At this time of year many people reflect, refine and reset their goals. God is keenly interested. He desires to be at the center of our hopes, dreams, goals and plans.

Setting goals is essential to happiness and successful living.

The Bible has a ton of insight on goal setting. This post examines 3 biblical principles to consider as you go about making this year the best one possible. 

 1. Expect the best.

God cares and has a positive outcome in mind.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jer 29:11

The context of this promise? Israel was a conquered people, living in exile, and all hope seemed lost. Essentially God said – “bloom where you are planted.”

No matter what circumstance the beginning of this year finds you, know that God has your best interest in His heart.

 2. Get a vision from God.

Align your plans and dreams with God’s.

 Where there is no prophetic vision, the people perish, but happy is he that keeps the law. Proverbs 29:18

The only way life works is when our vision is shaped by God’s vision. This is a prophetic gift of the Holy Spirit, and it applies for both the short term and long term.

Maybe you started this year full of eager, hopeful expectation. Or maybe it’s been launched in disappointment and burn-out. You may ask “where are you God, and what do You want?” The psalmist certainly did many times.

The answer, understanding,  is found in the Word of God and the Spirit of God. It begins by engaging the word of God. It is living and active and full of wisdom and direction. Then we find revelation in the presence of God, which is His Holy spirit.

How? “Be still and know.” Listen to that still small voice.

 3. Write it down.

And the Lord answered me and said, Write the vision and engrave it so plainly upon tablets that everyone who passes may be able to read it easily and quickly as he hastens by. Habakkuk 2:2

Aim at nothing and you’re sure to hit it every time.

I’ve been a goal setter for most of my life. So many were obtained by simply by writing them down.

Written goals are a catalyst for good things to happen. It’s simple:

  1. Write it down as clearly and specifically as possible.
  2. Break down the steps.
  3. Make a plan.
  4. Take action.

Boom, down the road you can look back at the things you accomplished that you never imagined possible.

I hope this post was helpful to you as we finish looking back on the highlights and lessons of 2011, and set our sights ahead to 2012. This post continues the “Practical Advice”  theme. Check out other articles in this series.

 Question: What are some of your goals for this year?

I’ll go first, see you in the comments.