Tis the Season for Goal Setting and Planning

 Tis the season.

The transition from one year to the next prompts us to pause and pivot our lives. We set aside time to reflect on the years passed and shift our focus to what lies ahead. It brings us hope for a  future.

With the thought of a fresh start, we immediately start imagining all the possibilities. Before our thoughts get totally carried away, we reel them in and start taking control. After all, it’s our life and it’s up to us to make it what we want. There’s a lot at stake here. If we are going to be successful, we need to set some goals and make a plan for our life. We go back to our thoughts on the infinite possibilities, until our head begins to spin. A few moments later, there’s a long pause in our thinking. We become slightly overwhelmed by the responsibility of directing and managing our future. It’s a big job, what if we aren’t up to the task? What if we fail?

We catch ourselves and refocus our thoughts to setting a goal and creating a plan to achieve it. 

How can we fail if it’s our goal and our plan?

A goal is simply the object of a person’s ambition, drive, determination and effort. It’s the desired result. An achievable goal is well defined, actionable, measurable, relevant and time based. Big, long term, far reaching goals are often broken down into smaller goals or focus areas. A vision board is a popular tool used to capture and provide a collective image of smaller goals combined to represent the overarching goal. It’s used as a motivator. We all know the phrase, “seeing is believing”.

Typically, when defining a life goal, we start by asking ourselves some questions.

We ask big questions like - what’s important to me and what do I want to achieve in my life?

The big questions are typically followed by some smaller questions that are easier to answer such as, where do I want to live or what’s my career path? After an exhausting effort, we often throw up our hands and conclude, we just want to be happy. Don’t feel bad, it happens to all of us.  

Could it be, we are asking the wrong questions and the wrong person? 

My sister and I spent a week in the dessert asking ourselves all the big and small questions to redirect our lives with a well-defined goal and action plan. When I returned home, my husband and I created a vision board to represent our goals and dreams. It was fun. It was also revealing.

My excitement began to fade each time I looked at our vision board.

Slowly the Holy Spirit revealed this truth to me. God has a plan for your life and it’s a plan for good. A plan to bring you hope and a future. Ask Him the big and small questions and let Him create your vision board. Your life goal is not about what you want to achieve; it’s about who you’re meant to become. As I remember this moment, tears come to my eyes and my heart is filled with His love for me.

As a follower of Christ, our life’s goal is to make Him known. The only way to do this is to live filled and led by the Holy Spirit. When we do this, He will produce fruit in our life. By this Fruit, He will be made known to others. The Fruit of the Spirit is  love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

  

Galatians 5:22-23 (MSG) 

But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.

 

December 19, 2020 — Leann Maxwell-Muir

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