Posts Tagged Prayer

10 Steps to Setting Life Goals

10 Steps to Setting Life Goals

These steps are described in further detail in my book, The Circle Maker. (Mark Batterson) I also list my 115 life goals. But here is a list of ten steps. You’ll notice that goal setting starts and ends the same way: prayer.

1. Start with Prayer

If you set goals in the context of prayer, there is a much higher likelihood that your goals will glorify God, and if they don’t glorify God, then they aren’t worth setting in the first place. So start with prayer.

2. Check your Motives

If you set selfish goals, you’d be better off spiritually if you didn’t accomplish them. That’s why you need to check your motives.

3. Think in Categories

My goals are broken in five categories: 1) family 2) influential 3) experiential 4) physical, and 5) travel. The obvious omission is a category for spiritual goals, but that is by intention. All of my goals have a spiritual dimension to them.

4. Be Specific

If a goal isn’t measurable, you have no way of knowing whether or not you’ve accomplished it. Losing weight isn’t a goal if you don’t have a target weight within a target timeline.

5. Write It Down

I have a saying that I repeat to our family and our staff all the time: the shortest pencil is longer than the longest memory. If you haven’t written down your goals, you haven’t really set them. There is something powerful that happens when you verbalize a goal, whether that is in a conversation or in a journal.

6. Include Others

I used to have lots of personal goals, but I have replaced most of them with shared goals. Nothing cements a relationship like a shared goal. Goals are relational glue. I’ve discovered that when you go after a goal with another person, it doubles your joy.

7. Celebrate Along the Way

When you accomplish a goal, celebrate it. Whenever I write a new book, for example, our family celebrates with a special meal on the day the book is released. And I get to choose the restaurant!

8. Dream Big

Your life goal list will include goals that are big and small. It will include goals that are short-term and long-term. But I have one piece of advice: make sure you have a few big, hairy, audacious goals (BHAGs) on the list.

9. Think Long

The sad truth is that most people spend more time planning their summer vacation than they do planning the rest of their life. Goal setting is good stewardship. Instead of letting things happen, goals help us make things happen. Instead of living out of memory, goals help us live out of imagination.

10. Pray Hard

Dreaming is a form of praying and praying is a form of dreaming. The more you dream, the more you’ll pray. And the more you pray, the more you’ll dream!

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Seeing the Lord

“The greatest privilege of prayer is that of coming into the actual presence of God to enjoy loving conversation and communion with Him. We are to pray frequently (1 Thessalonians 5:17) and openly (Revelation 3:20) and even ‘with confidence so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need’ (Hebrews 4:16). What an invitation! There is none other like it.” – Paul Cedar[i]

[i] Paul Cedar, A Life of Prayer

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Face to Face

I read this out of my Prayer Journal and lead to share it.i It is an excerpt from Pray!, Issue 36, p.44 by Linda Corbin.

John 11:32–33 (ESV)

32Now when Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet, saying to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

33When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled.

Face to Face

As Jesus came to the home of Mary and Martha, it was Martha who first ran to Him and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” (John 11:21) Jesus responded with the great theological truth: “I am the resurrection and the life.”

Next, Mary came out to meet Jesus and made the same statement, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” But Mary, the one who had sat at Jesus’ feet before, listening to Him, meditating, and contemplating, threw herself at her Lord’s feet as she said this. Jesus didn’t respond to her with a sermon. Instead, He wept with her. There was an intimacy between them that enabled Him to weep instead of preach.

Pray that you will be the intimate friend with whom Jesus weeps.

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