Being the beginning of a new year, most of us would have made at least a few resolutions – maybe to do a bible reading plan, or to loose weight and stay healthy, or learn a new language, or the like. In most cases what happens is that, in a span of one or two months, many of these resolutions will be gone with the wind. At the end of the year when we turn back, we will see that we have not accomplished much. Most of it would have been easy to achieve. But why not accomplished? Maybe, we are not approaching them in the right way!
Let us find out an ideal way to approach a plan / goal so as to be fruitful. As always let us see what the treasure book has to say…
OPENING THE TREASURE BOOK
1. Take it to the Lord in prayer and ask for His help and guidance.
Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’Jeremiah 33:3
As we learned in Successful planning, our plans / goals should align with the plan of God to be fruitful. So keep the plans in prayer and ask for God’s counsel. God will reveal to us if they are in line with His plans or not. Ask for His help and guidance. He will guide our steps to move forward.
2. Make a step by step action plan
The plan that is conceived in your heart, should eventually be put into action.
For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it— lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish’?Luke 14:28-30
Here Jesus is asking a question to His disciples. It clearly indicates that for any goal that we pursue in life, we should have an action plan. Make a step by step action plan to have clarity on how to move forward. If not, you will feel lost not knowing which direction to move in.
Without counsel, plans go awry, But in the multitude of counselors they are established.Proverbs 15:22
Do a proper research on the subject if you are not well versed with it, get advise from experts, also get information from people who already succeeded in carrying out such tasks.
Once you have an action plan, work with definite timelines and deadlines. If there are no deadlines, there will be no accountability and the plan will go on and on…. indefinitely…. and you might end up accomplishing only a part or maybe nothing at all.
3. Be determined to move forward and not succumb to failures
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.Philippians 4:13
Determination is very important. The task you have taken up might not be easy. There might be days that you fail. But these failures should not stop you from reaching your goal. You should be determined to continue no matter what happens. Remember, failures are not full stops but just a coma. Moreover, as the proverb says “Failures are stepping stones to success”. Even the people around you might discourage you, mock you and hurt you because of all the failures concerning your goal. When discouragement and failure comes your way, doubt creeps in – “will I be able to accomplish?”. But remember, all things are possible with God and with God by our side, we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.
4. Stay on track and be focused
Let your eyes look straight ahead, And your eyelids look right before you.Proverbs 4:25
We all have seen different kinds of trains, trams, subways, etc. They have specific tracks assigned for them to move from one station to another. What if a train derails and gets off-track? It will be a chaos!!! The train wont be able to move forward until it is reinstated to its track. Similarly, if we do not stay on the path chosen for the goal, we will not move forward to accomplish the goal. There are different distractions that take our focus off the goal and blur our vision leading us to stray away from track. Beware of such distractions that ruin our plan forever. Let us look into an example of distraction.
Samson and Delilah ( Judges 16 )
Samson was a Nazirite to God from his mothers womb. Nazirites are Israelites who are consecrated to the service of God, under vows to abstain from all wine and anything else made from grapes. They grow their hair and not cut it, also they avoid defilement by contact with dead bodies (Nazirites – Numbers 6). God sent Samson to deliver Israelites out of the hand of Philistines. This was his purpose.
Samson was so strong and caused many causalities to the Philistines. They greatly feared him and was waiting for an opportunity to devour him. Samson loved a woman named Delilah. Knowing this, the lords of Philistines offered her riches to entice Samson in telling her the secret of his strength. She asked him about the secret of his strength and he gave an answer to her but did not tell her the truth. Whatever Samson told Delilah, she passed it on to the Philistine lords and they waited at her place to rip him off his strength and seize him. But since the actual secret of his strength was not revealed, they could not take hold of him. From this incident Samson did not learn that Delilah did not love him but is siding the Philistine lords. He again went to see her and she repeated the same question. This time also Samson did not tell her the true secret behind his strength. Again the Philistine lords tried to seize him and they couldn’t. This happened a third time and again they couldn’t take hold of him. But Delilah kept on trying and finally Samson gave in. He told her the actual secret and she revealed them to the Philistine lords. This time they ripped him off his strength, seized him and took him as a prisoner.
Here we see that, Samson did not recognize the distraction. After the first time, he should have known that his friendship with Delilah is a distraction that could trap him and move him away from God’s plan and purpose for his life. However, he did not recognize, instead went on with it. Finally he got caught and was brutally dealt with. Now Delilah on the other hand, kept on persisting. She failed many times, but the failure did not stop her from pursuing her plan. She did not stop but continued and achieved her goal. Even though Delilah’s intentions were evil, her persistence and determination to succeed is noticeable.
5. Periodical review and assessment
Ponder the path of your feet, And let all your ways be established.Proverbs 4:26
We should review our path periodically and learn from our previous mistakes and failures. Keep track of our developments and asses our progress – how far we have come?, how long we have to go?, are we following the action plan?, are we respecting the timeline?, etc. It will help us to decide on whether we should increase our pace, slow down or move as it is. It will also help us recognize the distractions that slowed us down.
How to ideally approach goals?
Take it to the Lord in prayer and ask for His help and guidance.
Make a step by step action plan.
Be determined to move forward and not succumb to failures.
Stay on track and be focused
Periodically review and assess progress
Approaching goals and plans in this way would definitely help us to reach our goal, be fruitful and successful.
May He grant you according to your heart’s desire, And fulfill all your purpose.Psalm 20:4
Father, thank you for revealing to us how to ideally approach a goal. Help us and direct us in all our goals so as to be fruitful and successful. Strengthen us to move forward during times of failure. Help us to stay focused, recognize the distractions that come our way and move away from it. In Jesus name, Amen.