It is a regular practice within organizations to establish goals and objectives for the business, each department and the associates each year. This helps everyone to be clear and to understand their contribution to the overall success of the organization. As individuals we should have goals and objectives to reach milestones which benefit us personally. This may include returning to college, getting promoted, starting a family, purchasing a home or retiring. We must seek the Father for direction on all of our goals.
The holiday season is the time of year when I usually look ahead to the upcoming year and I plan my goals. By this time my manager has presented me with the company’s plan and expectations for the new year and I have the previous 11 months’ productivity and accomplishments to reflect upon. All of the data, expectations, goals, desires and details are then placed into my mental prayer basket and I set it before the Lord. I also place in that basket my shortcomings for the year. I allow the basket to sit there for a while as I begin the process of seeking God.
Proverbs 16:9 (NIV) In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.
First I acknowledge His presence in my professional life. I reflect on his role in my successes and challenges throughout the year. I thank him for the blessings as well as the errors and correction I received. During this process of prayer, I repent, confess and I address anything which I have avoided dealing with.
There is something special which happens during this time of consecration which helps me to prioritize. I sometimes find that issues which I may have initially been concerned about are no longer as critical. The goals seem to arrange themselves. This is the result of praying in the will of God (1 John 5:14). God will not withhold good things from us (Psalm 84:11). As I pray, the Holy Spirit helps me to establish a course of action. I write my plan down. In my prayer and preparation for work each day after that, I thank God for the plan he has given to me. I place reminders throughout my workspace and on my phone to encourage myself and to stay on task.
When God is involved in our goal setting, the plans will be concrete and certain. We may come up with ideas, formulas and systems to realize our accomplishments, but as Christians, they are merely concepts until the Father approves and gives us His grace and favor.
As you consider your professional accomplishments for 2016 and prepare for 2017 I invite you to use the following steps:
- Fill your prayer basket with your goals, hopes, struggles and failures and set it before God
- Seek God in prayer: Repent, Praise Him, Thank Him
- Ask in His will: Ask him for the specific steps to accomplish your goals for 2017
- Write down the goals and plans as God inspires you
- Create reminders of the plan such as alerts on your phone, your screensaver, place notes to yourself in your locker or workspace