July 2 was the middle point of the year. On that date, there were 182 days before and 182 after that date. As of today, there are 152 days left in the year. How have the first 213 days of the year gone for you?
This midpoint of the year can be an opportunity to access important life categories including: Physical, Spiritual, Social/Relational, Recreational/Fun/Relaxation, Mental/Intellectual, Financial, Environmental, and Career/Life Calling. On a scale of 1 to 10—with 1 being low and 10 being high—where would you rate your level of satisfaction?
Perhaps you had set New Year’s resolutions that you have never taken action on. Perhaps you have taken some action steps but have not experienced the success you desire. Perhaps you can’t even remember what your New Year’s resolutions are! Mid-year can be a great time to access the categories of your life and reclaim your resolutions and dreams.
Everyone has dreams and aspirations that God has given them. For some, these dreams seem hazy and undefined, while for others they are laser-focused and highly specific. But no matter what your dreams may be, it is important to remember that you will not achieve them by accident. God calls you to be intentional about setting and working towards your dreams and goals. Otherwise, life will simply happen to you, and you will end up stuck in a rut, going through the motions day after day. If you want to join the small percentage of people who live intentionally and make their God-given dreams a reality, here are three steps you can take:
First, write down your goals. This may seem like a simple task, but it is crucial to the success of your goal-setting journey. When you take the time to sit down and physically write out your goals, you are more likely to commit to them and see them through to completion. Just as importantly, writing out your goals helps you to clarify them in your mind. It is hard to achieve something if you are not entirely sure what it is that you want.
Tim Hansel points out, "When you write down your goals, you are putting your dreams on paper." In doing so, you are taking the first step towards making them a reality. By taking the time to develop a goals program, you are investing in your future and partnering with God to accomplish His will for your life. The effort you put into developing your goals program will be repaid many times over as you see God work in and through you to accomplish His purposes.
For two or three of your lower scoring categories, we encourage you to set goals to increase your level of satisfaction. For example, it is likely you signed up for our newsletter because your level of satisfaction in the Career/Life Calling category is low, or even if it is higher, you feel that God is calling you to a new job/career. Living your vocational calling requires focusing your goals on what you want to do with the hours, days, and years of your life.
Second, develop a plan of action. Once you have written out your goals, it is time to start planning how you are going to achieve them. This step can seem daunting but remember that there is no such thing as a perfect plan – the important thing is simply to get started. Break your goals down into smaller steps that you can complete regularly, and then commit to taking action every day. Even if you only make small progress each day, over time those small steps will add up to big results. This article will provide you with some examples of how to write out priority goals and action steps.
Third, stay motivated and accountable. Goal-setting is not a one-time event – it is a lifelong journey. That means that there will be days (or even weeks or months) when you feel like giving up on your goals altogether. On those days, it is important to have a system in place that will help you stay motivated and on track. This might mean enlisting the help of a friend or family member who can hold you accountable or posting regular reminders of your goals in places where you will see them every day. Whatever form it takes, staying motivated is essential if you want to achieve your long-term objectives.
Finally, and most importantly, as Saint Augustine said, we need to pray as though everything depends on God and work as though everything depends on us. It is that joint partnership with God that will give you the traction to achieve the goals and dreams that God has given you to steward.
If you are struggling with what your career goal should be, God may be calling you to take a “time out” in life and to do career planning so that you can be a wise steward of your gifts. One of the major reasons for the Great Resignation during Covid is that many people are realizing that they don’t enjoy their work and are giving too much of their lives to unfulfilling work. If this is you, your priority goal may be to explore how career testing and career counseling can help you to find the work God is calling you to do. You can learn more about how to take the needed steps by reading Career Master Planning: How to Find Work You Love to Do. You can also schedule a free career services consultation if you would like career counseling help.
By following these steps, you can develop an intentional approach to life that will help you achieve the dreams God has prompted you to fulfill. So, what are you waiting for? Get started today!