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Setting life goals is something most people do to achieve certain things especially at the start of each year. It is a good practice to do at every level so that you become more of what God created you to be.
On average only about 2% of all people achieve success, however. This is partly due to a few elements most others leave out in their goal setting process.
Goal setting is both an art and a science. The reason why most goals are never attained is because the science part is weak or left out completely. Here are the scientific attributes you must keep in mind when setting your personal goals.
This is so important because the mind works in such a way that it needs to know what it’s dealing with. This way you can devise ways of helping you. Your brain is like a computer that needs defined input to process so as to give you the required output. The Bible says in Proverbs 16:9, “A man’s mind plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.”
Being successful requires that you specify and write down what you want exactly. That is the basic process of goal setting. Before God can help you there’s a need for you to determine what you want to accomplish. Goals in life are as important as oxygen to living organisms.
Examples of goals (specific ones) look like this: “To lose 20kg”, “to jog 10mins”, “talk to 10 prospects for my business” and “have a vacation at the Hilton Hotel in Cape Town”.
The examples shared above should give you an idea of what a specific goal looks like. Setting them like that increases your chances of winning in your life’s pursuit.
This approach applies to work goals, business goals and any other goals that you are pursuing in life.
Achieving goals also requires that you have a way of measuring your progress. This helps you know what needs to be adjusted along the way. For successful people measurements are key success factors. They help them see how far they have travelled and how much further they still have to go.
“The team can make adjustments when it knows where it stands.” ~ John C Maxwell
Measuring your progress gives you an idea of the resources you need to see your journey through to the end. Without them you would be like a pilot flying a plane without gauges. You will go nowhere fast and crash.
One of the ways you can set up these measures is by setting up milestone targets along the way. Using one of the earlier examples of losing 20kg weight some of the milestones can include – measuring yourself on a scale and ticking off that you have lost 5kg, 10kg, 15kg and 20kg.
Again the goal is specific and you have a way of tracing whether or not you’re making progress towards achievement. So you must remember to include measures in your goal setting process.
Another key to success is to understand whether or not the goal is attainable given where you are at present. This is not to say that you mustn’t dream big however. Dream big because we serve a big God who can do great and mighty exploits if you let him.
“Life is lived at levels but arrived at in stages.” ~ Dr. Edwin Louis Cole
Achieving goals is a process nonetheless and the big dreams must be broken down into smaller chunks. Set different milestones that can be handled at different points along the journey. This principle is found in the Bible where Jesus says that he who is faithful with little will be faithful with much.
What’s important to remember is that you must do the best you can with what you have. A new born baby can in no way start walking without first being nurtured by its mother. The baby builds up strength with time, start crawling and at some point learns how to walk.
Attempting too much can be detrimental which is why your focus should be on utilizing what you do have. When you do that to the best of your ability God will then entrust with more to take on bigger objectives.
The relevance of your goal could rank as one of the most important out of all the attributes I have shared in this post. Pertaining to this attribute ask yourself why you are pursuing the goal in question. Does the goal serve anyone besides you and what impact will it have on the world for the Kingdom of God.
It’s easy to become frustrated when you’re not achieving goals that you’ve set and it tends to be a result of not pursuing God’s purpose for your life. Think about Jonah in the Bible who got swallowed by a big fish for disobeying God’s instruction. Some people are saved and believe in Jesus Christ but have not made him their Lord but only their Saviour as TC Stallings would say.
Seek to understand God’s purpose for your life by spending time in prayer and studying His word. He will confirm what He requires of you when you are humble enough to do that and you will have peace. It’s one thing to endure hardship when you’re being disobedient to God’s plan for your life and another to endure it when you’re walking in His purpose.
God has the blueprint for your life so all you have to do is seek Him so that you live your life accordingly.
5. Time bound
Putting a time frame to achieving your goals creates a sense of urgency in your mind so that you get to work on doing what’s required. If you look at successful people you will realize that they value their time and don’t allow others to waste it.
Time lost can never be recovered and tomorrow is never guaranteed. That is why you must utilize the time you have wisely to do as much as you can while you still have the opportunity. When you’re setting life goals put a time frame for their achievement because if they are left open ended they will never be achieved because there is no sense of urgency for them to be carried out.
An example of a time bound goal looks like this: “To lose 20kg in 5 months”. This goal helps you measure how measure how much you should target to lose each month and gives you an idea of the kind of activity you must do to achieve that goal. This kind of goal gets the brain working to devise ways of making it a reality.
As a side note it would be a good practice to eliminate things you do that waste your time and then look at ways of maximizing the extra time now available to you.