4 Key Elements of Faith-Based Goal Planning + My Winter Goals

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God has been revealing big things when it comes to the ways I strive for goals, even God-given goals. I see most people falling into two camps when it comes to goal planning. Plan all the things or plan none of the things (that is after you tried failed a few times). Or if you’re like me you bounce back and forth between the two. If you’d like to read more about my planning journey up until now, check out my post, How I Got Faith-Based Goal Planning Wrong.

This desire in my heart to plan and the ways I get it wrong leaves me with the desire to know what God has to say about goal planning. It’s been a journey I’ve been on for a while now and has led me to these three key elements in hopes to achieve balance when it comes to goals. Because I want to dream big with God and then get quite and small to walk out each step with humility and faithfulness. While I’ve got a long ways to go before I do this well, God is calling me to look to him. And only once I’ve got my eyes on him, then I’m ready to step out in faith for what I have for today. To no longer seek my motivation from 30-day checklists or completed to-do lists but motivation from asking the question, “what does it look like to worship and be obedient to God in this place?” 

I thought it would be great to share these 4 Key Elements of Faith Based Goal Planning when the whole world is yelling at you to make resolutions, to dream big dreams, and do big things.

As you step out in faith with your new year and your God given goals, keep these three things in mind:

1) delight yourself in the lord

God designed us as planners. Our brains do it automatically.

Think of a problem, imagine the solution our outcome, and your brain automatically comes up with what needs to be done and how to do it.

In addition, it’s scientifically proven, what you have going on in your mind has power to influence and direct your life. There are countless verses that drive this point home as well.

Whether you like it or not, we all have desires (while some of us live asleep to them) which means we are putting plans in to place to accomplish them.

Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you your heart's desires. Psalm 37:4 CSB

See, God has designed us to look to him, to DELIGHT in him, and from there he will give us the desires of our heart. In order to act on those desires, planning needs to take place. Whether you write it down on paper. Think of yourself as the best planner ever. Or have disqualified yourself all together. This is where we all need to start when it comes to planning our life.

It’s about finding the operating system for your life and much like your iPhone (or Android if that’s your jam) you’ve got to update as time goes on. It’s about finding where you’re at and figuring out the best next step in the way God is calling you to go. This doesn’t need to look like a Cultivate What Matters Planner and it can also look like a Cultivate What Matters Planner if that’s what you enjoy if you also consider these following two points. 

2) Find the system that works for you.

Because we are all planners, it’s easy to look to others like they have the solution because we feel so deficient in this area. The problem is we are all created to be unique. While looking to others for ideas, thinking what someone else does for goal planning or life should work for us in the same way, we’ll be setting ourself up for failure.

It’s about finding the operating system for your life and much like your iPhone (or Android if that’s your jam). And as you know with your phone, you’ve got to update and improve the system as time goes on. It’s about finding what you’re currently doing, and what is realistic for you to try next. Sometimes you may need a full overhaul, and sometimes you just need a slight tweet to make it work perfectly for you. This means it doesn’t need to look like a Cultivate What Matters Planner or it can also look exactly like a Cultivate What Matters Planner. The decision is up to you.

Just avoid the pressure that if you don’t do goal planning in a specific way that you’re doing it wrong.

You may have disqualified yourself from engaging in goal planning based on past failure or based the fact you know you have zero what to do or the belief you don’t even have worthwhile goals to begin with. Whether you like it or not, we all have desires (while some of us live asleep to them) which means we are putting plans in to place to accomplish them.

3) As A Christian your goals are already picked out for you.

You may have read that and found yourself rather disappointed. You may be very passionate about making your desires happen so you want to plan up the perfect plan to accomplish our goals.

However, I see these two verses in God’s word:

Your eyes saw my unformed body; all my days were written in Your book and ordained for me before one of them came to be. Psalm 139:16

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time for us to do. Ephesians 2:10 CSB

Reading these cause me see that my purpose and works were already created and prepared for me ahead of time. I plan to deep dive into this over the next year, but this is one way I see faith-based goal planning very different than what is encouraged in both the faith and non-faith communities. 

If you've done your goal planning for the year, I’m not saying you're wrong. Instead, I’m inviting you, like God has invited me, to bring those plans and desires to him and have him open your eyes to what He’s calling you into. There is great joy to be had in partnering with God and getting creative on the methods you take when working towards your God given desires.

He wants to meet you in this place and go deep with you! There is much to be excited about!

4) Goal planning is simply little steps of obedience.

If you planned zero goals and just took the next most obedient step of faith, you’d accomplish more than anyone who set out for all the best goals on the new year.

