Setting Your Goals
Be strong, therefore, and let not your hands be weak and slack, for your work shall be rewarded. II Chronicles 15:7 AMP
Dominican University of California psychology professor, Dr. Gail Matthews, conducted a study on goal-setting with 267 participants. She found that those who write down their goals are 42 percent more likely to achieve them . This does not mean that scribing your goals is a like a kitchen appliance where you “set it and forget it” until the oven goes “ding” and your goals are done. If you work it that way, perhaps your proverbial goose is already cooked. In order to achieve your goals, you will need to engage in the process.
Writing your goals is a way to put meaningful focus on what you want to achieve. It helps your mind to remember that these are things you deem important, to which it should apply thought, planning, and maintenance when necessary. The purpose of goal maintenance is to adjust and augment the procedure that you use to reach your goals. This is necessary as sometimes the processes of life do not progress exactly as you plan.
You may need to re-calibrate your course, or get help, or start over, or change directions at any given time in order to ensure that your destination does not change whilst you overcome any obstacles between you and your purpose. Obstacles could be financial, personal, or even existing in the form of other people as there may be some persons who are not keen on you reaching your goals for any number of reason. Remember to stay focused and keep your goals fresh. When a path goes stale, meaning that it is not producing the place that you need to get to in purpose, then it is time to recalibrate your course.
Remember to praise God in the process of pursuing your goals. Just as the words of your lips are powerful to bring about change in your life, writing is a form of expression, or another way of speaking over yourself . Your brain has a similar thought process when you are talking to someone, as when you are writing a letter to him or her. Take time to write letters to God.
Write words of praise and worship toward Him. This is a form of rehearsing praise and worship in your spirit. Doing so will encourage ever part of your being to engage in the process with you. When you later attempt to gather your thoughts and other faculties to praise God on your journey to purpose, everything within you will reverberate and recognize, “I’ve done this before. I know how to do this. I know how to praise God.” Then, the more often you do this, your faculties will realize, “I am a vessel of praise and I was born to praise God. I am good at it. I enjoy praising God. It feels natural to me.” When praise comes naturally to you, it is a confirmation that you are on the right track because it is difficult to praise God when you are not truly serving Him. Remember to praise your way to purpose as you work toward your goals.
Psalm 100 is a good tool to remind you how to keep your mind in a realm of praise as you go forward. Each time you write and re-write your goals, also write the verses of Psalm 100. Coupling these activities will create an association of the Psalm with your goals – like a partnership of praise and planning. These two are natural allies since blessings come down when praises go up. Whenever you need to create a good habit, couple it with something that you are already doing habitually. Soon, you will naturally do the new activity when you do the previous activity. The new activity will be less cumbersome to recall. Take time to write the verses now.
A Psalm of thanksgiving and for the thank offering.
1 Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all you lands!
2 Serve the Lord with gladness! Come before His presence with singing!
3 Know (perceive, recognize, and understand with approval) that the Lord is God! It is He Who has made us, not we ourselves [and we are His]! We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and a thank offering and into His courts with praise! Be thankful and say so to Him, bless and affectionately praise His name!
5 For the Lord is good; His mercy and loving-kindness are everlasting, His faithfulness and truth endure to all generations.
Writing the words of Psalm 100 each time you write or re-write your goals will help you commit the Psalm to memory, as well as remind you that praise is a pinnacle of purpose. People who are on point with purpose have a natural inclination to praise God. In this condition, you recognize that without God, you could not have come to this blessed place in life. With God’s divine direction only, you are able to achieve a life of purpose.
Reasons For Writing Your Goals
Renown marketing expert and leadership trainer, Michael Hyatt – author of the New York Times bestseller, Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World (Thomas Nelson), emphasizes five main reasons for writing your goals .
- To clarify what you want. Without a goal, decision making can be cumbersome. You need to have a destination in mind before you start walking. You have to want something in order for the principles of motivation to work for you. If you do not want anything, there is no “carrot” that you can hold before your heart to help drive you forward toward your goals. Clarifying your goals also helps you identify specific steps to take along the way since you have a destination in mind. When your goals are clear, you can more readily decide to do things that bring you closer to your goal, and avoid unnecessary distractions that would stall your steps. When your goals are clear, you may find that you rest better. Each day, you should be able to definitively recognize steps you have taken and activities you have completed that have moved you in the right direction to achieve your goals. You should be able to derive a sense of joy from knowing that you are on the path that you need to be on and are actively working toward your purpose.
