Monthly Archives: December 2016

Goals VIII

1 Corinthians 9:25-27  Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I discipline my body and make it my slave,

“I discipline my body and make it my slave”. Addictions are a big deal with many, if not most people. Alcohol, drugs of every kind, gambling, pornography, smoking, video games, television, and then there is the self control issues of anger, and over-eating, that many struggle with. “I discipline my body and make it my slave”. How do we do that? “Discipline my body and make it my slave”. That sounds wonderful. It would be nice if it were as easy as putting on tan pants instead of blue ones, but it obviously is not.

The best tool that I have used in my own battle to “discipline my body and make it my slave” is goal setting, and as I Have counseled people over the years as a pastor, no other tool has been as effective in helping people grow and gain victory over their flesh as goal setting has.

The challenge now is getting people to exercise the self-control to actually write out their goals and then to read them everyday. It doesn’t seem like it would take that much effort to make myself  write a dozen goals and read them  daily, but it seems like it does.

I have found that if a man will become part of a weekly accountability group where he gives a report to half dozen peers on his successes and failures in writing, reading and pursuing his goals, the whole process becomes 10X as effective.  The same is true for ladies. It is not guaranteed, nothing really is, but the number of people who are successfully conquering the Giants in their life and growing in character increases dramatically.

Goals VII

A dozen basic guidelines to help in writing good goals for 2017.

1. A goal is only wishful thinking if it isn’t written down.

2. A good goal, that motivates must be measurable, you know if you hit the bullseye or if you missed.

3. A well written goal is a complete sentence and begins with “I will”.

4. A well written goal is clear, precise, and as short as possible.

5. A good goal is achievable, but not wimpy.

6. A good goal moves us, stretches us, and results in us growing and improving.

7. A good goal has perfect balance between creating pressure in us that motivates us to move out of our comfort zones, but not being so difficult that it discourages and demotivates us. The more you set goals for yourself the more skilled you become at achieving this balance in your goal setting.

8. Your package of goals should have  balance between the various areas of your life; spiritual, family, job, health, home, finances, fun, and character.

9. Your package of goals should include at least one B-HAG, a “Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal. A goal that is very hard to accomplish, but will result in significant accomplishment, growth or fun, and lots of memories and stories to tell.

10. At least one of your goals should require you to learn something new, new knowledge or a new skill or both.

11. At least one of your goals should require you to go someplace you have never been before.

12. At least one of your goals should require you to do something you have never done before.

It really helps to read the goals that others have written, especially from those who have experience in writing and pursuing goals. I would love to read yours when you finish and you are welcome to get a copy of mine.

The skill of goal setting is so powerful in growing and accomplishing significant things with our life that we should always be a student of this skill. There is a lot of very good information written on the topic. I am always reading new material on goal setting. There is more good information on the internet than you could read in two lifetimes. There is so much good stuff if you start reading an article or book and it doesn’t hold your attention, chuck it and move to another one.

Goals VI

Of  all the rules, principles, guidelines, and techniques there are to writing, pursuing, and accomplishing your goals the most important is read them everyday.  (this is presuming that you know that a goal is not a goal of it isn’t written down) If you read your goals everyday you will accomplish a high percentage of them, and if you don’t read them everyday you will accomplish only a few, if any. I wrote 68 goals and it takes me about 5 minutes to read them, that isn’t much of a price to pay to have high success in accomplishing even the hardest of your goals. Our brains do a lot of thinking and decision making on auto pilot, so we need to program them to move us in the direction of our goals. It is the shear volume of the information that programs our brains, the repetition. In the Bible the word meditation is used in several places as the key to doing and obeying God’s Word. Meditation is simply going over and over the verses until it is engrained in us or in our subconscious thinking. I write all my goals in simple, concise, complete sentences and they all start with “I will”.  My goals are not only a statement of what I want to do they are a commitment. God loves commitment, His power flows to commitment. By reading them everyday my resolve and determination to accomplish my goals goes up and up. I have my goals on my phone, my iPad, my laptop and my desk top computer in my office. I also have a goal App on my phone and IPad where I record progress and accomplishment everyday. It is quick and easy and increases motivation and success. This is just like brushing your teeth. You work hard at developing the habit and you do it faithfully using whatever reminders you need  to make it happen, and most importantantly you never, ever allow  forgetfulness, laziness,  or  business to be an excuse for not reading your goals everyday. If you forget you acknowledge that you messed up,and recommit to doing it. Do not settle for anything less than reading your goals everyday.



