Setting goals is critical to success. While great things sometimes happen unexpectedly most success in life comes from the pursuit of solid, realistic goals. A student sets a goal of graduating from college with a 4.0 grade point average or a salesman a goal of exceeding his own sales every year. An athlete runs faster because he set specific goals for his time in races. All of these are examples of goal setting in life.
Goal setting also works in the spiritual realm. Christians set goals of reading through the Bible in a year. Some read it through two or three times a year. In the Fishers of Men program participants are taught to set a goal of making a certain number of contacts every week. Churches grow when specific goals for growth are set before the congregation. Goal setting works.
Set Your Goal by Identifying Your Deepest Spiritual Need
This is actually pretty easy for most people. The hardest part is being honest with ourselves. We reason that we are in pretty good shape spiritually so there is no real need to set any spiritual goal. But inside we know better. We struggle against a host of spiritual problems every day. Some are of our own making and others thrust upon us by an evil world. We know those problems and are intimately acquainted with every spiritual obstacle thrust before us. We know our needs but sometimes we don’t want to admit our weaknesses.
Every Christian can become stronger, more faithful, more knowledgeable and more evangelistic. The writer of Hebrews speaks of “the sin which clings so closely”(Hebrews 12:1) and which must be laid aside. You have a sin like that don’t you? I do. It needs to go.
Set your goal by Identifying your deepest spiritual need.
Choose goals That Can Be Reached – With Difficulty
Poet Robert Browning said, “A man’s reach should exceed his grasp.” I disagree, slightly. We must be able to attain our goals else despair awaits.
For example, a person with on-again, off-again worship attendance might set a goal of attending every worship service for the next year. That may not be practicable for them. Illness or unavoidable work situations could easily wreck that goal. A more attainable goal might be to attend every worship service this month. Such a goal, when achieved would be a solid improvement and would build confidence for the next month. The key is to challenge yourself.
Choose goals that can be achieved with difficulty in improvement awaits. This applies to both physical and spiritual goals.
Be Very Specific With Your Goals
“I will never sin again!” That goal is as admirable as it is unattainable. The Bible is clear, we have been, we are and will continue to be sinners (Romans 3:23;Romans 5:8; 1 John 1:5-10). So such a goal cannot be reached. But it is also vague. A successful goal must be precise. Instead we might say, “I will not gossip this week.” In fact, you may need to say, “I will not gossip with________ at lunch today.” This goal is very specific, well defined and very reasonable.
Sometimes we simply take larger desires and break them into smaller pieces. No one can eat a 16 ounce steak in one bite nor can we attain large goals at once. If a goal seems too big then it probably is. Break it down into smaller, specific goals. You will have greater success.
Be specific with your goals and you will greatly improve your odds of success.
Write Down Your Goals
Someone has said, “Goals that are not written down are just wishes.” Every Christian should write down their top 10 goals and keep them on their person every day. Remember God gave Moses the Law written on tablets of stone (Exodus 24:12). Writing your goals gives them permanence and importance. The act of writing them preserves the intent of the moment and will make it harder to change.
Keeping your goals with you serves as a great reminder of what you have committed to do. Of the Law of Moses the Hebrews were told to “bind them as a sign on your hand” (Deuteronomy 6:4-9) and to constantly teach the children. The Law was never far from them. Likewise, our goals ought always be close.
Write down your goals to reinforce its importance and permanence.
Pray About Your Goals Every Day
We can accomplish little in our secular life and nothing in our spiritual life apart from God’s help. When our goals are in tune with God’s plans and when we ask for His help, we can and will succeed. Remember the Lord’s promise, Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and it will be opened to you (Matthew 7:7). At the beginning of every day, take those written goals, read each and then seek God’s help to reach that goal.
This is not some magic ritual. You are asking for God to help you reach the goal. There is no expectation that he will do all the work. You have a part to play also. He is helping you. Make sure your goals are aligned with His plans and His way. Remember James’ warning, “You ask and do not receive because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions” (James 4:3).
Pray about your goals every day and discover a strength you never thought you had.
A month from now, or six months or a year, you will look back and be stunned at the improvements in your life because of goals that you set now. It will work. Give it a try!
Article by BRYANT EVANS. Read more by Bryant at http://preachersstudyblog.com
Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary. Isaiah 40:31
Satan loves to distort the truth and convince you to believe it! From the moment you are born, he works overtime to try to convince you that you are unloved, unwanted, insignificant, fat, ugly, crazy, or worthless! He wants your self-image distorted. WHY? Because if you have a poor self-image, you’ll never be confident enough to do what God put you on this earth to do.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, approximately 1 in 4 Americans are diagnosed each year with a psychological disorder, the majority for which low self-esteem and a poor self-image are underlying factors.
The truth is that once you’ve accepted a poor identity – once that poor self-image is accepted – you make choices that support your beliefs about yourself. Your self-image can be seen in the way you dress, the way you talk about yourself, the relationships you choose, your career, your relationship with God…every area of your life is affected by your self-image.
You behave in a manner consistent with how you see yourself.
When Victor Seribriakoff was fifteen, his teachers told him he would never finish school and that he should drop out and learn a trade. He took the advice and for the next 17 years he did a variety of odd jobs. He had been told he was stupid, and for 17 years he was on a downward spiral. An amazing transformation happen when he was at the age of 32 when an evaluation revealed that he was a genius with an IQ of 161.
Guess what? That’s right, he started acting like a genius. Since that time he has written books, secured a number of patents and became a successful businessman. Perhaps the most significant event for the former school dropout was his election as chairman of the International Mensa Society. The Mensa Society has only one membership qualification, a minimum IQ of 140.
