Taking Your Business to a Higher Level: Is Goal Setting a Thing of the Past?By
Is Goal Setting a Thing of the Past? Absolutely! In this article, I want to help you understand some fundamental truths and perhaps change your way of thinking ever so slightly so you can walk in Kingdom foundations and NOT in the realm of the secular world.
We all know the world takes the truth and alters it slightly. This is also true when it comes to setting goals. The “gurus” of the world have taught us to focus on our egos and set our vision on what WE want in life. What happens is it becomes a selfish ambition. It also makes us focus on doing things we believe we can accomplish using solely our own strength—but more on that later.
I want to go on record and say, “This type of goal setting is NOT an OPTION for Christ-centered business owners.”
In the past, I too have fallen into the hard rah-rah, go get ’em, push yourself way of goal setting. The DANGER was that I set goals for only the things that this world could give me. I asked for a house and business sales—but they were shallow and not at all a complete part of my destiny.
Now, before too many people raise objections, let me say that it’s okay to have and want these things. It’s fine to have a nice house and want great things for yourself and your family. But it’s a question of what your motive is and where your heart is.
For example, when we got our house, we needed it for our family (my niece moved in with us so we needed more room for an extra family member), but we also needed a place for me to learn and grow my business for God. It was to be used for a higher, better purpose than just a place for us to live.
We realized we were not in a position to get this house on our own, but only through God’s grace. It is, was, and always will be HIS house—and we have the privilege of living there and stewarding it. And He has never let us down. He has always provided for mortgage payments, house insurance, upgrades and updates.
Before, when I set myself the goal of getting a house, it was to have one for me—FANCY, BIG, and WOW. It was to impress the people in my life—my mentors, my family, my friends, and my clients. OH, that is SO stressful! When I realized we needed to move forward to further our relationship with God, He did give us a FANCY, BIG, WOW house—to US at least— that suited us even more than I could have imagined.
I hope that you will be open to my concept of goal-setting. I pray also, that your heart will be open to hear God’s Word on the matter. I want you to achieve beyond your wildest dreams. If you sit in a selfish place though—somehow, someway your life will suffer. Just ask me how I know!
Setting goals based on your own ability could result in high stress and sickness. However, there is an even worse fate than that. There’s a possibility that you will forget that it is GOD who gives you the platform, your gifts, and your abilities. Forgetting God will create a “pride issue” that will leave you miserable. No amount of money or possessions can make you feel whole when you have a “hole” in your relationship with God.
“The questions you must ask yourself before you begin are these: What is my WHY behind setting my goal? Whom does my goal serve?” Kathleen D. Mailer
Let’s start by re-framing some of our thinking. Let’s fine-tune it. Let’s prepare to have a life that we have never experienced before.
Remember, goals are simply—
G - God
O - Ordained
A - Actions
L - Leading you to the
S - Supernatural
HERE ARE A COUPLE OF BASIC TRUTHS ABOUT GOAL SETTING:
Change the words goal setting to the word planning.
The term goal setting is passe. The teachers of “the old business world view” have taught in the last decade a way of setting goals that reaches our intellect and our ego. That is exactly what makes it appeal to the masses. We can all relate to the “stuff” mentality. They motivate us by telling us we need to fill our lives with these things so that we can feel better.
However, instead of inspiring and motivating, this ego-centered goal setting has actually backfired and made many feel more insecure and overwhelmed.
Trying to accomplish your goals—which means, in fact, accomplishing God’s plan for your life—by relying solely on your our own abilities is NOT an OPTION.
If you don’t set your goals high enough, you will take years to complete what could (with God’s help) only take a short time. If you set them too high, you create a pressure cooker of stress and frustration, only to be devastated if you don’t achieve your goals. This happens even if you have achieved most of your goal. It’s no way to live your life.
Now, if you are a Christian Kingdom Mentor helping people create goals, don’t misunderstand me. If you read on, you will see what I’m saying. I am trying to take out the “yuck factor” in setting a goal and simply exchanging it with the word PLAN.
P - Prepare
L - Loving
A - Actions
N - Now
If we P.L.A.N., so much can be achieved!
Goal setting for your life is definitely a thing of the past! YOUR PERFECT PAST!
As a matter of fact, it happened before you were even formed in your mother’s womb!
Jeremiah 29:11 says:
For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome.
God made plans to prosper you, not to harm you! If we create our goals/plans in alignment with our God-given plans, our destiny will unfold and we will walk in supernatural strength and abilities.
God’s grace is not only for our salvation (which I am truly grateful for), but also for the EMPOWERMENT to fulfill every plan God sets before us.
