Monday, January 5, 2015

Don't Set Any Goals Until You Do One Thing

"I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."
Philippians 3:14
Goals...goals...goals...that seems to be the only thing on everyone's mind as we move into this new year.  Everyone asks--"What are your goals?"  "What are your new year's resolutions?"  "What do you want to accomplish this year?"  Everywhere you look, there is some urgent and somewhat inspiring news report, article, or blog about goals and how to accomplish your goals (I know, because I just wrote something about goal-setting for my weekly encouragement-sign up here).  Goals are EVERYWHERE! 
Now, normally, I love the whole goal-setting focus at the beginning of each year, but at this time last year, I hated it all!  Don't get me wrong, I love goals.  I love setting-goals and even more, I love checking the goals off of my list once I've accomplished them. 
I'm kind of a goal-setting freak. 
In fact, I even have a goal book that I started in 2003 where each year, I write down things I want to accomplish in my lifetime.  So it's really more of a bucket list type book, but still, it's for my goals.  Some goals aren't valid anymore.  Some goals are just never going to happen in this lifetime.  But it's been fun, and having this book has helped me accomplish some really unique and exciting things in my life. 
Each year I look forward to going through the book and highlighting any goals that I have accomplished (although that hasn't happened much after having kids). 
This is what I wrote on the cover
This is the very first page of my first goals set.

But my crazy goal-setting doesn't stop there.  Since becoming a mom, each year, I have the kids set goals for themselves even though they are only 6 and 3 (I don't have the one year old set goals yet...but he will next year).  And each year, my husband and I set goals--house goals, financial goals, and personal goals. 
I believe in goal-setting.  I do.  I know that setting goals helps you accomplish more than when you don't set goals...
at least that's what I thought...
This will be shocking to those who know me, but 2014 was the first year since I can remember that I didn't set any goals for myself!!!!  Not a one!  Nada!  Zilch!  Zip!  Zero!  Nothing! 
Here are my personal goals for 2014...completely blank!
Here are Ben's (6), Abby's (3) and our Family's Goals for 2014
I broke every goal-setting "rule" there was!  To begin with, I didn't set any...oops!  Therefore, I didn't write any down...bad! Therefore, I didn't put them up where I can see them everyday like I usually could I?  Then I didn't tell anyone about I didn't have any!
Why?  Well...last year was a blur.  I had a third child.  The winter (here in Illinois) was the worst one ever!  I had major Post Partum depression that came as severe anxiety about getting out of the house.  I was overcoming the loss of a ministry that I had loved so dearly.  I was in a deep hole.  I felt I had no purpose.  I was completely lost.  I went through a long, dark period of what I call hibernation. 
I had no goals.  I hated goals.  I didn't even want to set any goals. 
But do you know what I did do? 
I prayed. 
"God, show me my purpose.  Show me what You want me to do."
I surrendered. 
"God, I'm Yours.  My life is Yours.  Show me how to use it." 
I had dear friends and family pray for me. 
"God, use their words to bring life back into my life.  Help me to believe what they are praying.  Help me to believe that You love me, that You have plans for my life and still want to use me to bless others."
And what did God He always does?
He shined His Light into my darkness...into my life! 
And without one goal set in 2014, in the midst of this crazy year, I accomplished more than I ever have in one year.  I started a new ministry for moms, got certified as a Christian Life Coach for Women, and wrote a book.  Three things that I never saw coming.  Three things that I would have never written down as goals for myself in 2014.  Three things that God did through me that truly surprised me.  I'm not bragging on myself here.  I'm bragging on God.  Sometimes God's goals for us are bigger than our own!
Honestly, I'm shocked.  How could this be?
I, the crazy goal-setter, didn't set one goal for myself this year and yet look at what was achieved.  
Look at what God did through me?  Look at what my obedience to Him accomplished?  Look at what happens when you focus and pray and listen to God!!!

I had no goals, but I had God! 

It was puzzling and yet promising.  It made me laugh, and admittedly kind of cry a little, as I always thought that goal-setting was the "key to success"..."how to get things done"..."how to achieve your dreams"..."how to reach new heights"...well, you get the point. 
I still believe in goal-setting though.  I do believe that having goals can definitely help you move forward in life, but I did learn one very important lesson...
No goal matters unless it's a God-goal! 

