This morning I was reading 1 Kings 5 – 6 about Solomon building the temple. What struck me about this passage was how overwhelming of a project this seemed to be and how wisely and swiftly Solomon seemed to handle things. He simply made a plan and made it happen. He was the project manager for the temple, something with a legacy that has lasted far beyond his lifetime. This got me thinking about my own goal-setting and lessons to learn from Solomon.
- Seek wisdom.
- Make a plan.
- Act on it.
- Complete it.
- Leave a legacy.
This seems simple enough right? But what if Solomon hadn’t asked for wisdom? Would he have known how to negotiate with the Hiram, king of Tyre for cedar? Or known the right amount of men to put on the task? Or what if he didn’t make a plan, would the king of Tyre have even listened to him at all? Or what if he didn’t act on it? What good would the perfect plan be that isn’t actually put in motion? What good would a half-complete temple have been? And how would that have changed the generations to come?
Here are some practical tips that have helped me with my own goal setting this new year.
1. Figure out your purpose by talking with the Father. No small task, right? Pray, ask God what His plan for you is and seek it out. How do you seek it out? Soak your mind in His Word, wise counsel from trusted believers and lots of prayer. Be quiet enough to hear God’s nudging. Very rarely will you hear a blowhorn announcing God’s plan or see it written in the sky so quiet your mind enough to be able to hear him. For me, recently, this meant shutting out the phone and computer for a short period of time to reduce the noise of the world around me. Practically speaking, I use Lara Casey‘s powersheets to guide methrough this process. I highly recommend them and talked about them here! Also just ask yourself what you want your life to be about. What would you regret never doing? What would you regret spending too much time on? What does your ideal day look like? And what you hope to be your legacy for generations to come?
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Love this pic Lara shared on her blog last week of her powersheets and our prayer journal. This is similar what my desk looks like each month! She has a wonderful series on goal setting and a brand new book if you need more guidance!
2. Pick verses for each goal. I chose several verses using a concordance and searching for words on the topic. I created a note in my She Reads Truth Bible app for each goal and wrote out the goal and added the verses. (I use this app instead of my YouVersion because you can bounce back and forth to verses without having to click a bunch!) I have a reminder on my phone to read Scripture each night before bed and I read these often. It helps me to not lose sight of my goals and keeps them a priority.
3. Each month I set a small goal for each of the 10 big goals that will help me reach my goals at the end of the year. (If you use powersheets, this is your tending list). Then, I create a list of action steps. This has helped tremendously. I use this list as I’m planning out my to-do list for the following day. I’ll add a few to my list along with all of the urgent things I must do. If we aren’t spending our days on our goals, we can’t make them happen. So many times the urgent pushes out the important so this is my way to combat that.
4. Leave room for God to work and for the right opportunities. How many of your favorite memories of 2014 were not even part of your goal list? Probably a decent amount. Here is where “trying to control my future” and “sitting back and waiting for God to do all the work” find a balance. Set a plan, but keep your heart open for God to change it. Part of me is more excited for what is not on my goals list knowing God will bring things my way as I open my heart to his plan. The practical way I “keep my heart open” is I pray about each of my goals. Each month, I include my goals that I made in #3 in my personal section of my prayer journal. Each day, I am bringing my plan to the Lord and giving it up to Him to do His will.
There you have it! My tips for God-centered goal-setting. Leave a comment with your tips for being intentional about your goal-setting.