Psalm 139:16 tells us that even before we were born, God had planned our days. Isn’t that amazing? God has GOALS/PLANS for our lives. The sooner we find what His plans are for our lives, the sooner we can start living exceedingly and abundantly well.
So what is a Christian business person to do?
Take some time to meditate on your business/ministry. Go through the following checklist and see if your business aligns with God’s purpose.
Here are some points to ponder:
1 Corinthians 14:1—
“Let love be your highest goal.”
Is your business built from a place of love? Are you doing what you are doing because you care about your clients, your family, your friends, and most of all, God’s passion?
If it is ONLY about making money to take care of the “things” in your life, then we have an issue. Your business MUST be first and foremost a structure of loving people and showing them who you are in Christ!
Warning: If your aim is to enjoy this world, then you can’t be a friend of God. James 4:4
2 Corinthians 5:9—
“So our aim is to please him always.”
Would God Himself be proud of what you are doing? Is it according to His character? Is it reaching the ultimate goal?
“For even I, the Son of Man, came here not to be served but to serve others, and to give my life as a ransom for many.”
If you keep your goals focused on what Jesus’ mission was, and use Him to mentor you in your P.L.A.N., you will see your G.O.A.L.S. fulfilled beyond your wildest dreams. You just won’t believe the doors that will open to you.
“God promises us that if we take delight in the Lord, He will give us the things that our hearts desire.” (Adapted from Psalm 37:4)
4. Matthew 28:19,20—
“Therefore, go out and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
This passage is important in that everything you P.L.A.N. should ultimately further this one, Biblical truth. Ask yourself, “Do my goals have this ultimate purpose?”
I can hear some of you asking, “Kathleen, my dream isn’t directly related to making disciples; what it does is help them with their health. Does that mean I am not to pursue this goal?”
NO! It has everything to do with this goal. Get your WHY straight! WHY do you want to make people healthy? So that they can see that GOD is the ultimate healer.
I am feeling so led here to make a pit stop and write a little more about healing and health and God’s plan for your life.
God can heal in so many ways. Some of His miraculous healings, I have had the privilege of witnessing. I remember a time when I prayed for a woman in a business meeting that the hole in her heart be mended. She went to her doctor, and I received a praise report that God had done just that. She was perfectly healthy and fine.
At another business meeting, I met a man who was using a cane. He spoke Spanish, but through a translator we heard a brief story of the problem he was having with his back. I prayed for him and a few weeks later, I received an email from the translator with this gentleman’s full story.
Apparently, he had been out of work for a long time, and his family was suffering. After God had healed the man that day, he started walking without the cane. Not only that, but God gave him a job the very next morning. At last report EVERYTHING was fantastic on the home front. He is telling the world what God has done for him (it made a disciple out of him, spreading the good news, right?).
Yes, God can heal you through doctors and with herbs, plants, trees, prayers, etc. But let’s get this right—the ONLY one who can ultimately heal you is God himself.
NOT the doctors or the herbs or the prayers of the saints. It is what God is doing THROUGH them that counts.
So please, think carefully and prayerfully about your goals, dreams, and your business.
- Is it the ministry that God called you to do?
- Does it further His Kingdom?
- Does it require the knowledge and the education that God has ordained for your life?
- Does it require you to live in accordance with the laws of God?
If the answer is YES, then YES—it most likely is the will of God.
Now, let’s get back to the P.L.A.N.
Here are some preliminary steps I would recommend to get you started on creating the plan that you need in order to realize your God-given dreams.
1. Start with the end in mind.
Take time to sit, pray, and read His Word. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you what you should be focusing on over the next year.
“Open my eyes to see the wonderful truths in your law.” Psalm 119:18
All truth and vision start with God’s Word.
2. Write down all that comes to you.
Let your imagination soar with Him. He gave you your imagination. It’s the way in which He talks to you. It is how He can give you visions and clarity. It is a waking dream. God shows us what it is He would like for us to accomplish.
He may also give you a dream as He did with Joseph; this will sustain you through the times when reaching your goals seems far away. (By the way, this is a natural step in the process of seeing those P.L.A.N.s come to fruition.)
Why do I say to write it down? Writing your hopes and dreams down helps define who you are and reveals the bigness of God’s dream for your life. He didn’t design you to live a “normal” life. The Bible tells us He designed you to live an extraordinary life.
I would never have dreamt in a million years that I would be an international speaker. (I thought it would be nice, but I didn’t know I would actually be doing it!) NOR, in my wildest dreams, did I see myself as the Editor-in- Chief of an international magazine. I certainly did NOT come to the conclusion by myself that I would be the “voice that eradicates poverty in the nations”, OR that I would already be doing it. Now, you know that is God! Am I right?
