
2) Make them SMART: Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, and Time-bound. He gives several examples of good and bad goals to illustrate this acronym.
3) Write it down. There's something about the act of documenting our goals that makes us far more likely to achieve them.
4) Review your list often. He suggests weekly--each time asking, what's the next step I need to take to move toward this goal. The answers to that question can be worked into your weekly planner. That is where the real rubber hits the road.
5) Share them selectively. While some advocate telling your goals to everyone you know, he recommends sharing them with individuals who are committed to helping you achieve them. Friends like that are worth their weight in gold!
If you haven't yet written out any goals for the New Year, consider taking a few moments to do that soon. Grab a pad of paper and have a prayerful conversation with God about what to aim for in the coming year. Let's all start the New Year with a clear direction and intentional plans. Then watch how God will bless.
Want help following through on your goals? Sign up for ROCKET. This year's challenge is going to give you a step by step plan for how to fulfill your most important goals, and make it your best year yet. Get ready for exciting, all new content!
CommentsDo you set goals? What process do you use? What have you found most helpful in reaching your goals? Share a thought in the comments below.
|Posted by Dan Vis on 07/29/18 - Coach|
|Yes, you are right Qing, this was posted during REVIVE. What an amazing experience that class was! I too find myself having to be a little flexible with my goals at times. But fortunately God is flexible with us!|
|Posted by Jacqueline on 07/25/18|
|I have a problem following through.God is more than able to help me in this process.i need to grow in my knowledge of Christ. My dream is to be a medical missionary or Bible worker for him..|
|Posted by David Jeffrey Grabe on 07/24/18 - Coach|
|Greetings, All my FAST Friends in Jesus' Enabling Name!
Thank you Pastor Dan for this timely post on Setting Goals for yourself!
SELECT, SIMPLE, REASONABLE, MEASURABLE, SHAREABLE, & ACCOUNTABLE!
This is so helpful and aligns with what you have shared with us in the class on Leadership!
Thank you Valerie, for the terrific enlightenment on Isaiah 50:7For the Lord GOD will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.! And let's remember what were told in vs. 4,5:
"The Lord God has given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: He awakens me each morning, He opens my ear to hear as the learned. The LORD God has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back..."
He will surely "guide us into all truth"..."Shew us things to come."(John
16:13)and "will direct our paths."(Proverbs 3:6In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.) In thought, and words, and deeds...
Have a blessed day all!
Exodus 33:14And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.
Deuteronomy 33:25Thy shoes shall be iron and brass; and as thy days, so shall thy strength be.
I Samuel 7:12Then Samuel took a stone, and set it between Mizpeh and Shen, and called the name of it Ebenezer, saying, Hitherto hath the LORD helped us.
|Posted by Valerie Wise Burrell on 07/23/18 - Coach|
|"Success in any line, demands a definite aim". No aim, no success. Isaiah 50:7For the Lord GOD will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed. gives us clear information about how to do this. Whenever, I read the words, " I set my face like a flint.." I think of Jesus who did not allow Himself to be distracted from His Father's purpose-our salvation. May we all be so focused today.
|Posted by Dan Vis on 02/02/18 - Coach|
|Hi John! I think the biggest hurdle to knowing God's will is being willing to know it. Sounds like you are there already, praise God! Thanks for being a part of FAST!|
|Posted by James on 12/31/17|
|Yes I sure do agree that we should always want to go father having new goals, my prayer is that will go places we have been before and meet people we have never seen before. God bless. James|
|Posted by Joyce Augustinis on 12/29/17|
|My new years resolution goals revolve around these 2 verses Habakkuk 2:2And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. and Isaiah 40:31But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. . I have chosen my word for the year to be RUN. I may not have time to make many posts on FAST, but I am still here! I have taken the job of being a Bible School instructor for VOProphecy and am involved in the meetings this January - Revelation Speaks Peace, so I am running. May God bless all of us doubly in the New Year and as I have learned the more that I physically run, the more energy I have and the more I memorize the more I can memorize and be efficient. A website I recently came across is adventisthymns.com and goes with this verse in Colossians 3:16Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. My prayers for all of you and this site are added to my prayer list. Happy New Year!!|
|Posted by Dan Vis on 12/24/17 - Coach|
|Fiona, I'm planning on take the first 10 days of January to fast and pray for a clear plan for 2018. It's already coming together actually--I'm just looking forward to a few days to relax and enjoy communion with God, to make sure my focus is lined up correctly. Let's pray for each other and our entire FAST community during these days that God will do something special in ROCKET 2018.|
|Posted by Fiona van Wyk on 12/24/17|
|Thanks, Dan, for the article. It is a good reminder to focus the mind, and have a plan for the new year. I shall work on my goals ...|
|Posted by Dan Vis on 12/21/17 - Coach|
|Thank you Busi! That's one of my favorite verses. And yes, we just keep our eyes on the Lord, expecting Him to guide us to bigger and better things...|
|Posted by Dan Vis on 12/20/17 - Coach|
Always great to see you online! :) I really like that tagline of "climbing higher", esp when you put it together with "Rocket 2018" where we'll be blasting off to even great heights! In fact you can sign up now!
