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New Year’s Day is a good time to do something most of us never do—set some goals. Most of the time we call them “New Year’s Resolutions” and we abandon them within a few weeks. Yet I believe God wants us to do more than that. We must determine God’s purpose for our life and for this New Year.
I’ve done this for nearly four decades by setting long-range and short-range goals. Maybe you can learn from my experience in writing goals and letting God use that to set priorities and to accomplish more than you would without them.
Most people spend more time planning their annual vacations than they do planning their lives. My observation is that even most believers drift along in life with no clear direction. It’s been documented that the people who actually write down and work on the goals they set are the most successful in life. I believe they are usually the happiest too, because they have a sense of purpose and fulfillment.
Myles Munroe believes that God wants us to become people who have plans. He believes that plans are documented imagination. If we can document an imagination, we’ve developed a plan for action.
“If you are having real problems in your life, you probably don’t have a piece of paper on which you have documented your plans for the next five years,” he says. “You’re just living from day to day in the absence of a concrete, documented plan. You’ve been dealing with the same issues and habits and struggles for years. You slide forward a little only to slide backward again. Whenever things get hard, you start reminiscing about ‘the good old days’ and fall back into habits you had conquered. Progress requires a plan of action. Ideas must be put down if they are to influence the way you live.”
It’s important to know how to set goals.
Are your goals written down? Do other people know about them? Does your spouse? Do your friends?
Begin with general goals. I set written goals every week. In the “notes” portion of my iPhone, I have goals for the year—spiritual, family, physical, professional.
Break your general goals down into specific daily tasks. Mine are written in my iPhone so that I have them with me wherever I go. Each month I make the general goals specific and break them down to daily tasks. I probably only finish 80 percent of them because as I complete them, I set more.
The times I get away from fulfilling my goals are the times when I drift. Goals give me a sense of direction, boundaries and priorities.
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