“My thoughts are completely different from yours,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8,9
God’s thoughts are what you want to tap into. Why?
“Now glory be to God! By his mighty power at work within us, he is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope.” Ephesians 3:20
So, writing everything down will give you the vision to see who you truly are through someone else’s eyes. There will be no fluff or lies of the enemy attached. All that will be on the paper is the truth of the story of your life.
3. Start creating your P.L.A.N., once you see what God wants you to accomplish this next year.
CREATING THE PLAN:
A) Write a Letter.
1. Write a letter to God, thanking Him for all that has been accomplished.
2. Date the letter for a time in the future. Pretend it is a year or 18 months from now.
3. Write down your plans in the letter. In order to accomplish your plan, do you see any “steps” or “chunks” that need to be taken? For example, “Building a Self-Sustaining Community in Africa”—What has to be done first? Perhaps a mission trip? Perhaps a team? Perhaps you have to look into what a self-sustaining community looks like.
4. Put the steps down in point form in the order in which you need to take them. Thank Him for every action completed. Praise Him for the miracles and the ease with which it has come together. Thank Him for things like the character adjustments or deliverance from things that are keeping you in bondage right now that must be overcome so that you can continue to become the person He has called you to be.
5. Finally, in your praise, thank Him for his faithfulness, for His righteousness, for His grace, and for His provision.
6. Pour your heart into this letter and quote Scripture He has given you— His WORD for your life that you are hanging onto—to bring it into your daily living.
7. Sign it in love and surrender, your name and the date you set. For example, I may end my letter this way: I surrender my life to You, Lord Jesus, because You are my everything; you gave Your everything for me. Love and always, Kathleen.
B) Break Your Plans down into Quarter-year Segments.
I find if you chunk things down into quarters (every three months), you have a long enough time to get something accomplished, but also a short enough time in which to review and revise some of your plans. You can always review things as you go. When we walk in God’s will and ask Him to help us, we find that our goals are accomplished so much sooner than we anticipated. OR, we find that our way is not His way, and we have to revamp the path.
Once you’ve broken your plan down into quarters, you can focus on a monthly plan. What does that look like? Try the following in order to maintain a balance.
C) Monthly—7 Main Goals
1. Church—Constant learning and serving, submitting to your leadership, building unity, edifying the body, loving those who are disconnected so they may become connected. Make a plan of action each month to see this happens.
2. Personal—Growing and learning, becoming a MASTER at what God has called you to do.
3. Family and Spouse—Always making time to build these relationships. They are top priority—date nights, family nights, church moments, and meals together. Oh, so much!
4. Business—Projects that are broken up each month to work toward your main quarterly goal.
5. Health—Keeping in mind that a healthy body creates an excellent lifestyle and can help you fulfill God’s purpose.
6. Legacy—Things that you need to put into action for future generations. I like to think of David when he wanted to build the Temple for the Lord. The Lord loved him so much that He did not deny David’s heart, but He did alter the “plan” that David had. The Lord said, “It won’t be for you, but I will allow your descendant the honor of building it.” Do you know how David responded?
“David said, “My son Solomon is still young and inexperienced, and the Temple of the Lord must be a magnificent structure, famous and glorious throughout the world. So I will begin making preparations for it now.” So David collected vast amounts of building materials before his death.” 1 Chronicles 22:5
We must always prepare for the future legacy of the King. You can meditate on how that applies to you.
7. Order—Bringing order to a CHAOTIC world. This could include some of the mess we have around our home, car, or office. It could mean implementing a new structure in our environment. It could even mean a nasty habit that we need to address and bring to God to help us conquer. Yes, someone said, “Cleanliness is next to Godliness.” There sure is something to be said for that. I still work diligently to rid myself of bad habits by addressing them, as goals, every month.
D) HELP ME!
The final step in this process is one that most people don’t think to add to their plan of action. That is to ask the question, “Who will help me?” Of course, it goes without saying, God is the first and foremost Helper. He has sent the Holy Spirit to be your “helper”, your “teacher”, and your “guide”. Once you ask Him for help, get Him to bring to mind the people that can help you with each goal to move it forward. Make a list of the names, their contact information, and a detailed note as to what you will ask them to do. The first action steps will be to follow up with each person and start to ASK, ASK, ASK…
You will be able to see your goals being accomplished faster, more easily, and with less stress.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kathleen Mailer is the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Today’s Business Woman magazine, leading an army of women in business. She is a wife, mother, CEO, Itinerant Pastor, Author, Philanthropist, Business Coach and “Canada’s Leading Authority on Self-Publishing.” For more information, visit Kathleen’s site at http://www.kathleenmailer.com.