- To motivate action. Clarifying your goals is an important point of departure that you must follow up with intentional effort. Faith is the spirit of destiny as the soul is the spirit in the body. Without the spirit, there would be no life in you. Faith lives in the actions you take that testify to what you believe. Your beliefs will either propel you to go forward, or pause your progress. If you believe that you will achieve your goals, you will take the requisite steps, understanding that doing so will bring an expected result. If you did not believe that the goal was attainable, you would not be compelled to move toward it. It is written that faith alone has no life in it to manifest what it has been sent to do . You must be active. Action is the testimony that you make of your faith. If you are moving on some plane of purpose, you give an outward sign that you believe there is something worth doing, having, and becoming. Written goals are things that you can return to when you need to revive your motivation to DO SOMETHING. No matter how much you say you believe that you have a purpose, it is through your actions that you manifest that purpose. You must be active.
- To filter other opportunities. Writing your goals is a tool for avoiding distractions. The more successful you are, the more you will be inclined to stat on the path that led to that success. However, it is important to remember that failure is not the opposite of success. The opposite of success is quitting . When you fail on a path, you may fall down as you are walking or running toward success. When and if you fall down, get up. When you quit, you cancel your opportunity to try again. Many successes are born of second, third, fourth, and twentieth efforts. Did you know that Abraham Lincoln failed 112 times in various campaigns for political leadership before becoming President of the United States ? Success breeds opportunities. Though each new offering could be just as positive as the next, you will need to prioritize your time and energy. If you line up your skills and abilities for certain tasks and something goes wrong, or if you develop a time management plan that does not work, try again. Failure is a part of learning. The more you know, the more you grow . Do not be afraid to say, “No” sometimes. When you sow faith and works of life, the harvest is similar to that with the principle of tithing. You may not have enough time in a day to do everything that you are given the opportunity to do. This is not a downfall of goal setting, but a privilege and benefit that you would have a means of being blessed for your commitment to being a woman of purpose.
- To overcome resistance. Anything worth doing is met with some level of opposition or resistance. However, there is a special anointing in going through a process leading to a Godly purpose. God will give you grace  for the journey when you make up your mind to go through the process. The oil of an olive is not released without it being pressed . Likewise, when you are pressed of opposition, trials, and tribulations in the earth , the oil of God’s anointing is expressed more abundantly through you and He is glorified thereby. Without a goal when you are buffeted, you are more easily discouraged from continuing this journey that is sometimes uncomfortable. When you get serious about working toward your purposeful goals concerning God, Satan may step up His attack on your purpose, recognizing that another soldier of the Lord is rising up. The equal and opposite reaction of resistance is more resistance. As the enemy attempts to make your way unprofitable, your resistance to succumbing to doubt, negativity, and counterproductive deeds as you submit yourself to God, will force the enemy to flee from you .
- To illuminate and appreciate progress. Knowing what you want to achieve will help you to recognize success when it comes. You will have a legitimate reason to encourage yourself rather than waiting for someone else to pat you on the back – which is sometimes a scarce occasion when you are climbing Jacob’s ladder .
 Study Backs Up Strategy For Achieving Goals. http://www.dominican.edu/dominicannews/study-backs-up-strategies-for-achieving-goals
 Song: “Encourage Yourself” by Donald Lawrence & The Tri-City Singers –
 5 Reasons Why You Should Commit Your Goals To Writing. http://michaelhyatt.com/5-reasons-why-you-should-commit-your-goals-to-writing.html
 James 2:14
 “The opposite of success is not failure; it’s quitting.” – R. Jyotiprakash
 Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Abraham Lincoln. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abraham_Lincoln
 Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. The More You Know. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_More_You_Know
 2 Corinthians 12:9
 Sermon: “A Pressing Place.” T.D. Jakes. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxdrw7cv2eI
 John 16:33
 James 4:7
 Genesis 28:10-19. What is Jacob’s Ladder? http://www.gotquestions.org/Jacobs-ladder.html