Three Tips on Goal Setting
We’ve all seen the “new year, new me” catchphrase that sweeps our Facebook feed every January. All well-meaning promises, most short-lived. We have to face the simple but difficult truth of goal-setting. Change. Is. Hard. We’re stubborn creatures, as about 80% of the Bible will testify, but God is always transforming and redeeming every part of our lives. Here are several simple tools to walk in partnership with God as you set your goals for the new year.
1. Fix your eyes on Jesus.
“And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” - Hebrews 12:1-2
Since God has already marked out the race for you, that means He has goals in mind for you. If you follow His priorities first, you’ll save yourself time and heartache. Seek His counsel - where is He leading your heart this year? Whether your New Year’s resolution is spiritually focused or not, Jesus should be your guide and your strength. He paved the way to walk with God in all areas of your life - from your work, to your family, to your health, to everything else.
2. Remove distractions and sin from your life.
“Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.” - Hebrews 12:1
What has held you back from your goal so far? What have you given more time, money, or attention to in your day-to-day life? If you re-prioritize every day, you can take care of what matters most to you first, and worry less about the rest. Think about it: if it’s important enough to turn into your goal for the year, isn’t it worth giving up a piece of your day? Repent as much as you need to, using as much of God’s unending grace as you need to.
3. Pursue accountability with other people.
“As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” - Proverbs 27:17
Who are your spiritual advisors? Whether they are a friend, a spouse, a mentor, or a pastor, another person can help you figure out your goal and how to pursue it. They can pray for you and encourage you throughout your journey, making sure to check in with you. Whoever you share your goal with, they should be ahead of you in the area that you need input for. Do you admire them for the character quality or life experience that you’re going after?
Keeping these three tips in mind, you will be more empowered as you seek your goals. What is your first practical step toward that goal? If it’s learning more patience, do something that tries your patience - like waiting in the longest line in the grocery store. If it’s improving your mental health, make an appointment with a therapist. If it’s getting closer to God, set aside time for each day to be with Him. One goal at a time. One step at a time. One day at a time.