Friday, December 10, 2010

Spiritual Goals for 2011

Among many things, I live by a few axioms. An axiom is a self-evident proposition that needs no proof. An axiom is a universally accepted principle or rule. One of my favorite axioms, or principles that is self-evidently true, needing no proof is "If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time." Apparently this axiom is attributed to Zig Ziglar. As a result of the truth of this principle I set goals in almost every aspect or arena of my life. I don't always achieve the goals that I set. As a matter of fact in some areas I have failed miserably.

I am not disappointed nor discouraged by this revelation. I realize that I can't hit or achieve every goal I set for myself. I try to be careful in the setting of my goals and I use the following four (4) guidelines in setting goals:

  • The goals I set must be for the glory of God
  • The goals I set must be achievable or realistic
  • The goals I set must be accompanied by practical steps or procedures to obtain the objectives
  • The goals I set must be monitored in order to be re-evaluated, re-stated, or rejected
Each year during November and December I take some time to prayerfully consider the past year of my spiritual journey. I look to see where I failed, where I made slow progress, where I made progress, and how achieving some of the goals changed or affected me for Christ-sake and His glory. I then take some time and prayerfully set my goals for the next year.

I have set goals in the following areas for 2011 - Spiritual, Educational, Physical, Financial, and Personal.

Spiritual Goals - these goals include my devotional life, my reading list, what I want to study this coming year, and the utilization of my spiritual gift.

Educational Goals - these goals include the fact that I want to be more proficient in Greek, enroll in one or more seminary classes.

Physical Goals - these goals include planned weight loss and some dental work this year.

Financial Goals - these goals include selling my home and my giving to our God. Irene and I have worked hard to eradicate and eliminate credit-card debt, car payments, and loans. I want to wipe out a couple of debts related to a failed business next year if the housing market comes back in our area. Our home value dropped about 25% this past couple of years.

Career Goals - these goals are related to my need of finding employment and my desire to plant a church

Personal Goals - these goals are related to what I would like to do personally as a husband, father, grandfather, and pilgrim in this strange land as I await the return of the Lord.

I may not read all the books I have put on my reading list. I may not be able to sell the house in 2011 and I may fall short of the total weight I would like to loose this coming year.  I might not get to seminary next year, after all, due to being unemployed I did not achieve that goal this year. If I don't set goals, or put another way - if I aim at nothing for 2011 I will hit it every time.

I know that our Lord is sovereign. I know that He has predestined certain things to take place in my life. As a matter of fact I may not live to see 2011 or its completion. My life is like a vapor, it is here a short, and specific period of time, and my life is gone! At the same time I don't want to be like a leaf that is simply blown around by a wind with little or no direction. So, I set my goals, I aim at improvement, development, growth, and increased Christ likeness.

So, let me ask you - have you set some goals for 2011? Do you have some items specifically targeted that you are aiming at? Do you have steps or processes in place to help you achieve those goals? Do you have a plan in place to evaluate and monitor your progress?

What three (3) specific, spelled out, goals are you aiming at to improve your spiritual life in 2011?


Larri said...

What an excellent and thought-provoking post, Gregg! I will mull this over and get back with you later this weekend to answer your last question. Thanks so much for sharing! :o) Happy Friday!


Loved your goals for next year, weightloss is a must for me also. hope we achieve it.

Have a good day.

Alice said...

I hadn't really thought about it, Gregg. I'm not much of a planner...maybe that will be one!

We would like to get out of debt...which has a spiritual effect for sure. We have learned a LOT in the last few years and the biggie was DO NOT GO INTO DEBT!!!


Pray more. Start a prayer list, at least mentally and make a conscious effort at it.

Get back to the basics. Rest in Jesus and don't major in the minors.

Listen more than talk.

God bless!

Anonymous said...

good goals Gregg. Mine would be financial= to spend less on me and more on God and others. physical = to treat my body as a temple of the Holy Spirit and lastly and most important = to glorify God through my life (wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend) and make myself more available to people and not hold it against them that they are not available for me. God is always available. :)

Cathy M. said...

Great challenge, Gregg! I'll give it a go--
Financial Goal:
NA. That's in my husband's purview. (Ha ha)

Physical Goal:
1) Master my "Body Pump" class, which includes doing "boy push-ups" something with which I've always struggled!
2) Get the hubby and I back on a sensible eating plan that doesn't include candy, cookies, cake, and ice-cream.

Educational Goals:
1) Read more on church history
2) Renew my TN teaching certification

Spiritual Goals:
1) Get in a good church (and all that entails.)
2) Be more consistent in my morning Bible Study.
3) Keep a prayer journal, consistently.

Anonymous said...

Brother Gregg,

I've always admired people who set yearly goals and make new years resolutions. And I especially admire the ones who actually keep them.

I've never been very good at it myself. I do real good at short term goals but not so good at long term ones.

I do have one goal I would like to accomplish next year and that is to read the Bible through in a year. I've probably read the Bible through over 20 times, but in the past few years I've got out of the habit of a daily Bible reading schedule to read it through in a year.

I give you permission to bug me (by email) once or twice a week next year and ask me. "how's your daily Bible reading going Ron" I think they call that being accountable to someone about something?

Have a great weekend


Anonymous said...

Gregg, I've never been a real goal setter because I always fail!

But I would like to figure out how to do this blogging thing without neglecting my bookkeeping like I have!

Also want to refi our house this year and reduce our monthly income need so we can devote more time to ministry and less time to keeping a big ship afloat.

Weight loss? Yikes!. I've gained and lost so many pounds over my life it's not even funny.

Seriously, if I were to choose just one goal that means the most to me to accomplish it would be to become more like Christ.

God bless you brother!

ps. Still praying for your work situation.

Persis said...

Here are a few goals.

Read through the Word in a year. I am going to try John Bird's plan.
Start studying theology with my daughter.
Study for medical transcription certification.
Exercise every day.

Brian Ray Todd said...

Goals for 2011 is exactly what I need. But they will have to be thoughtful consided to fit the Smart framework. One is aligning some of my goals with the goals of the church. I will be sitting down with the Pastor and one of the Elders of the church council, after the start of the year to discuss what's on the Pastor's mind and goals. We need to be an active part of the body of Christ and purposeful servants of the Lord in this community of faith for the community out and around the church. That's int he works, so now time to set some personal goals also. Thank you Pastor Gregg.