As you settle into a new year and a new semester, you might be thinking about goal setting and how to set goals. Goal setting can help you create the kinds of changes you want to see in your life. In this devotional, we will look at how to set goals and how you can incorporate biblical goals into your plan for the new year.
In This Devotional:
What Are Biblical Goals?
Biblical goals can be any kind of goal that reflects the values and teachings of the Bible. A biblical goal does not need to be centered around the Bible, spiritual growth or a goal that you interpreted from Scripture. A biblical goal is one that applies to any area of your life while at the same time helping you to become a person who better represents the teachings of the Bible.
The Bible is a source of ethical and moral framework as well as where we learn many of our values. The Bible also teaches us a lot about characteristics and virtues that we should work to embody in order to be a reflection of the heart of God for others. As you are defining your goals, ask yourself, If I achieve this goal, is it going to help instill in me these values and virtues?
Biblical goals can be about success in school, success in work, achievement in sports, health goals, or personal growth. Additionally, you can create goals that are centered around biblical themes like service and helping others, stewardship, wisdom, family, healthy relationships and gratitude.
The Bible also follows many characters as they discover their purpose and the calling in their lives. God can use your process of goal setting to help reveal to you what your purpose or calling might be. By pursuing goal setting, we are taking action in our own narratives and putting forth effort to find and fulfill our God-given purpose.
How To Set Goals
Now that you have done some reflection on what biblical goals might look like, we can look at how to set goals for yourself. This devotional will guide you through four steps to goal setting and will incorporate how to make your goals reflective of what the Bible teaches us.
Step 1: Define Your Goal
The first step to setting any goal is to define what your goal is. Ask yourself, What is it that I want to see or achieve? Be detailed and specific. Here is where you should cross-check your goal with biblical values. Does your goal reflect the values and morals of the Bible?
Step 2: Set Criteria
There are lots of helpful frameworks for setting criteria to help you achieve your goals. SMART criteria are what we will look at briefly to outline how to set criteria for your goals.
- Specific: Ensure your goals are clearly defined and are easy for you to understand.
- Measurable: Incorporate a way to measure your progress. For goals that aren’t already easy to measure based on a built-in quantitative or qualitative measurement, think about using frequency, length or consistency.
- Attainable: Are your goals realistic and would you be able to achieve them by putting in effort?
- Relevant: Make sure your goals align with your worldview and values. This is where you can check that your goals are reflective of a biblical worldview and value system.
- Timely: Give yourself a deadline for achieving these goals.
Step 3: Have an Action Plan
Using good goal-setting criteria will help you create a clear plan of action. To develop an action plan, break down your larger goal into smaller or simpler tasks. Set up a timeline or an intended schedule for when or how often you will need to complete your tasks. Your action plan is also where you will identify potential challenges and the kinds of resources you might need to complete your tasks.
Step 4: Evaluate and Adjust
Make sure you are constantly evaluating your progress. Use tools like your SMART criteria, different timelines, or benchmarks that you have set for yourself to gain a better understanding of where you are at. After you evaluate and reflect on how you are doing, make some adjustments or changes as needed.
Remember to be patient, humble and faithful. You may fail or lose progress, but that is all a normal part of being human. Accept help from God and others during your journey and stay committed to furthering your growth even as it becomes challenging.
Do you have academic or career goals you hope to achieve this year? At Grand Canyon University’s ACE Center, you can schedule an appointment for homework help, exam prep and career guidance. Consider earning your degree at GCU and take advantage of resources to help you achieve your goals. Fill out the form on this page to learn more!
Approved by the local outreach coordinator of the Office of Spiritual Life on Dec 11, 2023.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.