1 Corinthians 10:31
“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

Do you have goals? I’m not talking about hopes, dreams, or great thoughts of what if. I’m talking about well thought out, prayed over, written down goals. Big difference, isn’t there?

If you are like most people, you wait until January 1st to set goals you would like to achieve over the coming year. While there is certainly nothing wrong with setting goals on the 1st of the year, (I have done that myself) I would wager to say that many times our New Year’s goals or resolutions are lacking at best. Often times we find ourselves setting vague, generic goals like, this year I want to get healthy, or I want to fit back into the jeans I wore before Thanksgiving! We fail to spend the time needed to prayerfully set goals that have the power to change our lives over the coming years in multiple areas.

This year, I would like to challenge you to do something different. My challenge to you is to take this month and pray about the goals, dreams, and plans that God would have you pursue. Ask Him what you should go after in all areas of your life, and not just over the coming year, but for many years to come.

In The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson, (which I mentioned in a previous post) he provides 10 steps to goal setting that I feel are worth passing along. The following is a synopsis of his thoughts.

10 Steps to Goal Setting:
1. Start with prayer.
If we set goals in the context of prayer, there is a much higher likelihood that we will glorify God and if they don’t glorify God, then they aren’t worth setting in the first place. So start with prayer.

2. Check your motives. If we set selfish goals, we would be better off spiritually if we didn’t accomplish them.

3. Think in categories. (i.e. family, influential, experiential, physical, and travel)

4. Be specific. If our goal isn’t measurable, we have no way of knowing whether we’ve accomplished it.

5. Write it down. If we haven’t written down our goals, we haven’t really set them.

6. Include others. Nothing cements a relationship like a shared goal. Goals are relationship glue.

7. Celebrate along the way. When we accomplish a goal, we should celebrate it.

8. Dream Big. We need to have some God-sized goals that qualify as crazy. Here’s why, big goals turn us into big people.

9. Think long. If we want to dream until we die, we need to set goals that take a lifetime to achieve.

10. Pray hard. Goal setting begins and ends with prayer.

Batterson goes on to share his life goals…he currently has 115. While goal setting is not a contest where the person with the most goals wins, I think it is important to realize that each of us can be stretched to be intentional in all areas of our lives. I am certain that we glorify God when we live purposefully, living our God-given lives to the full.

As I have recently challenged some of my dear friends, I would challenge you as well to write down at least 50 prayed over goals by the start of this year. If you break your goals down into categories (you can make whatever categories work best for you) I believe you will get to 50 goals very quickly. And don’t worry, this is a starting point, as you continue to pray over your goals in the comings weeks, months, and years, tweak them as God leads.

To help you get started, consider that goals in various categories could range anywhere from starting your own business or ministry, having a monthly date night with your spouse, reading the Bible from cover to cover, taking your kids to see the Grand Canyon, running an annual 5K, becoming financially free by a certain age, etc. There are no limits to what God can do, so there are no limits to the goals you can set.

This week, begin praying about the goals God would have you set. Write them down, commit them to prayer, and just see what God won’t do!

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