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Setting goals has almost always been a painful experience for me. I am so wired for achievement that I tend to make plans that wear me out before I’m even close them. As I have sat talking this through with God He has shown me what His heart is for setting goals and making plans.

The key is found in His invitation to do this process with us. In Proverbs 3:5-6 (Msg), He says

Trust GOD from the bottom of your heart;

don’t try to figure out everything on your own.

Listen for GOD’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;

he’s the one who will keep you on track.

This is what He has shown me as I’ve accepted His invitation

Review the Past

1. Celebrate!
There is something beautiful about walking down Memory Lane with God. There are so many highlights that we forget about in the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives.

Take time to look through your diary and remember times of growth, healing and progress and how He went through them all with you.

2. Forgive
Forgiveness is tremendously healing. As you remember the past year, recognize where you need to forgive others, and yourself, and do so. Ask God to see the situations from His perspective and how He feels about them. You
will see a far more grace-filled picture that will enable you to truly forgive, and move forward well.

3. Give thanks
Thanksgiving is such a wonderful gift. Thank God for the things you got to celebrate and thank Him for the lessons learned along the way. When you see the year through His eyes and can track His faithfulness, your heart will be full of thankfulness that you get to go through life with Him.

Look to the Future

1. Invitation

In Revelation 4:1 (NIV) God invites us to:

After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.

And in Jeremiah 3:33 (NIV)

Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.

God wants us to come and ask Him about what the New Year looks like. He knows what is coming and is inviting us to sit with Him and ask Him for insights into how we can partner with Him to bless the Earth. Imagine the inventions and the solutions and the wisdom that He is making available!

2. Doing this WITH Him
Oftentimes, our goals consist of the things we want to see happen and so we sit and make our plans according to what we know. It never even crossed my mind that this might be something He’d enjoy doing with me and I’ve since discovered that it delights Him to plan with us.

3. Ask for His heart’s desire

One of the most fascinating concepts I have learned is asking God what He thinks about things. My prayers used to consist of the laundry list of people I was praying for and things I wanted Him to fix. Now I ask Him questions like,

“God, what do You want to see happen in and through me in this New Year?”

“What is on your heart for the piece of the planet that I get to touch?”

It’s fascinating to ask Him these questions and hear His thoughts on what the coming year gets to be full of.

4. Tell Him your heart’s desire

When we tell God what we’d like to see happen, there’s a key mindset shift to embrace as we do.

As we have realized that He is inviting us to dream with Him and we’ve heard His heart’s desire, we get to come and share what we’re thinking from the grateful heart posture.

When you share with Him what’s on your heart and you do it from a place where you’re grateful for the opportunity to share, then He loves to partner with you.

5. It’s not up to only you

This is a big area in which we commonly live under more pressure than we need to. In countless places in the Bible, God reassures us that we are not walking out this Christian journey alone. This has truly been one of the greatest gifts He has given to me. I was so focused on achieving that I would drive myself to exhaustion in trying to
‘do good works’. One day He reminded me that

[Not in your own strength] for it is God Who is all the while  [a] effectually at work in you [energizing and creating in you the power and desire], both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and  [b] delight. Phi 2:13 (Amp)

I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who  [a] infuses inner strength into me; I am  [b] self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency]. Phi 4:13 (Amp)

Phew…!

So, as you take the time to process through this year and look forward to the coming one, the natural result will be what Jesus encourages us with in Matthew 5:16 (NASB)

Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

Goal setting? Bring it on!

Comment below and share with us how you set goals with God and what the journey
looks like?

Lisa van den Berg hails from South Africa, via the UK, and has dedicated her over two-decade career to helping people achieve success. She has honed her skills in a variety of roles including systems implementation and management, coaching and mentoring, and customer care. She has worked for a wide range of firms from national IT consultancies to local not for profits, and across both business and church sectors.

Lisa is the Director of ‘Heaven in Business Online’ where she spends her time creating and sourcing transformative teaching and case studies on partnering with God at work, for the online Community. Lisa, and her husband Frans, live in Redding, CA