As we head into a new year, I want to help you think through life planning. I believe in purposeful living.
Here is a reality I have experienced personally and in observation of so many others. Most likely, the degree of success you experience this next year will be directly proportional to the direction you head your life and the intentionality you have with the decisions you make. If you have an idea or goal of where you want to go and a plan of action coupled with discipline, you are more likely to achieve your desired results. You can’t control some of the things life brings you, but you will have a better chance of achieving your dreams if you create some organization in your life to help you reach them.
I also believe simple is good…so, for the next few days, I want to offer segments of developing a one-year life plan. I’ll break it down a little each day to keep it from seeming overwhelming. At the end of the week, if you follow along, you’ll at least have a plan of action. (If you have a better way of doing this, I welcome your input…the key is doing it far more than how…)
Today, let’s set some goals for ourselves…
List three to five goals total. If you have too many, you’ll burn out trying to reach them, and too few will keep you from achieving all that’s possible.
Think through several areas of your life where you would like to see improvement. Areas such as:
- Marriage or relationships
Include a stretch goal, such as run a marathon, read through the Bible, learn to fly a plane, get out of debt, start a side business or write a book.
At this point, they can be very general. They shouldn’t all be “stretch goals”—limit that to one or two—but they all should be goals designed to take you somewhere you want to go in life, somewhere you hope to improve.
So spend some time today and list your goals. Remember, no more than five, no less than three…
Here is an example:
- Lose 10 pounds. (I went specific here because most have an idea of a number. You can simply put “lose weight” at this point if that’s one of your goals.)
- Improve my marriage communication.
- Pay off my credit card.
- Read through the Bible.
- Write a book.
Feel free to share your list in the comment section of this post.
Side note: For those who are thinking, God is in control of my destiny, so I’ll just let Him direct my paths…I don’t need a plan… I couldn’t agree with you more about God being in control, as He should be. All our plans and goals are futile without His input, but read through the Bible, and you’ll see countless illustrations of how God allows men and women who seek Him to create a plan of action—sometimes for good and sometimes not. There are times God gives us clear and direct instructions, and other times (I would say most times), God allows us to figure out the best course of action based on the wisdom and experiences He has allowed us to have.
Ron Edmondson is a pastor and church leader passionate about planting churches, helping established churches thrive, and assisting pastors and those in ministry think through leadership, strategy and life. Ron has over 20 years business experience, mostly as a self-employed business owner, and he’s been helping churches grow vocationally for over 10 years.