I always thought I was good at setting goals. I’m organized and great at making lists, but that is all my goals were: an organized list. I am great at starting something, but horrible at finishing it. That is why I started the June Goal Challenge. (Click here to read “Tired of giving up on goals?)
God has taught me powerful life lessons through the June Goal Challenge, and I wanted to share these insights with you. Here are 10 tips for setting goals & sticking to them:
- Rely on the power of the Holy Spirit, not yourself. I often think I’m superwoman who can conquer everything on my own. This gets me no where, and shows me that I don’t understand the power of the Holy Spirit.
“If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.” Romans 8:11.
If you are a follower of Jesus, the Holy Spirit is inside of you, and the same power that raised Jesus from the dead is also inside of you. When I try to be successful on my own, I fail. I fail to use the most powerful weapon to achieve my goals- the Holy Spirit.
- Don’t give up. Jesus doesn’t give up on us, so why do we give up on us? We do this when we give up on his power and don’t believe that his power can change us. It is very easy to want to give up when you aren’t seeing results, or have an off day, but focus on why you made these goals in the first place.
- Pray. This is another weapon I have failed to use. I don’t understand how powerful prayer could be in breaking addictive habits. I want to pray every time I feel tempted. This will take the attention off of myself and my desires and make me focus on God.
- Focus on the present day. On days when I barely check off any boxes, it becomes easy for me to feel discouraged and want to give up. Rather than thinking in terms of victory, think of achieving goals as a process of growth and change. Focus on the benefits of the journey.
“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Matthew 6:34.
“Remember not the former things nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:18-19.
- Stay centered on Christ. It is easy to tell which goals you value more, by looking at which boxes are checked most often. For example, I wanted to spend time each day reading the Bible and praying, but my prayer column had less than 10 checks. I was not turning to Jesus and asking him for help to keep him the center of my focus. Remember that apart from Jesus, we can do nothing. Make sure Jesus is at the center of your goals.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5.
- Success is worth the wait. The most important goals are worth the wait and hardships. In the Bible, Jacob’s goal was to marry Rachel. He worked 7 years and then another 7, so he could marry her. In our culture, it is commonly believed that we should get what we want right away without having to work for it. This is not Biblical truth.
- Don’t allow excuses. I’m great at coming up with excuses. I try to figure out ways I can rationalize cheating. For example, I went to a 65th wedding anniversary and they had chocolate covered strawberries. I rationalized by thinking about how I probably would not have a chance to go to another 65th wedding anniversary party and eat my favorite dessert for a while, so then I ate about 10 strawberries. I could have allowed myself to eat one, but instead I became a glutton.
- Find what tempts you and remove it. I’ve discovered when I’m most likely to cheat. The later it is at night, the easier it is to cheat because I’m sleepy and care less about my goals. I need to make a set bed time. It is also easier to cheat when I’m with friends at get togethers because they don’t know my goals. I need to be more open about my goals, so I can be accountable.
- Make your goals specific. In my first blog post about setting goals (Click here to read), I talked about making sure the goals were specific, but I learned they have to be very very specific. My goals were not specific enough. One goal I had for June was to eat healthy snacks, but this was too vague. Next month I’m changing it to no sugar or processed food.
- Embrace your weaknesses. This is a hard one, I know. Who wants to embrace their insecurities and hardships? But think about it, if you had no weaknesses, then you would never have goals. You would have no need to improve and then there would be no opportunities for God to show his power through your life. We have to learn to embrace our weakness and brokenness so that God’s power might rest on us. (Read 2 Corinthians 12:7-10)
These pointers work for all types of goals: goals to strengthen your walk with God, to grow in faith, to pursue purity and get out of habitual sin, fitness goals, or any goal!
If you participated in the June Goal Challenge, I hope you learned more about yourself and God. If you did not participate or want to do it again, here is your chance!
Click to print your FREE PDF of The Goal Challenge Checklist =]
I hope this post has been encouraging! Be sure to add me on social media and share my blog with your friends! Thanks!