Goals V

Many people react to the word goals, it seems secular, mostly about making more money, and sort of opposite the spirit-led faith walk.  Repentance is a good Bible word, and the Bible says that Jesus went everywhere preaching, “repent”. When He sent His disciples out to preach in all the towns of Israel, he told them to say, “repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand”. Repent means to change. We first change in our thinking, and acknowledge that we are acting wrong, then we make a commitment or decision in our mind and heart to change and then we change our behavior. That sounds just like goal setting to me.  Another Biblical work is faith. Hebrews 11 defines faith as “the assurance of things hoped for and the conviction of thing not yet seen”. Think about and meditate on that verse for 30 minutes, and you recognize that “hoped for” and “not yet seen” are in the future, and that “assurance” and “conviction” is strong confidence in a future accomplishment or event. A goal is a statement of faith. Jesus said that if you had faith as small as a mustard seed you could move mountains. We all want to grow stronger in our faith. Goals are the weights that cause our faith to grow strong. A goal is a commitment to repent. A goal is a statement of faith. That doesn’t sound secular to me, in fact it sounds very pleasing to God.

Goals IV

there are some critical requirements for goals to work effectively in our life. Lukewarmness is a major problem in every person’s life. One of the wonders of goal setting is how effective they are to start fires in people’s hearts. God is really not into helping any person who is passive about doing something with their life that matters, nor  is He going to do much for the person who is lazy, and constantly praying and asking God to fix his problems and make life easier.

(1) Our potential goals need to be thought about a lot, visualized, pondered on, meditated on, and see what happens to your interest, desire and passion to accomplish the goal. There isn’t much worse in life than pursuing a goal that you really don’t want to do. With me and most that I counsel and teach about goal setting 30 days of mulling over the possible goal results in our passion growing or getting weaker. If it gets weaker postpone the pursuit of that one for another time. You want your goals to be the desires of your heart. I believe a key way God guides me is by putting His will in my heart as a desire. The desires God gives me get stronger as I think and dream about them.

(2) we need to pray about the choosing of our goals, and we need to use our list of goals as a prayer list for the year, daily praying for our goals is good. The Gospel of John has some amazing promises in regards to prayer. In  John 15:7-8 Jesus says, “If you abide in Me and My Words abide in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you”. “whatever I wish”, that is the desire that is me that God put there. Cool, God puts a desire in me because He wants to give it to me or accomplish it through me, and when I pray He does it.  We tend to think of prayer as us asking and God doing, but when we pray God gives us the will and the power to make it happen.

Each of us has a level of “want” in us. That level is what determines more than anything else whether we accomplish a lot with our life or just mow the lawn. You are not born with it, you grow it inside of you. Those who want the most, do the most, they sacrifice the most, they pray the most.

Goals III

Most people are not “pressing on to maturity” as the Bible in Hebrews 6 says we ought to do. Most just let life do whatever it wants in the sense of what happens to our character. A good exercise is to examine our life in various areas and give ourselves a grade from 1 to 10. How is my marriage? How is my health?  How am I doing as a Dad? How am I doing on managing time? How am I doing managing my temper? There are dozens of other questions a person could ask as they examined their own life. Once the score is given then we ask ourselves “what can I do to improve myself from an 8 to a 6 this next year?”  Take my wife on a date once a month. Take each of my kids on a date once a month. Join a gym with a friend. Take an on-line course on time management. It really isn’t hard to do both of these steps and the result would be steady growth in a variety of areas in our life.

The reason very few take these two simple steps is because it is our nature  to hide from our weaknesses so we don’t want to look at ourselves honestly for the purpose of growing. Also we fear failure so much we don’t want to make a goal to improve because we might not accomplish it. So we go through life in a plateaued, mediocre state of living accomplishing little with our life that really matters.

Goals are an incredibly powerful and effective tool to use to change our character, our habits, and our attitudes. If you are unsure how to go about setting goals and pursuing them find someone who is skilled at it and have them coach you. Learning how to set meaningful goals for your life on a regular basis is the key to becoming a champion for Jesus.

Goals II


Isaiah 25:1 O Lord, You are my God; I will exalt You, I will give thanks to Your name; For You have worked wonders, Plans formed long ago, with perfect faithfulness.

Jeremiah 29:11 ‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.

One of the things that I often hear from people is that “goal setting” is secular, not Biblical. God is a goal setter.  Everything that God has ever done has been premeditated and planned before He did it. All of prophecy are the goals of God for the future. It is God’s nature to plan, He is Sovereign over all, He is Teleological, He controls everything, even the future.

So, another “push back” on goal setting is that God is Sovereign, therefore I will just let Him do what He has planned, and go along for the ride. God gives us responsibility, he gives us a piece of His Sovereignty as it were, He declares us stewards and calls us to be faithful. In Matthew 25:21 Jesus gives “Talents” to 3 stewards and then holds them accountable. The first two were faithful and He said, “you were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things”. We are created in the image and likeness of God, and we function best when we function like God.

God’s will for us is that we “bear much fruit”. When we bear some fruit He prunes us so that we can bear more fruit, and more fruit, and much fruit. When we bear fruit we prove to be His disciples and we bring glory to His name. Some bear fruit, most do not. Those who do not often think that it is because they don’t have the giftedness, the talent, the intelligence, the resources, the opportunity, and on the  list goes. But the reason that most do not bear much fruit is because they don’t choose to.

A goal is a choice to do something significant with our life that we believe is God’s will for us, and our choosing and resolve is strong enough to write it down on a piece of paper, and read it everyday.