Intentional Goal-Setting with a Godly Mindset

—by Kevin Anselmo (Wisdom for Work)

How are you at executing your goals?

In the past, I haven’t been so great and I still have lots of room for improvement today. However, I am making solid progress in achieving my spiritual, professional and relational goals by articulating some key goals across all my life domains and outlining some concrete steps to achieve them. These goals range from reading more business books in the evening (instead of wasting time on social media), exercising more regularly, being more consistent with my quiet time in the morning and being more deliberate in spending time with my wife.

Let me focus on Bible reading/devotional time. Sadly, I have never been consistent with spending time in the Word of God each and every day. I go through good streaks, but then I struggle to keep up, even though I know it is so important for spiritual growth.

Following the framework outlined in the book Your Best Year Ever, I did the following:

1. Clearly stated my goal and answered the why. I wrote, “Before I begin work each morning, I will spend 10 minutes in prayer and Bible reading. This is important because it will give me perspective for the day, will connect me to God and will help me focus on my bigger purpose in life.” Writing down goals and defining the why brings clarity to the vision, which ideally provides momentum when it might seem difficult to continue.

2. Made this goal visible. It is so easy to forget your goals. I wrote down this objective and try to re-read all my goals once a week or so to be reminded about what I set out to achieve.

3. Note take. I created a notebook that focuses on my quiet time. I make it a point each morning to read a few verses from the Bible and try to write down just one or two key points. By doing this, I am able to crystallize my thinking and by stating the date in each note, I am keeping myself accountable.

Since doing this, I have been able to succeed every day since the beginning of the year except for one hiccup. For many of you, this no accomplishment, but for me it is :)

One of my goals dating back to last year was launching a networking lunch with Byron (“Wisdom for Work”) that combined business networking, leadership and spiritual guidance. In March our friend Dana Saleeby led a great discussion on this very topic of goal setting and intentionality. It was terrific to hear Dana share some of the best practices she has gleaned over the years, and discussion at our tables was robust.

Byron closed that lunch by reflecting on James 4:13-15:
Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”

In other words, I need to be deliberate about communicating my goals and doing the best I can to execute them, but I can’t leave out God. I don’t have total control or power and need to have the right motivation behind all my goal-setting, namely a life of “faith working through love” (Galatians 5:6). I need the Holy Spirit to live the life of Christ in me and enable me to subordinate all my goals to God’s goal for me (which might mean the willingness to veer from my own human-flawed stated goals!), trusting his power to carry them out for his glory.

Interested in exploring such topics with us over lunch? Wisdom for Work is a networking lunch for professionals which meets the first Thursday of every month at Egg and I. The goal is to gain some very practical wisdom for work in a format that allows everyone to share, interact, network and have some fun. In our next lunch on April 5th, we will focus on when and how to delve into the personal lives of our clients, colleagues and other business relationships. Register at the following link.