I just uploaded the sign up pages and the facebook promo. Trying a few different things this time around. Let's hope everything runs smoothly as we don't have a lot of time to get the word out to people.
Let's all pray 2018 will indeed be our best year yet. For all of us...
|Posted by Qing Ling on 12/20/17 - Coach|
|Thank you FAST for being such an amazing resource, helping people to Climb Higher - II Samuel 22:34He maketh my feet like hinds' feet: and setteth me upon my high places. came to mind when thinking of your tag line - God is our ultimate Provider who is taking us on this incredible journey of climbing higher - every single day. Looking forward to another year with GOD and FAST Missions.
I'm still working on applying what we learnt in Life Focus - I'm sure the Rocket 2018 course will consolidate a lot of what was learnt in Life Focus also. I haven't found my Word/Goals for 2018 yet. Will pray for our global FAST team who are in my shoes also - I know God will speak when we give Him the chance to.
|Posted by Dan Vis on 12/20/17 - Coach|
|What a powerful quote, Deanna! Thank you for sharing that.
I know I've mentioned it a couple times in the comments already, Valerie, but I hope you will take our ROCKET 2018 course. It is going to explore the whole process of goal setting from start to finish in a way that will help to ensure your success in carrying them out.
The quote you added is so appropriate. Keeping the aim "steadily in view" reminds me of our Life Focus challenge we did earlier this year. I should add that in to one of the readings somewhere!
Sounds like God is really giving you some clarity, Darci! That's right along the lines with the process we'll be following in ROCKET 2018. I won't say more here, but I think you will love the class!
|Posted by Carole Bliss on 12/19/17|
|I Love the above message. If we are willing and open to His Spirit, He can so so much in us, for His Glory.
|Posted by Deanna Dekle on 12/19/17|
|Lamentations 3:22,23It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. . . . They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. I was so encouraged by Dec. 19, devotional in Conflict and Courage. Trust and faith-goals can be met and God will take us far past even our expectations:
"There are many who, though striving to obey God’s commandments, have little peace or joy. This lack in their experience is the result of a failure to exercise faith. They walk as it were in a salt land, a parched wilderness. They claim little, when they might claim much; for there is no limit to the promises of God. Such ones do not correctly represent the sanctification that comes through obedience to the truth. The Lord would have all His sons and daughters happy, peaceful, and obedient. Through the exercise of faith the believer comes into possession of these blessings. Through faith, every deficiency of character may be supplied, every defilement cleansed, every fault corrected, every excellence developed."
|Posted by Dan Vis on 12/18/17 - Coach|
|Darci, that should be the way it is--as we get closer to God's will for our life. Our priorities change less and less. But there will be specific applications that change. The projects. In our Rocket 2018 program we'll be exploring the differences between those kinds of goals, plus a third kind revolving around personal habits.|
|Posted by Dan Vis on 12/18/17 - Coach|
|Great post Leslie! You are going to love the kick off class we have planned for 2018. It deals with many of these same key principles.
We're calling it Rocket 2018! I'm praying it is as big as last years!
|Posted by Dan Vis on 01/06/17 - Coach|
|What a powerful word Mercia! I saw you chose this word in our post on One-word-resolutions. A good thing to stay focused on. :)|
|Posted by Dan Vis on 01/04/17 - Coach|
|Thanks Busi! That's exactly what I like about these suggestions. And a great verse on the importance of this.
