christian goal setting

The Keys to Goal Setting as a Christian in 2022 – Podcast Episode 36

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Hello and welcome back to my year long podcast hiatus. Life has been crazy I’m not going to get into it here but you can head over to my youtube channel if you want to know more! 

I did mention in my yt video about possibly giving this all up as my life and responsibilities have just changed so much since moving to Nicaragua and I prayed about it and I didn’t get any peace about stopping. In fact I got several emails that week from some of my listeners and viewers asking me where I had been and how much something helped them in the content I create. I think more than ever our world needs 1 Jesus – but 2 – clarity on how to live our lives here on earth well. 

One of the biggest searches that brings ppl to my blog is around the topic of ” is setting goals or vision boards biblical so I wanted to jump back into podcasting touching on this subject and why I think setting goals (with GOD IS THE KEY) is so important! So let’s dive in. 

Goal Setting as a Christian

I love goal setting and I equally love looking back and reflecting on the year prior. I love to save these reflections year after year to see all the ways the Lord grew me, shaped me and challenged me. 

Goal setting has been something I have been doing since I was in my late teens, but I added the reflection part in the last 5 years. 

Not only is it just cool to look back and reflect but it is so helpful in setting and meeting your goals. You can pick up on bad habits, regular challenges and see some of your weaker personality attributes and make a plan to tweak things for the year ahead. 

God has given us free will and choice and without planning and reflection it is easy to make the same mistakes over and over, sometimes not even realizing you are doing it. 

God has given you dreams and things you want out of this life. But sometimes we can really flail and falter at trying to achieve those things. We live in a world with so many distractions, it is very easy to live a reactive life. But I believe the key to a happy fulfilled life is living a proactive life with Jesus of course. 

Now you might be saying well I am more of a go with the flow person, I hate lists and making goals, I just want to live life. 

Or you may be the type of person who is super detailed with their planning of goals but maybe not so great at executing them (this was me for a long time) 

Type A or Type b we can all thrive on structures and routines.  When we fail to plan, we plan to fail. And I know that no one wants to feel like they failed in life

Learning from your past is one of the quickest ways not only to not make the same mistakes, but to actually achieve what you want to achieve in this life.

Things don’t usually come easy, effort and grit are required. 

Yearly reflection helps you to see where you put in that effort and grit, where you were lacking and helps you to understand how you can do things better! 

I have made this yearly reflection free printable, it includes some great questions to dive into last year as well as a space to write a letter to your self to read in the next year.  So much can happen in one year. God will do so much with our lives, if we are willing to surrender them to him! 

I don’t know about you, but the past couple of years with all this pandemic stuff going on has just been insane. I don’t know what the future holds with the lockdowns, and mandates and general craziness but I do know I can control how I react to it. I do know I can out healthy systems in place to be better prepared for chaos. I am ready to go in 2022 hearts and hands wide open for God to work in me. I will not live in fear. My days are already numbered, but I will try my very best to steward them well. 

 

We are already 3 months into 2022 and statistically many people have already forgotten about their goals. So I wanted to break my year long break from the podcast with a bang! My goals always have the lense to love God and love others and often most of that starts with our individual thoughts and actions. Our daily routines and habits.

If you do any digging in my content you will see quite a bit on goal setting. I will leave some other blog posts, podcast and videos linked below. 

After you have done your reflection and had your goal setting date with the Lord and written everything out comes the most important part. 

This is where we get hyper focused. 

Action Steps and Reverse Engineering. 

Under action steps you need to write out everything that needs to happen in order for you to reach this goal. 

Let’s take the example of losing weight. Get micro here. And I choose this because I know its a popular goal. And there is sin wrapped up in gluttony and lack of self discipline. This is not just a selfish goal about wanting to look better. It’s about stewarding your health and setting good examples for your children and its a personal goal for me because I struggle with all these things!  So let’s break it down.

Eat healthy, exercise, schedule exercise, get an accountability partner, meal plan, meal prep,  get 10 000 steps a day, find an active hobby, join a gym, find an online program, work through the mental part of weight loss, give yourself rewards etc etc.

Once you have listed as many action steps as you can think of this is where you start the reverse engineering. 

Start with your goal and work your way back to where you are now, what would need to happen, what are the roadmarks along the way to progression. Set a timeline

For example

10 week timeline

Start 20 lbs overweight

Week One – the initial stuff get rid of temptations in the closet, do a healthy food shop, join a gym, take your weight and measurements, start a health journal, write down your why, make a vision board, commit to eating 3 healthy meals, plan our those meals and meal prep what you can in advance, commit to exercising 5 days a week. LOSE 2 LBS

Week 2 – Meal plan and prep, schedule workouts, find an accountability partner, follow a program, LOSE 2 LBS

Week 3 – track progress and tweak where necessary, how can you  amp up your workouts, how can you make your food even better? What has been hard? How can you make that easier? LOSE 2 LBS

Do this for the entire 10 weeks, check in with yourself regularly.  If you commit and are disciplined and check in regularly you can and will meet your goal. Don’t let one bad day keep you off your course. 

