Goals: how to actually follow through

Written by: Vivian Wilson

I had a great idea five years ago, or so it seemed at the time. I thought of a way to keep myself accountable and motivated to doing the things that I was committed to.

If you are like me, we have good intentions, and some are even admirable. We start out toward our new goal and purpose with a sense of commitment and enthusiasm. But before long we fall back to where we started because the daily grind of ordinary becomes a thoughtless habit and draws us back to what is easy and comfortable.

This was the idea that I thought would be the answer to my failures to stay motivated and committed:

I wrote out a promise to God, which I signed and dated. Surely that would do it!

For example: A covenant of commitment to (fill in the blank), good health.

By signing this pledge before You, Father, I am giving my word that I will wholeheartedly pursue excellence, even achieving a result that exceeds my expectations. I promise to exercise courage, endurance, determination, and perseverance in the pursuit of my goal. I will remain focused, dedicated, and disciplined. I will depend on You to supply me with wisdom, strength, grace, courage, and everything else that I need to succeed. In signing this promise I am asking You to hold me accountable for all my actions, in both word and deed.

Then I listed the steps in my plan of action.

All of this came to mind this week as I considered my goals. As I read the words of this covenant and considered to whom they were addressed, I was heart broken.

It was sobering to realize that I had broken promises to God. So the question was, “Why did I fail?”

I think the flaw in my “great idea” was that even though God is my ultimate accountability partner, we also need a person, an intimate friend, with whom we can share our heart openly and honestly, one who loves us enough to encourage us, to say the hard things when necessary, and keeps us moving toward our goal.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 – “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up.”

Hebrews 10:24 – “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.”

Proverbs 27:17 – “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”

Coffee Shop - Casual Conversation

Without goals and the active pursuit of them, I found myself, once again, in the place where my time was being controlled by others and by circumstances. Though comfortable at times, it is also unproductive.

I want to become all that God created me to be and fulfill the purpose that He has written for my life even before I was born.

Ephesians 2:10 – “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Jesus Christ to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

Psalms139:16 – “All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be.”

So, I have set some long and short term goals. I am going to put my “great idea” into practice again, but this time with the additional promise to my best friend. We will be accountable to one another. No more wasting time. I will live each day intentionally pursuing the purposes that God has put on my heart.

With the help of my friend, the ordinary will become extraordinary as God works out His plans and purposes for my life as I remain committed to the goals he sets before me.

What are your goals? Write them down.

Do you have a plan of action and a friend to help you stay on track? Ask her to hold you accountable.

Together We Can Chalk Illustration

Joyful to grow together with you,