Where do you see yourself in two years? What about five years? Do you have a detailed plan for achieving these goals? As a teen, it’s easy to live from day to day without thinking about the specific steps you need to take to reach your future goals successfully. Many of you may be so bogged down with trying to balance work with school, responsibilities at a job, and expectations from parents that you think there is no time left in the day to plan. But if you are going to be successful, you must make time to think about where you want to go, and create a map that will take you there. As a Christian, keep in mind that it is not enough for you to simply implement a plan you thought of on your own. Be sure to pray as you plan your future. Below, find three steps to help you achieve the resolutions you set for the New Year and the plans you make for your future.
1. Set a specific goal
2. Write the goal
3. Making necessary adjustments to reach the goal.
Set a Specific Goal
Can you imagine just getting in the car and driving without thinking about where you are going? I’ve done it before. It wastes a lot of time. Determining the destination before the trip begins allows you to drive with purpose. In the same way, setting a goal for your future focuses your attention to a specific end and gives meaning to the strides you take to get there. So think long and hard about where you want to end up, and be specific. Generalities like, “I want to help people” are good statements, but they are too general.
Write the Goal
As God reveals His plans for your life to you, write them down. Writing goals helps you to organize your thoughts and direct your energy so you can achieve your maximum potential. Writing your goals will force you to break the goals down into practical steps. It is helpful to place these written goals in an area that is easily accessible. This way, you will be able to find it when you need to refer to it. And, if you post it somewhere where you will see it daily, it will help you internalize it. Habakkuk 2:2 supports this step. “Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.” God wanted the vision to be so clear and available to read that even quick reminders of where God plans to take us will help us to stay on the right path.
Make Necessary Adjustments to Reach the Goal
You may discover that in addition to making adjustments to your original goal, you may have to also make personal adjustments to your behavior. Identify the habits in your life that keep you from reaching your goals. It is important that you constantly look within to find that which is not like God and remove it. As pointed out in James’ analogy of the forgetful hearer who is like a man who looks into the mirror, goes off, and then forgets what he looks like, so too is the person who reviews their goals, sees the adjustments that need to be made in order to reach their goals, and never makes them. Reviewing your goals is very much like looking at yourself in the mirror, with the difference being the mirror reflecting what you will look like in the future. Making necessary adjustments from time to time will help ensure that the image you see becomes a reality.
Removing the junk from your life will help you be successful in accomplishing your goals. It will also allow you to hear more clearly from God concerning the direction He has for your life.
Happy New Year!