“Small steps, over time, move mountains.” – Unknown
In “Goal Creation: Set Attainable Goals for 2020,” we explored reasons why many goals fail, as well as, ways to create goals which are attainable. Now, we will explore why it is important to complete goals, as well as, sparking ideas for goals we may want to consider implementing.
Why is it important to complete goals?
When we fail at a goal, or multiple goals, there are many things we might feel. We might feel disappointment in ourselves. We might feel as if perhaps God did not help us enough – or that perhaps we did not pray hard enough. We may feel as if we do not even care, self-distancing ourselves from our failed goals. We can even feel happy, glad that the failure has come – be it expected from the start or not.
On and on this list of potential responses might go, yet, there is one firm similarity in them all. The goal was not satisfied. That is the key, but why is this important?
Well, the more goals which fall into a category of incompletion, the more likely we are to put less or even no effort into future goals, floundering in a repeated cycle of failure.
After all, why should we bother putting all that effort into something that is not going to work anyway?
That is why we NEED goals we can complete. Because completed goals instill drive, joy, and a desire to continue to improve. They give us that push to better ourselves, our relationships, jobs, and lives.
After all, why would we not want to continue to create goals if we are consistently improving?
“Small steps, over time, move mountains.” – Unknown
While some individuals may have a mile-long list of goals they would like to complete, others are sometimes not sure what they should focus on, or even what makes a good goal.* After all, goals can range from the simple to the complex. Yet, no matter where we are in life, there is likely room for improvement, as God is continually shaping us…
*It is important to remember that more goals are not always better. Having a small list of well thought out, achievable goals is almost always better – through peace of mind and the satisfaction of accomplishment when completed, etc. – than having a long list of noble, but unlikely doable goals.
IDEAS for GOALS…
Improving God's Temple (our bodies) so we can better achieve Kingdom business
This can range from:
- Increasing our daily water intake
- Lessening our intake of sweets, fats, or whatever may be negatively impacting our health
- Exercising regularly (be it walking, going to the gym, or any number of physical activities)
- Stretching our muscles (brain and/or body) consistently
- Creating a strategy to eat a more rounded diet (daily, during the week, or even merely the weekend)
- …and more
Working toward a deeper relationship with God and His Word
This could include:
- Reading a certain number of verses or chapters of the Word daily (weekly, or even monthly)
- Spending a certain amount of time in prayer daily (weekly, or even monthly) OR simply praying daily as time allows (creating a consistent prayer life)
- Reading devotionals, etc., to increase our knowledge of God; prayer, worship, etc.
- Watching and/or going to services
- Seeking to know God in a new way – asking Him to reveal Himself anew
- Setting aside a certain time to God daily (this could be simply when we are getting ready, before bed, or first thing in the morning)
- Including God in more of our daily activities; talking to Him, asking Him questions, listening to Him, engaging with Him, no matter if we are working or relaxing
Creating better habits and patterns (preparing for Kingdom purpose)
This might involve:
- Decreasing our tendency to speak negatively (about circumstances, people, etc.)
- Increasing our tendency to speak life (over ourselves, family, friends, those we do not like, etc.)
- Creating a better relationship with time (spending more of it with God, procrastinating less, etc.)
- Breaking a bad and/or unpleasant habit
- Taking a break from our computers, phones, tablets, and any other devices for a few minutes every hour – (especially if they consume a lot of our time, whether at work or play) – OR taking a break from them at a certain time each day
- Creating a habit of maintaining the things and the people God gives us more often than replacing them
This could look like:
- Creating monthly, weekly, or even daily budgets (this could be for general finances or more specifically for food, entertainment, etc.)
- Giving our tithes, offerings, etc., consistently (putting God's financial system first)
- Studying to improve our business acumen
- Giving tithes and offering first so that our finances align with God's; not robbing God (see Malachi 3:8)
- Learning a new skill
- Shopping around to discover where the best prices/quality are
- Joining an online or physical college to gain a missing or extra degree
- Examining our spending habits to discover if there are things we simply do not need or forgot that we are paying for (any monthly services we forgot to cancel, unnecessary, habitual spending habits, etc.)
- Altering our view of money – learning to remember that it is a tool, and that it is not evil, only the love of it is rooted in evil (see 1 Timothy 6:9-11)
Setting aside time for fellowship
This may include:
- Allowing – or prompting – ourselves to go for a weekly outing with friends
- Going to see a family member and/or calling one on a regular basis
- Reading to a child
- Going to a local service
- Inviting someone over for dinner once a month
- Taking the time to focus on conversations instead of what we need to do tomorrow
Bettering the Kingdom
This could consist of:
- Volunteering at a local shelter
- Giving some sum, be it small or large, to Kingdom purposes on a regular basis (love offerings, etc.)
- Spending a few hours visiting a senior who cannot go out
- Choosing to be kind to all those we encounter (from the cashier at our local grocery store to the person who cut in front of us when we were in a hurry)
- Praying for leadership (from the leadership of our congregation, to the leaders of our country, to the leaders of Israel, etc.)
- Praying for our friends and family
- Praying for the lost of the world
- Praying for the persecuted church
- Praying for the peace of Jerusalem and Israel
- Praying for all those we encounter
- Praying for those who vex us
- Choosing to give a kind word or smile to those around us, even when we are having a rough day
- Giving encouragement to those who are struggling
- Praising God and being thankful when others are prospering (especially as we wait for our own day of prospering)
- Lending an ear to someone to who needs to talk over a problem
- Being a light in dark places
These are merely a few of the million and one goals we could set, and not all of them are right for all of us in this season – though, hopefully they may spark ideas for other goals, even if they are not for us. Yet, if we are still struggling to know the goals we are meant to work toward, God is always there. If we seek Him first, ask Him to point us toward the right goal or goals, then He surely will lead us.
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” – Matthew 7:7-8
We cannot walk into a new year or season with old behaviors, habits, patterns, or lifestyles, and expect new results. Just as the Word says not to put new wine into old wineskins, so we should not put the “wine” of this new season into our old behaviors or expectations… Put the new season's wine for your new results into this new year!
“Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of your life. Tip toe if you must, but take the step.” -Unknown