Monday, January 16, 2017

When Goal-Setting Becomes a Chore

Last week I wrote about setting goals for 2017, as a guest writer on another blog. I shared how I was deeply inspired about the process of writing down our goals, and then displaying them where they're seen regularly.

Before moving on, you will want to read last week’s guest post here: Say Goodbye to Procrastination then pop back over to finish this post.

Setting goals every year has been a challenge for me. More like a failed challenge. I’d start out fast and furious, then fizzle by the end of January. Before I knew it, December was here and the end of another year of unfulfilled goals.

In case you struggle with the same thing, I’m going to tell you about where I am in the process. I hope that what I share today will encourage you to do the same thing.

I feel so strongly about this, that I plan to revisit this subject every couple of months so that we can all see where we are in our goals. 

This can provide accountability, even if it’s just for me.

Last week, I was inspired and excited as I typed out my 2017 goals.
However, I didn’t complete the last step; printing them out and displaying them where I’d see them regularly.

They stayed on my computer buried deep within my documents folder.  

Why didn’t I follow through with the last step? I could say “life happened” which is the most common excuse we all use when something doesn’t get done.

Something else happened too. This goal-setting document that I completed with such fervor was quickly falling into the memory banks in my brain, titled, Forgetfulness.

Several days ago I ran into the pastor who inspired me to write out my goals. Small talk led to the subject of goal setting and I realized I was already forgetting and moving on with my life apart from my God-inspired goals. 

I knew if I didn’t revisit this very important document, I’d find myself in the busyness of the Christmas season again, without having met any of my goals for 2017.

When I read my goals document, I realized something very important that I left out. It was something the pastor urged us to also write down.

What is it I really want? 
What is important to me?
What do I value? 

I’ve prayed and asked the Lord to line my wants and desires up with His, and lesson those desires in my heart that aren’t from Him. As I prayed this, things began to shift.

Some things that I assumed I should be doing fell to the bottom of my list, while those things at the bottom moved to the top.

This was a surprise to me. An even bigger surprise is the relief I felt; like the lifting of burdens. The burden of what I assume other’s expectations of me are. The burden of trying to push open certain doors that maybe God isn’t wanting to open. The burden of frustration I’ve felt by trying to accomplish certain goals and projects because I thought I had to.

Today I trust God’s answer to my request to line my wants and desires up with His. I can now set goals based on what I value most and on the desires God has now stirred in my heart.

As you sit down and write out your 2017 goals, I encourage you to first, get quiet and still with the Lord. Ask Him to line up your wants and desires with His. 

Let go of all preconceived notions and ideals you’ve had, and lay them down before Him. He will surely answer and clarify your priorities and goals He wants you to reach for 2017.

As He stirs your heart, and quickens desires in accordance to His will, then it’s okay to set your goals based on those desires and what's important to you.

This process has been freeing for me. I hope it will for you too. 

I invite you to share in the comments below. If you have any questions, of course, you can also contact me by email by filling the email form on the right side of this page.

As you set your goals for this coming year, may you find renewed vision and purpose, as God refreshes and fills you with His desires for your life.

…staying the course,

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