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‘The Pursuit’ Blog

A Complete Guide to Setting Goals

“Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed.” – Proverbs 16:3

I’ve always had a personal fascination with goals. Setting goals allows you to create your ideal future while offering your current self a greater sense of purpose and direction. Perhaps you’re interested in working toward one or more goals, but you aren’t sure how to choose these goals. Let’s dive into a few questions that will help you consider what goals you could set and what value they might have for you.   

Question One: What do you want to be true? 

I mentioned in the opening paragraph that my personal fascination with goals has to do with the ability to imagine what I want my life to look like in the future. Imagine your ideal self. What are you doing? What are you accomplishing? More importantly, who are you becoming? Whether you choose to envision the short-term (3-6 months) or long-term (5-10 years), this can be a great way to identify potential goals.

Question Two: What’s holding you back?

As you begin to think about what you want the future to look like, you may also begin to recognize the gap that exists between where you are and where you want to be. While this can be discouraging at first, it also reveals potential goals that can help you bridge the gap. For example, say you want to run a marathon, but you’re not happy with your current diet. Your initial goal could be to log your calories each day or limit yourself to one cheat meal or dessert each week. 

Question Three: What would make a difference?

Most of us will feel the natural temptation to think primarily about our own lives when answering the first question (“What do you want to be true?”) While this is understandable, our goals should focus on elevating others’ lives and not only our own. Consider what Jesus told the crowds in Luke 19 after enjoying a meal with Zaccheaus at his home: “For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.” (Luke 19:10). How can you set goals that benefit others, especially those who are in need?

If I could leave you with one more thought, I’d consider you to make your goals SMART:

  • Specific. Setting specific goals will help you clarify exactly what you want to accomplish so that you aren’t confused about the outcome you desire and what work you must do to accomplish your goal.
  • Measured. Your goal should be measurable so that you can track your progress and understand whether or not you have achieved your goal. 
  • Results-oriented. You shouldn’t choose goals randomly, and you shouldn’t waste your time on goals that don’t connect to your larger purpose or objectives in life.
  • Time-bound. Without a deadline, it can be easy to procrastinate. Aim to complete your goal by a certain time and you’ll feel a greater sense of urgency to start (or continue) working. 

Now that you know a little more about setting goals, I encourage you to go ahead and get started. Let’s work on new and exciting goals together. I can’t wait to hear about what you accomplish!

“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires. Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you.” – Psalm 37:4-5