The starting point for both success and happiness is a healthy self-image. It affects every aspect of human behavior: the ability to learn, the capacity to grow and change, the choice of friends, mates and careers. Strong self-image is the best possible preparation for success in life!
Attitude is the underlying force in your life. Everything depends on your attitude, even happiness. Everything you do and everything you feel are both decisions and choices that affect your attitude. During the day you “decide” based on your available “choices” what happens next. Happiness is no different. You can decide at any time to choose to be happy or to choose to be unhappy.
For example: you are excited about going hiking and it starts to rain. At this point you have choices: You can choose to be unhappy because your hiking trip is doomed or you can choose another enjoyable activity indoors. You can go to a movie, create a piece of art, read a good book, or any activity that brings you pleasure. Or you can sit and dwell on your bad luck because it is raining. It is really up to you.
Now you have to train your mind the same way you train your body. Practice the path to happiness.
People become really quite remarkable when they start thinking that they can do things. When they believe in themselves they have the first secret of success.
Norman Vincent Peale
People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can’t find them, make them.
George Bernard Shaw
Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature.
Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough.
Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it’s always your choice.
Niney-nine percent of failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses.
George W. Carver
Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.
H. Jackson Brown
When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us.
It is never too late to be what you might have been.
Stressful times call for positive thinking. Learning to maintain a positive attitude can mean the difference between triumphing over difficult circumstances and succumbing to them.
The best place to start is with yourself. Try as best you can to follow these principal guidelines:
- Be conscious of how you refer to yourself and your life.
- Substitute positive statements for negative ones.
- Affirm your worthiness with positive statements, such as, “I am healthy, I am strong, I am able to do everything I set my mind to.”
- Whenever a thought rises up that seems negative, substitute it with a peaceful, loving one.
With practice, you will feel your life changing. You’ll gradually recognize yourself as a vital part of God’s plan, a worthy person able to do and be far beyond what you’ve ever dreamed.
One of the most important factors in maintaining a positive attitude is associating with positive people. How do you recognize them?
- They will be operating “from the heart” rather than the ego.
- Even though they will have challenges and problems like everyone else, there will be a peace around them.
- Positive people do not blame others for their situations. They know they create their own reality.
- They reach out to others in need and take little thought for themselves.
Benefits of a Positive Attitude
What can maintaining a positive attitude do for you? You will attract more positive people, events and situations in your life. You will be more relaxed and operate from the peace within. Your health will likely reflect your positive mental outlook. Your heart will open toward others with compassion and understanding. People will be attracted to you for the wisdom and comfort they sense in your presence. You’ll find yourself being more willing to do the right thing, say the right thing, at the right time.
It is difficult being a caregiver for a family member with Alzheimer’s or dementia. It has been said that the moral heart of a society can be judged by how well it provides for those in the shadows of life, and those in the twilight of life. Rejoice that you have the opportunity to be a caregiver. And you can put your trust in God that he will never leave you and will comfort you in your darkest hour.
Did you know that an eagle knows when a storm is approaching long before it breaks? The eagle will fly to a high spot and then wait for the winds to come. When the storm finally hits, the eagle sets its wings so that the wind will pick it up and lift it above the storm. While the storm rages below, the eagle soars above it. The eagle does not escape the storm. It simply uses the storm to lift it higher. It rises on the winds that bring the storm. When we feel that the storms of life have come upon us when we are dealing with the dementia of our loved one –we can rise above them by setting our minds and our belief toward God. The storms will not overcome us. We can allow God’s power to lift us above them. We can soar above the storm. Remember, it is not the burdens of care giving that weigh us down; it is how we handle our duties as a caregiver.
The Bible says, But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. Isaiah 40:31 (King James Version)
So the next time you are having a difficult time with your loved one, remember God’s promise and allow him to renew your strength.
At times it may not seem fair that so much of your life is spent as a caregiver. But the purpose of our lives lies in Him, not in us. We are each caregivers because that is the purpose that God has for us. In the book of Jeremiah he says: For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11 (New International Version)
Frances cares for her 72-year-old husband who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease two years ago. She spends practically every waking moment watching over him and their home. What gives her the strength to go on? She will smile and tell you that when it’s too hard for her it’s just right for God.
Although God will renew your strength you need help and support as a caregiver. The key to your success is communicating with family members, employers and friends.
Much of your energy is focused on meeting the needs of the person you are caring for, and focusing on your own needs may seem selfish. But preserving your health and having time for yourself is important. It’s important that caregivers don’t try to do everything themselves. Asking for help may be difficult or even seem embarrassing, but you may discover that friends and family and even church members are not only willing, but also eager to help. And remember, asking for help means less stress for you, which almost always means you’ll be a better caregiver for your loved one.
Sit down with family members or friends and discuss specific areas in which you think they could help.
Clearly explain what would help you the most. It could be something as simple at a short trip to the grocery store or a trip to the pharmacy.
Always remember you are not alone and when you start to feel overwhelmed look to God for strength and soar above the storm.
As a Christian life coach, my goal is to see men and women experience breakthroughs in their thinking and fulfill their God-given purpose in life, business and ministry.
Uncover Your Limiting Thinking
Too often negative thinking sabotages real productive change. I will help you discover why you resort to negative thinking and what to do to overcome it.
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God wants you to live a happy and productive life! Together, we can find the keys to unlock your unique God-given purpose and destiny.
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What are the dreams that you are afraid to share? As your life coach, I will help you explore your dreams and the endless possibilities that await you.
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