This is how that conversation went:
Oh, wouldn’t it be amazing to make $2,000 a month! Well, maybe we could make $3,000. That would be awesome! Hmm…should we even dare to dream it? Why don’t we go for it? Let’s write down $5,000 a month!!!!
It was mind boggling, but that’s what they wrote down. Fast forward a few months. Her husband is offered a job. They ask him how much he wants to make. He immediately remembers this seminar experience, so of course he says $5,000 a month. Guess what? They gave it to him. That’s not the end of the story though. Achieving goals is not usually so cut and dry like that. Something fell thru, he never got paid by this boss and the job fell apart, BUT it opened a new door in his career, which over time, did create and surpass this income.
Next, this friend taught me how to create a vision board, a poster board with pictures of things she desired (a baby boy, a minivan, a computer among other things). They moved house, the poster got packed away somewhere and she forgot all about it. Sometime later she found it. She had another baby by this time; It was a boy. She had the exact minivan on her poster. She did not have the same computer from her vision board, but would you believe she had the exact desk that the computer was sitting on!
I didn’t understand any spiritual principles behind setting goals, but she convinced me to give it a try.
I’ve had my own similar experiences, in big ways, like getting out of debt, and little ways, like writing a book outline. I believe this blog only exists because of the goal I made in 2008 to write a book for my children. “Embracing My Mission” is a goal that started small; to leave my story for our children. I have no idea what God has in store for it. I never intended to bear my soul to the world wide web, but here I am!
How to set a goal:
First, you must, must, must…WRITE it down. I’m sure you’ve heard that before and for good reason. This doesn’t have to be complicated or fancy. In fact you may never do it if you think you have to do it perfectly. Get a piece of paper. Take 10 minutes, brainstorm, and write down every goal you can think of. Write everything that’s important to you and everything you want. I write spiritual goals, family goals, educational goals, parenting goals, homemaking goals… and anything that falls under dreams & hopes. Hang this goal list in a place you can see it often.
Second (this is optional), create a vision board. Get a poster and paste/tape/staple pictures that represent everything you want. For example, I have a picture of myself smiling to remind myself to smile often thru the day.
Are you done yet! If so you’ve done the most important part. You’ve set your feet on the beginning of the path that will take you where you want to go. I’ve heard it said, “Those who aim for nothing, hit it with amazing accuracy!” God has bigger plans for you! Aim for something!
I find that if I meet with my children regularly (monthly/bi-monthly) and go over our goals, they happen faster. Even goals we seem to have no control over. Like the time my daughter wanted to go to Japan (we’ve hosted 5 Japanese exchange students over the years). We didn’t have extra money laying around for airfare to foreign lands, but we trust God and the goal setting process. Guess what? We won an airline ticket from the exchange student organization. My daughter had her ticket purchased and was schedule to go less than a week before last year’s earthquake and tsunami devastated parts of Japan. No, she didn’t go. I’ve learned that goals don’t always exactly happen like we imagine they will, but they usually happen in some form or other.
This year I’m going to spend more time writing out each goal in more explicit detail to get a better vision of what I really want. Sometimes I put something on my goal or vision board and when I get it or almost get it, I discover I didn’t really want it. Like the time I had a cruise posted on my vision board. Some friends, out of the blue with no knowledge of my goal, offered my husband and I a half priced cruise they were not going to use. We turned it down. I realized I didn’t really want to go on a cruise. I took it off my vision board.
“Where there is no vision, the people perish…” (Proverbs 29:18) I likewise believe that if I set no vision or goals before me, than the abundant life I could have had, will perish before me. What are you waiting for? Set goals and go for it!
This is a 6 part series:
Part 5 Daily Spiritual Checkpoints
Part 6 Prayer