There is something out there called SMART goals. I did not invent this, I take zero credit I just find it a helpful tool.

Goals need to be specific, measureable, achievable, relevant, and time bound.

So setting the goal or the intention is the most important part. It needs to be specific. Not I want to lose weight but I want to lose 20 lbs. Not I want to learn to run but I want to run a 5k in 6 months. Not I want to pray more but I want to set aside 15 dedicated minutes to prayer everyday and use a journal to write out prayers. 

Measurable is so important. Tracking, reflection and journaling is so great to keep you on track. You can’t just set the goal and forget it you need to be intentional everyday and work towards achieving it. How will you know if halfway through you are close? You need to set roadmarkers. So for 20 lbs lost in 10 weeks you need to have lost 10 lbs at 5 weeks. If not refocus, what can you do to improve your efforts?

Achievable – Don’t set a goal like I want to lose 20 lbs in 2 weeks. That is not achievable sustainable or healthy. Be realistic when setting your timeline.

Relevant – Is this actually something you really want? Does this align with your values? Do you really want to focus on this? In order to achieve goals they have to align with the vision and direction you have. Otherwise it will be too easy to stop. 

Time bound – You need a target in order to apply discipline and focus to meet it – Too soon it will seem impossible and you will give up. Too late you won’t have the drive and dedication to complete it because you will feel like there is more time to do this later. 

End Lose 20 lbs

Remember keep God in all your goals, ask him for wisdom, pray for strength. Ask for space and quiet. Whatever it is you need to reach what you feel the Lord has for you this year. 

Vision Board

Another super helpful tool is a vision board. I love a good vision board for 2022! 

I started making vision boards years ago. Some years I had them tucked into a journal, other years I had them out on display. Regardless of where you keep them, the more you look at them, the better chance at reaching those goals.

Now I know vision boards are usually associated with some sort of manifesting from the universe method and to be clear I do not believe in manifesting things from the universe. I believe in dreaming with God. And I believe in stewardship and pursuing righteousness. I believe in saying no to worldly passions and trying our very best to be disciplined.

“For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.” Titus 2:11-14

The Bible is full of God’s creativity, ability, plans, and purposes. I see a God of order, a God with great attention to detail. I mean I could go on and on about our Lord, he is magnificent. 

But what I get about God’s character tells me how I should try and live in my very limited capacity. I dream with God.

What does that mean? 

It means I pray over my goals, asking God to lead and direct and help me fulfill them. I ask him to lay things on my heart that he wants me to achieve.

And then I make a plan. I believe so much of this life is about stewarding our blessings well. To much is given much is required. 

I really try to focus my life on the fruits of the spirit and ask Jesus to have these qualities reflected in me. 

Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self control.

And I believe one of the best ways that I can respond to others in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self control is if I am proactive. 

We live in a really noisy, distracted world. Our lives are full. It doesn’t matter if you are a stay at home mom or work at home mom, if you are in ministry or in school, if you have 1 kid or 12. I know your life is busy. 

This is why clarity and vision is so important, so you are not wasting your precious time ( a non-renewable resource) on things that do not help you to steward your life well. 

This is why I think vision boards are so important and why they work. They help you to zero in, on what is important. They serve as a constant reminder to keep your eyes, hands, mind and heart focused on what matters most. 

They take your God given thoughts and dreams that are swirling around in your mind, and turn them into something tangible. 

The Bible tells us in Philippians 4:8 that whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things. Other versions say meditate on these things. 

What better way to keep these things at the forefront of your mind then to have a visual tool that draws your focus. 

I used to sit down and cut things out in magazines but since my minimalist days I no longer purchase said magazines so I head over to Canva instead. 

A digital vision board is perfect because you can make it wallpaper on your computer or phone as well as print it out to put it in a strategic place or two!

The first thing I do is I get a list of my goals. My year always starts off with a yearly reflection, then goal setting and reverse engineering (all done with a lot of prayer) I think there are 6 main areas of life we can be focusing on and if you head to my website you can download my entire life audit and goal launcher to help you cut through the mess and get crystal clear, so you can then make the perfect vision board for 2022.

You need to engage in order for this to work

It is super easy to make a board and then forget about it. This is why I think the more places you have it the better. You need to look at these pictures daily. Go over your goals. Remember what you are working towards, and take action on these things. Ask the Lord for strength and help! If you did this exercise right then these things are from God for you to focus on this year! 

I want to close in saying God is the only who is going to make the changes. So much of this is surrendering to his will. But we must do our part. To first trust that these goals are for his purpose and his glory. And to allow him to work in us. To not make it harder than it has to be. To love Him and love others well and to steward your blessings from your body, to your finances, to your skills and your future abilities, he has not yet developed.