As a new year approaches I always work with reviewing the past year and the goals I set at the start of the year. And, I spend a good number of hours thinking through and setting goals for the coming year. This is an annual process that admittedly takes a fair amount of time, introspection, and sincere honestly about my personal life and ministry – where it has been and where it is going. In the midst of this self-examination and personal goal setting I also do a thorough spiritual inventory of my walk with the Lord.
By this time – between Christmas and New Years – I have a considerably detailed and lengthy list of goals for the approaching year in a number of categories – and written in a way that they are measurable which brings them out of the “daydream” category into the possibility realm … a goal that is not specific enough to allow you to measure your progress is simply a daydream.
The Bible encourages planning in harmony with seeking the Lord’s will. For example,
“May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.”
~ Psalm 20:4
“In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”
~ Proverbs 3:6
“The plans of the righteous are just, but the advice of the wicked is deceitful.”
“Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.”
“Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.”
~ Proverbs 16:3
“Make plans by seeking advice; if you wage war, obtain guidance.”
~ Proverbs 20:18
“The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.”
~ Proverbs 21:5.
Goal setting is a critical part of planning. Here are several things I’ve learned about how to effectively set goals:
1) Write each goal down and mark the date next to each goal when you want to see it come to pass. Break the goal down into smaller parts if necessary and mark the day you want to see each part achieved.
2) Make each goal highly specific. Vague has no place in goal setting. It must be detailed, specific, and measurable.
3) Review the goals each month in the Lord’s presence, asking Him to give you wisdom and courage to bring them to pass. 4) Every quarter (every three months) review the goals in detail, examine your progress, and adjust the goal or the way you are going about to achieve it as needed. Like a financial budget goals need to be constantly examined and adjusted according to lie’s actuality and the details of every day living.