Welcome Kjersti! Glad you are enjoying your conference!
|Posted by Kjersti Holtedahl on 01/04/17|
|I will tel you how blessed i am evrery new year I am lucky going tu the scandinqavian conferance whwer we studi the bibel and tell testemonys.|
|Posted by Busi Maguga on 01/04/17|
|Thank you Ps Dan for this article, it has been challenging for me to keep the momentum on set goals. At times past i dropped the ball on a few. hence the idea of few goals set and weekly tracking appeals to me, also holding on to the following promise:
I Corinthians 14:40Let all things be done decently and in order.
Let all things be done decently and in order.
Even noted yearly Goal revision, thank you Fiona.
|Posted by Fiona van Wyk on 01/04/17|
|I appreciate this topic, and everyone's comments. At the beginning of the year it is good to revise my goals.|
|Posted by Dan Vis on 01/03/17 - Coach|
|Connie, you put it really well. Setting goals in areas we know are God's will is simply fine tuning our life. It's a constant effort. Like Paul put it, we press toward the mark! Philippians 3:14I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.|
|Posted by Sherry Olson on 01/02/17|
|I have never consciously set out to set goals because like Christine, life happens and I forget what it was I wanted to accomplish or it just seems like too much effort. I know goal setting is important and you see successful people do it all the time. I guess that speaks volumes about my laziness, but I don't have much confidence in being able to do anything right, though through Shelly Quinn's book of Life Affirmations I am learning to claim God's promises over my life as though they are already truth; as God tells us He does (Romans 4:17(As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.)
So my first short time goal is to accomplish Revive 2017 to completion. My long term goal will be to finish Journey!
I also think that a mentor who can set with you and help set reasonable goals that fit the SMART acronym is very helpful, so perhaps Christine, you and I should pray that God will bring us someone like that into our lives so we can be a more successful person and thereby able to serve God more fully. :)
|Posted by Karen I Woodall on 01/02/17|
|Thank you Dan for that tip as to following the steps in which God gives me in carrying out His plans for me will be a powerful change in my life. I want to do His will for me!|
|Posted by Karen I Woodall on 01/02/17|
|I myself do not set resolutions I rather hear from The Lord. Following what the Lord ask of me.|
|Posted by Gloria Bernard on 01/02/17|
|Thank you Dan, for what you said about the hows to God. I believe God wants us to do well in everything we set out to do for the good of others and for ourselves, like even drinking enough water, or temperance in eating.
I at one time weighed 181 lbs., and I am only 5' tall. I tried and tried to lose weight for many years, but like you mentioned in your comment about trying, that is exactly what I was doing. Trying in my own strength. That never works. I finally got on my knees and begged God for help. He gave me the answer. Lifestyle change. I stopped eating all the junk food, and even made my own home made ice cream. I lost 65 lbs.
It's not easy to overcome appetite, but God promises victory. I Corinthians 10:13There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it., and many other promises.
|Posted by Dan Vis on 01/02/17 - Coach|
|Judy, great passage on the importance of focus. Parallels Matthew 6:33But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you., doesn't it? First things first.
Of course that doesn't mean we can't set specific goals. It just means our most important goals should all align with our primary purpose--like the goals Becky above suggested. The are simply specific ways to help us get to that one thing.
The pearl of great price. That's definitely a goal worth pursuing!
|Posted by Becky Rich on 01/02/17|
|I'd like to sugges, Christine, that you do set goals, but may not have realized it. The fact that you are here at Fast tells me that you set a goal to be here. You joined. That was a goal and you accomplished it! Good for you!
But there are all kinds of goals. One might set a goal to read God's word eveery day. One might set a goal to memorize a Bible verse once, or twice a week, or more often. One might set a goal to reach a particular level of achievement at work, or to maintain a healthy lifestyle through proper diet, or incorporate a walk or other exercise in their daily routine.
As Dan suggested it's important for us as Christians to allow God to show us what goals to set, and then by His grace we can carry them out.
I never thought I could memorize scripture but I started with Fast a few years ago, and now have almost 900 precious verses of scripture hidden in my heart.
More recently, I set myself a large goal of memorizing at least one scripture a day. I wasn't sure, at first, if I'd be able to retain so many verses well, but God showed me Luke 1:37For with God nothing shall be impossible. and I've found the exercise to be incredibly rewarding. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought such a thing possible, but our God is able!
|Posted by Christine on 01/02/17|
|I dont set goals usually because life happens and interrupts them.
I like to let God aet my goals for each day. Then I know I am pkeasing him and not setting goals that are not reasonable.
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