9 ways to set and achieve the things you want to do in life!
My wife's a nurse. But you wouldn't always think she looks after sick people. She came home the other day talking about goals, objectives and the 'smart' theory. These are some of the management techniques used in the business world. The nursing profession has changed since the days of Florence Nightingale. But the idea of setting and accomplishing goals is not new.
Jesus had many goals with godly purposes. One example is seen in the incident when 'Some Pharisees came to Jesus and said to him, "Leave this place and go somewhere else. Herod wants to kill you." Jesus replied, "Go tell that fox, `I will drive out demons and heal people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal".Luke 13.31,32. NIV.
The King James Bible translates 'reach my goal' as 'I will be perfected'. The Greek word means 'to complete something'. This is an important observation. The perfection does not refer to Christ's personality or character. It speaks about a completed action or event. So the NIV translation 'goal' is good. The spotless Son of God was perfect in nature but he'd not yet completed his mission. But Jesus would achieve what he set out to do. The Lord would reach his goal, and defeat satan, sin and death on the cross. Jesus reached His goal at Calvary. What's the best way to set goals and achieve them? Here are 8 keys that will help us pursue our goals effectively.
1. Have clear goals. Jesus was not vague about the things that He wanted to do. He said 'I seek not to please myself but him who sent me''. Jesus had a clear purpose. On another occasion Jesus said, 'I lay down my life--only to take it up again'. Jesus was very definite about His aims and responsibilities. Be as specific as possible when setting goals. Sometimes we can be too vague about what we mean. We can be unclear about our decisions.
A worker asked for a pay raise and got this note back from his supervisor: "Because of the fluctuation predisposition of your position's productive capacity as juxtaposed to standard norms, it would be momentarily injudicious to advocate your requested increment." How unclear is that?
The puzzled worker went to the supervisor and said, "If this is about my pay raise, I don't get it." "That's right," said the supervisor. How clear is that?
2. Commit whole-heartedly to fulfilling your goals. The devil's temptation or the opposition of the Pharisees couldn't deter Jesus from His mission. 'I will reach my goal' was a defiant statement. Christ would see the assignment through despite what people would do or say. If you are going to achieve your goals you must be prepared to do what it takes to get the job done. Most of us are familiar with the Declaration of Independence.
The United States Declaration of Independence is a statement adopted by America on July 4, 1776. The statement announced that the thirteen American colonies then at war with Great Britain were no longer a part of the British Empire. Their goal of the Americans was to be completely independent from the UK. The people who committed themselves to that goal were whole heartedly bound to do what it takes for the goal of independence to be achieved.
Altogether fifty-six men signed the Declaration of Independence. Their conviction resulted in untold sufferings for themselves and their families. Of the 56 men, five were captured by the British and tortured before they died. Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned. Two lost their sons in the Revolutionary Army. Another had two sons captured. Nine of the fifty-six fought and died from wounds or hardships of the war. Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships sunk by the British navy. He sold his home and properties to pay his debts and died in poverty. At the battle of Yorktown, the British General Cornwallis had taken over Thomas Nelson's home for his headquarters. Nelson quietly ordered General George Washington to open fire on the Nelson home. The home was destroyed and Nelson died bankrupt. John Hart was driven from his wife's bedside as she was dying. Their thirteen children fled for their lives. His fields and mill were destroyed. For over a year, he lived in forest and caves, returning home only to find his wife dead and his children vanished. A few weeks later, he died from exhaustion. Are you prepared to do what it takes to achieve your goal? We may not have to go through terrible things like those fifty six men. We may not have to be crucified like Jesus. But we will have to make some kind of sacrifice to achieve our life’s goals.
We may have to press on through times of discouragement. We’ll have to stand firm in our trials. We’ll have to learn how to handle disappointment. We’ll have to stay on track when something attempts to drag us away from our course. Whole hearted commitment is an important quality to have for attaining our goals.
3. Ensure that the goal is realistic for you. Can you see yourself achieving it? At no time did Jesus talk about delegating the work of the cross. The goal of Calvary belonged exclusively to the Lord and Jesus always saw himself fulfilling it. Churches must have specific realistic goals. Goals must be realistic and down-to-earth for us as individuals too. As a Christian I know that faith can move mountains and all things are possible for those who believe. But I could never see myself replacing Portugal’s foot-balling star Christiano Renaldo and playing football for my country. No matter how much faith I have the goal is not doable. Occasionally we are all prone to set impractical goals. Over the years some 30 people have told me that they will go to Bible College and then go on and serve the Lord in full time Christian work. But out of those people who told me that was their goal only one person has managed to achieve the goal. Just because we have the desire to fulfill a certain goal doesn’t mean the goal is within our reach. The reasons the goal was not fulfilled vary, from the call of God, staying power, character, finance and competence. We must be practical and see ourselves achieving the goals that we set.
4. Write down your goals. Goals, which are written down, are over 20 times more likely to be achieved than goals not made explicit.
5. Write down the things that willprevent you from achieving your goals also. This keeps us vigilant and prompts us to take evasive action when our goals are threatened. Fear, doubt and sexual immorality are just some examples of what might stop Christians achieving their goals. But if we remind ourselves of these pit falls we will more than likely take steps to steer clear of them or deal firmly with them when they arise. Is there anything in your life, which could stop you achieving the things that you have set out to do? If so deal with the obstacles and hindrances now.
6. Ask yourself 'what effect will achieving this goal have on me'? If someone prays about becoming a house group leader and achieves that goal by the grace of God, it will demand that person's time. They will be busy one night a week and spend hours preparing and arranging things for the group meeting. They may have to open up their home to people on a regular basis, provide tea and biscuits etc. Some leaders fail to realize the responsibilities that come with attaining their goals. As a result they burn out, drop out, or fall out with people. This happens because we're not levelheaded about achieving our aims or objectives. If you were to reach a goal of getting a new job promotion, serving in a ministry, or starting up a relationship what effect is it going to have on you?
7. Determine how you will know when you've achieved your goal.Jesus declared, ‘It is finished' as He drew his last breath on the cross. In a sense Christianity had only just begun. The next step in the mission was the resurrection, and then the ascension, then the sending of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and then the establishing of the church, which is going on right now. But Jesus knew that his death on a cross-had satisfied the demands of God's law. Jesus was fully aware of the fact that by shedding his blood he had obtained salvation for his people. The goal at Calvary had been reached and Jesus knew it. A lot of people fail to see this even today. They think Jesus was a helpless victim and looser at Calvary. But the cross was the fulfillment of a primary goal. No one knew it at the time, not even His disciples but Jesus said 'it is finished'. Do you know when your goals have been reached? Goals are not endless projects and responsibilities. We have to identify what godly success looks like. We have to acknowledge when our job's done and realize when our tasks are completed. We must know when our dreams come true and see when our vision is fulfilled.
8. Make your goal what God wants not what you want. "The last thing I wanted to do was be a preacher," said Billy Graham. Nevertheless that's what God called Billy Graham to do. Billy Graham might have made a good salesman but he would have failed in his life's mission had he not set out to do what God wanted him to do. When setting their goals leaders should always ask, 'is this thing right for me'? Is this building project right for our church? Is this career the one God's chosen for me? Is the timing right for doing this project? Leaders must continually find out what God wants for their lives, families ministries, and churches. Then they must make those things their goals.
9. Remember too that different goals have different gestation periods. A chicken egg takes 21 days to break into life, a human embryo takes 9 months and an elephant takes 2 years. Goals are like that some are accomplished quickly, some take many years.