Goals or not...God is going to work through you.  Even when you have no goals for yourself, God has goals for you, but you must be obedient to follow His goals.  You must be patient to wait on His timing.  So, now, I urge you--Don't set any goals for yourself until you do one thing...
Ask God what His goals are for you this year! 
And then just wait...listen...and follow Him!  When you do those things...I can't wait to see what God does through you!  Are you ready to be surprised?
Father, I thank you for accomplishing Your goals through my life this year.  Even though I didn't set one goal for myself, You had goals set for me...You have goals set for all of us.  Give us wisdom to listen to You, follow You, trust You, and believe in You.  As we set goals for this year, help us to stay focused on Your calling.  Help us to do those things that line up with Your purpose for our lives.  Please bless our paths in 2015 and shine Your light into all of our goals.  In Jesus' name.  Amen.
WHAT ARE YOUR GOD-GOALS?  Please comment below.
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  1. Love this! I read another post this morning about the same thing! I think you have captured the heart of God.

    I've set many a schedules/goals, but in the end if they are done in the flesh they produce misery.

    1. Yes, God has shown me that no matter what my plans are, it's His plans that count!

  2. So true! Thanks for sharing. Yes, we can plan (or not plan) our steps, but it is the Lord who directs our paths. Here's to a fabulous 2015! I'd love to invite you to be a guest on my podcast "Encouraging Words for Working Moms" I think you would have a lot to offer! You can email me at if you are interested.

    1. Amen, Christy. Try as I may to control my own life, it's been so freeing such to surrender it all to God and just say "I'm Yours!" I would definitely be interested in being a guest. I just emailed you! Thanks!

  3. What a great post! I need to remember that it happens in God's timing and not my own. That is so much easier said than done most of the time. Yet God is the one in control, isn't he?!!?

    1. Thank you, Tara! Yes, it is in His time and not ours. He is the One in control even though I'd like to think I am sometimes. Lol! God is so good and so gracious at reminding me so gently that He loves me and that He is in control of my life and when I completely give it all to Him, He will do more than I would ever do on my own!! Praying for God to continue to speak His perfect timing into your life as you wait on Him!

  4. This, "I had no goals, but I had God" important.
    Praying along with you as we enter this year to rely on Him and his wisdom and timing and direction.

    1. Thank you, Melanie! Thank you for your prayers. I have to continue to remind myself to rely on Him for everything I need.

  5. I almost started laughing at the start of your post, because I HATE goal setting! Don't know what it is, but I never set resolutions either. My laughter turned to tears at how hard your year was. I live in Illinois---last winter was brutal to get through, as I also suffer through depression. How I love that you leaned in hard to God and depended on Him to carry you and bless you through it. Isn't He just amazing?

    1. Thank you, Cherie! Yes, He is amazing and surprising. I will never forget the feeling that I had nothing after I lost this ministry that I loved. I literally said, "What will I do without it?" And now, God has me so busy doing things that I thought I would never be doing this time last year that I wouldn't have time for that ministry anymore! God knew what He was doing. I just have to trust Him and follow Him no matter what! Praying for you this year as we continue through yet another dark, cold winter in Illinois!

  6. I'm not big on setting goals, but with all the talk of goals I felt not having them was a major failure. Maybe I need to find a middle ground. Thanks for the encouragement. Not having goals doesn't mean you won't accomplish anything. :)

    1. Amen, Amanda. I actually was amazed that God did so much through me this year. To Him be all the glory for all that we do, right? Whether it's a goal we set or not, He's going to do what He wants to do with our lives! Praying you can find that right balance or "middle ground" for your life's focus and that God would speak His plans clearly to you!

  7. Christine, thanks so much for sharing the link to this post on my blog. It is an excellent reminder that the best goal is a God-goal.

    How awesome that you were surrounded by friends who prayed!
    How awesome that you asked God to help you to believe their words for you.
    And most of all how awesome that God did 2 things through you that you didn't even have down as goals.

    Because as you ended, "Sometimes God's goals for us are bigger than our own!"

    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post. I thought it fit perfectly with yours! And yes, you're so right, it was awesome that I had such wonderful, close friends that were praying for me. They were such a blessing to me. It was a rough year in a lot of ways, but I did seek God's wisdom through it all and He shined big time! God's goals are huge. He is so good and faithful that I know that it doesn't matter what I do...but what I do THROUGH HIM!!! Praying over your year. May you see many God-goals in your bucket list!