The thing with big goals is they can be of great encouragement to take big leaps of faith, however, we can at the same time create a measuring stick for God’s faithfulness when we end up failing with that leap.

And because we are human and faithfulness in our obedience isn’t a strong suit we need to be reminded of the call on our life often. So there is great benefit to intention and goal setting when it allows us to live a more faithful life.

I hope these four key aspects to faith-based goal planning encourages you!

In light of this, I want to share my goals for the next two months. I’m changing things up and giving seasonal planning so I’ve actually already started my “year” in December. This means, I’ve got two months left to continue focusing on the following goals.

These are listed in no particular order only by the categories they fall under:

faith:

Home:

  • Work on resetting the kitchen each night. Clean counters and a clean sink!

  • Find a solution for our closet. I sold our dressers with no solution of what to do with our clothes. They are now all over the place and I’d like to have a custom closet built. I could also benefit from decluttering clothes once again and possibly consider creating a capsule wardrobe. (If you have any good ideas I’d love to hear them!)

  • Give the Get Organized in 5 program a try. This is a program Money Saving Mom recommended. I felt like it was a great deal for $9 as you get 365 five-minute organizing challenges.  She has some great tips, and I may try to do them all on one day, compared to five minutes a day, so we’ll see. I’m excited to give it a try!

Personal:

  • Figure out my evening and morning routine/ritual. My schedule is so inconsistent each week. Not being able to stick with a morning routine drives me a little crazy. I need to figure out what grace and obedience looks like in this season when I find myself going to be late with my husband when he’s off work, or staying up way too late after he’s gone to work for the night. Also, I can battle some pretty bad anxiety on nights he’s working so end up struggling to sleep making it painful to get up early. I see a lot of what God is calling me into tied into my faithfulness to my morning routine so I’d like to dig deep into what faithfulness would look like in this area.

  • Use my planning system. Weekly recaps, monthly intention setting/scheduling, using the Getting Things Done Method and Trello. I’ve gained some great traction with my current system and want to achieve consistency with it!

Physical/Health:

  • Study Blood Sugar. I’m going to try and tackle one health focus each month. Last month was water which went amazingly well! As someone who could barely get down 12 -16 oz of water a day, and some days it was even zero ounces of water! Now even my worst days are at least 16 oz and have been able to drink up to 80 oz of water a day! This is a first for me! My next focus is figuring out what it looks like to have balanced blood sugar and would like to also carry my water habits with me!

  • Give the Little Way Challenge with Revelation Wellness a try! I’m a HUGE Revelation Wellness fan and love everything they create. While I question my capacity to complete the challenge completely, I did sign up to give it an attempt! Sign-ups are open until January 7th for a donation of any amount!

  • Go with my husband to the gym twice a week. I don’t like to work out. It’s not something I prioritize. I’d much rather sit down and write or get something that I see as more important done. However, I do need to prioritize going with my husband is an excellent way for us to connect.

Financial:

  • Prepare/organize our finances on EveryDollar so my husband can take over for 2019! As a finance major, I’ve always controlled our finances, and I’ve done it with great joy. This past year, I had so much going on, it became such a burden that I wasn’t doing it well. Coupled with no accountability to my Amazon and educational purchases, having my husband be on-board with taking it over is going to be such an abundant blessing for this new year!

  • Be disciplined with my extra spending! Like mentioned above, having my husband track our spending will help with my accountability!

Professional:

  • For my blog, I’d like to post a minimum of three posts on Instagram and one blog post a week! I also have set a big goal of launching at least one YouTube video this winter!

  • Pay 2018 sales tax for my Photography business. Not looking forward to this one but need to get it off the plate. For some reason, me and taxes create a ton of procrastination. However, this will be my third year doing it, so I’m hoping it will be better this year!

  • For my photography business, I would like to plan and execute a Boudoir Day for ladies to give their spouses as gifts for Valentine’s Day. I had a trial run last month with five different sessions which went amazingly well and so need to post this event and get it sold for the 19th of January.

Travel/Recreation:

  • Go Hiking. My husband is planning to plan this for us. It’s something we did a few times last January and enjoyed it so would like to be intentional with this for 2019!

  • Sew a cover for my bible! I’ve been wanting to do this for SO long! Possibly over a year now. With my schedule slowing down, this is high on the list! And I love working with fabric and my sewing machine so it should be a fun project!!

So there you have it! My current goals/intentions for Winter. If you have set monthly or seasonal goals, I’d love for you to share them here below! If you have a blog where they are located, feel free to share the link to your site! :)