We all have places we want to get to in life, things we’d like to achieve, milestones we’d like to reach. For some, those life hopes and dreams are clear and detailed. For others, they are more generalized aspirations yet to take their form. Nevertheless, we all have desires within our hearts. It’s part of who we are as humans.
What sets apart those who reach their desired destinations in life from those who don’t, is twofold:
- vision and goal setting
- taking action steps toward making those visions and goals a reality
Vision allows us to mark out and see where it is in life we are headed. Yes, courses may change along the way, but without a general vision, we become directionless. When we have a vision for the future, we are able to set a trajectory for our lives and make decisions that line up with that. We find purpose in our vision.
Goals are what allow us to reach that vision. They are mile-markers we set along the way for ourselves to make sure we are moving forward along the trajectory we’ve set out for ourselves. By achieving the goals we set for ourselves through our actions, we are able to create the kind of life we want.
Action steps are the decisions we make that lead to us accomplishing our goals.
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Ultimately, vision and goal setting lay out our path, a sort of map or guide, to build the kind of life we hope to have. Then, we must put actions behind those visions and goals to make that life a reality.
Vision and Goal Setting in the Bible:
The Bible has a lot to say about vision and goal setting as well as actually taking the steps forward to accomplishing our goals. Here’s just a few:
Commit to the Lord whatever you do,
and he will establish your plans.
The plans of the diligent lead to profit
as surely as haste leads to poverty.
Put your outdoor work in order
and get your fields ready;
after that, build your house.
But the noble make noble plans,
and by noble deeds they stand.
All hard work brings a profit,
but mere talk leads only to poverty.
You will eat the fruit of your labor;
blessings and prosperity will be yours.
A Goal Setting Game Plan
Goal setting and vision casting can be a bit overwhelming without a game plan. Thankfully, my family and I have been setting annual goals every single year since I was in middle or high school. Over the years, we’ve developed a good strategy for not just setting goals but also seeing them through.
RELATED POST: Year End Reflection Guide
Here are a few things to keep in mind as you prepare to set some goals:
Set goals together
Find yourself a person or group of people who will set goals and vision with you.
Speak it out loud
The Bible tells us that the power of life or death is in the tongue (Proverbs 18:21), so when you speak your vision and goals aloud, you are speaking life into them!
Write it down
There is something powerful about putting pen to paper when you are goal setting. Dreams become tangible, and it forces you to be detailed and concise about what exactly your vision or goal is.
Categorize your vision/goals
By categorizing your vision and goals, you allow your brain to process them in a more organized manner. Here are some categories to include as you set goals:
Work – Consider where you are now and where you’d like to be. Get a vision for your future in your work, and then set your goals accordingly.
Personal Goals + Health/Fitness – personal and health and fitness goals are goals that allow us to become better, more fulfilled versions of ourselves
Spiritual – Spiritual goals can look like gaining healing or freedom in a certain area of our lives, increasing in a certain fruit of the Spirit, or exercising a spiritual gift. It can also look like getting involved in a small group or on a church team.
Travel – Travel is a fun one. Whether big or small, planning for some sort of travel is well-worth it.
Financial – Financial goals can include anything from putting away a certain amount into savings or paying off debt to making a large purchase such as a home.
Set clear, achievable, measurable goals
Be sure that your goals are ones that can be achieved through your own actions (rather than chance or circumstance)
Look at short- and long-term goals
For each goal and vision category, consider your short- and long-term goals. Short-term goals are goals that can be accomplished within the year, while long-term goals look at anywhere from 1 year to 5 or 10 years out.
Plan for follow-up
Once you’ve set your goals and vision, be sure to set a time to follow up on how things are going. By setting a plan to take a look back at your written-down goals and vision, you are more likely to hold yourself accountable to the process.
Don’t be too rigid with yourself
Life throws us curveballs all along the way, and we have to adjust accordingly, so your goals may end up shifting as time goes on.
The Benefit of Setting Goals
Over the course of my life, I’ve found that vision and goal setting keep me moving forward. By setting my sights on where I want to go and placing mile-markers for myself to get there, I find excitement and purpose for everyday life.