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We sat around and laughed, but it wasn’t truly funny.
A few weeks before, my friend and I had excitedly printed half-marathon training plans while talking about the encouraging texts we would send one another each day. We both wanted to get into shape by running a half-marathon – or a whole marathon, but we would decide that later.
We printed the plans. My friend bought new shoes. I mapped out a few neighborhood runs and downloaded a running app.
I ran twice. My friend ran only a few times more.
We laughed about how excited we had been, how much resolve we felt when we first printed out that training plan. But excuses quickly filled our minds.
Running in the winter hurts our lungs.
We don’t have enough time to complete the long runs.
We’re both traveling for the holidays, and no one ever feels like running when you could be eating cookies.
The excuses rolled in and the resolve rolled out. Only a few months later, our animated excitement had completely died down.
This happens to me more often than not, unfortunately. I tend to be an all-or-nothing type girl. I love ideas, resolutions, and plans. Change and personal growth seem enticing and exciting. Then, the work of meeting my goals enters in and I wimp out.
Can you relate? Maybe you’ve set resolutions every year, but each February you find yourself frustrated. You may feel afraid of failure. Placing your goals on the back-burner feels easier than fighting through the fear. Or maybe you lack confidence in yourself and your ability to achieve.
Whatever your reason may be, unless you have super-human goal-reaching powers, you have probably felt discouraged and frustrated with yourself. There’s a reason for that.God did not create us to be a quitting kind of people. #goalsetting #goals Click To Tweet
In fact, we were knit together in the womb to be a fierce people – a people of resolve, faithfulness, and abundance in the Lord.
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7
“Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31
“A faithful man will abound with blessings.” Proverbs 28:20
We give in to fleshly desires, and we quit. Something feels difficult, so we give up. If we’re not sure how to overcome the next step, we ‘forget’ about our goal.
What if we stopped setting goals and started nurturing vision?
George Washington Carver said that “Where there is no vision, there is no hope.”
So often we forget about the vision piece. We go about setting S.M.A.R.T. goals and creating timelines, but we forget about the why.
Why are we setting goals and pursuing change in the first place?
I can resolve to run a half-marathon this summer. Yes, I can set the goal and create an action plan. But if I don’t first cast a vision about the why behind my goal setting, my resolve will fizzle away.
We can decide we want to save money, but if we don’t establish vision first, we’ll get distracted by fancy purchases and lose sight of a savings account.
But if we stop setting goals first and nurture vision instead, the goals will eventually follow.
What does it look like to nurture vision? It helps to answer three questions.
1. Who do I want to become?
The key word is who. Oftentimes we ask ourselves what we want to become – a runner, a happy wife, or a better steward of our money.
Really, we should be asking, “Who do I want to become?”
I want to become someone rooted in patience, persistent in faith, constantly growing, submitting to my husband, thriving in grace, and overcoming fear.
In a more concise way, I want to foster patience, faithfulness, perseverance, submissiveness, gracefulness, and courage.
This is the person I want to become – and it answers question #1.
2. Who am I right now?
After asking the first question, it’s essential to take an inventory of who you are right now. Be honest and reflective. This is not about shame, but is a starting ground for making true and lasting change.
Some helpful questions to ask are…
- How do I interact with those around me – my husband, children, friends, and extended family?
- What do those interactions say about my heart?
- Am I currently displaying the fruit of the spirit in my life? If so, how?
Again, the goal is not to sit in a puddle of shame. Instead, consider how the answers to these questions can serve as fuel for godly change and vision setting.
3. What will it take to bridge the gap?
There is most likely a gap between who you want to be and who you are currently. That is okay! Change is good, healthy, and full of purpose.
Consider the gap (or gaps), and think about the steps it will take to bridge the gap.
Maybe you want to serve the Lord with full energy, but right now you feel lethargic and unhealthy. The gap is health, and it is one that can be overcome with exercise and healthy eating.
Do you see how goals come out of vision setting?George Washington Carver: Where there is no vision, there is no hope. #vision #hope #goals Click To Tweet
If you truly want to change – to achieve your goals rather than allowing them to flat line – you need hope cheering you on the whole way. The vision of considering who you want to become is great fuel.
I wish I had considered who I wanted to become before jumping in with a training plan and resolve to run daily. The truth is that I had no vision, which translated to no hope.
If you’ve answered the three questions above and have determined the gap you need to bridge, you’re ready to set lasting, purposeful goals. These goals will not be rooted in fragile resolve. Rather, you will be fired up to achieve them because they serve a great purpose.
Enter Grace Goals. A fellow Christian blogger has created a way to achieve godly transformation.
With Grace Goals, you will…
> Set practical, godly goals
> Be confident of God’s favor and power in your endeavors
> Develop a doable, personal plan for change
> Learn why grace is the enablement you need
> Begin to recognize and appropriate grace in your daily life
> Receive encouragement in the Facebook group (optional)
You’re invited to be part of a group of Christians from all over the globe who desire godly change. I encourage you to grab Grace Goals here.Looking for a Biblical approach to goal-setting so you can see true #transformation? Click To Tweet
I wouldn’t share Grace Goals with you if I didn’t believe it was worth your time, energy, and money. If you’ve answered the three questions above and spent time digging around in your soul to discover gaps, you are ready for the next step of setting goals and achieving change.
You can do this, friend. Where there is vision, there is hope.