Setting Goals (the Right Way)

goals

How are your New Year’s resolutions going?

Now that January is a memory, it becomes easier to forget those extravagant plans to wake up early, study the Bible for few hours, visit the gym, and make a healthy breakfast before going to work at 7 AM. Let’s get real. If you want a thriving spiritual life, healthy relationships, a growing bank account, and physical fitness, you must set realistic, achievable goals. This post will focus on setting goals to grow in your knowledge of the Bible.

Strengths and Weaknesses

First of all, do not sit down and write a list of things you want to accomplish. That comes later. The first thing you need is some perspective. Make a list of your strengths, areas where you feel confident and knowledgeable. Then, make a list of your weaknesses, areas where you would like to improve or growth. Here are a few ideas:

  • Theological issues
    Where do I stand?
    What passages, books, and resources do I need to grow in this area?
  • Books of the Bible
    How well do I understand poetry in the Bible or the history of Israel?
  • Biblical People
    How did the life of Abraham or David affect the rest of the Scriptures?
  • Biblical Places
  • Why was Jesus’ hometown of Nazareth so despised?
    What was Rome like during Paul’s ministry?

Have a Well-Rounded Theology

Do you read from authors you disagree with, just to understand their perspectives? Or do you read from authors that all hold the same viewpoint? Try something new. Study a different religious tradition or doctrinal position. Understanding other views:

  • Challenges what you know to be true
  • Helps you understand the reasoning behind a position so you can engage in discussion more intelligently
  • Helps you find the holes and inaccuracies
  • Gives you a new perspective on what you believe and what you still need to learn

Be Realistic

Once you understand where you need to improve, decide where you want to improve. In most cases, making a goal to do something you don’t want to do is useless. You will find every excuse possible not to achieve that goal. Instead, pick something fun, something that really interests you.

Get the Tools

Set Aside Time

If you don’t schedule time to work toward your goal, how will you succeed? Set aside some time each day or week to focus and get to work. To help you remember, schedule an appointment with yourself. Create a unique name like “New Growth Time,” or “Bible R&D.”

Stay Accountable

Why do so many gym memberships go unused every year? We try to achieve goals by ourselves. This is a terrible idea. We need other people, like personal trainers, to keep us on track, encourage us, and provide counsel when we need it. Ask a colleague or friend to keep you accountable every few weeks or every month.

Reward Yourself

Growing closer with our God is really the best reward we could imagine, but even so, rewarding yourself is extremely motivating.

If your goal is to read the entire Old Testament, break up the goal into smaller goals and reward yourself after ever few books you read. Done with Genesis and Exodus? Treat yourself to a cup of coffee. Finished with Psalms and Proverbs? Eat a piece of tasty chocolate.

When you complete your goal, really celebrate! Go on a date with your significant other or watch that new movie you’ve wanted to see. The more fun your rewards are, the more likely you are to succeed. Go for it!

What other tips have you found useful in achieving your goals this year? Come on over to the forum and tell us about it.

Today’s guest post is by Ryan Rotz, from the Logos Bible Software marketing team.

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