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Let’s get our heads out of the clouds people! Too many of us are bound in a self-imposed life of mediocrity because we misinterpret what role “claiming by faith” has in getting what we desire. Guess what? There is no way around working, and working hard, to live the vision God has put in your spirit.

Let me tell you now, that this is not a faith/works debate. Working hard does not show a lack of faith. In fact, real and genuine faith compels one to work harder with joy than one who lacks faith. Faith says I will DO whatever God tells me to do to bring about His will for my life. But unfortunately, HIDING behind faith seems to be an easier, but less effective choice for many of us.

Taking the time to get in God’s presence,  pray and THINK about how the vision will come to pass is a critical first step in experiencing your vision. And the engine that transforms the invisible dream into tangible reality is effective goal setting. By setting goals, you have completed half the process of vision attainment. Yes!

Now the process of setting goals is not as simple as creating a grocery list, though that is a great start. In order for goals to be achievable, there should be some built in accountability to assure its accomplishment. They  should be so vivid and compelling that you’re irresistibly drawn to its fulfillment. I propose taking those goals and making them SMART.

SMART goals are the key to increase the odds of successfully experiencing and completing a plan for your life Here’s how you do it:

Pray. Pray. And pray some more, that God will give you insight as to what His will is for whatever you have determined to do or see happen in your life. After all, anything done outside of His will for you will ultimately fail.

Once you and God are straight with what His desire is for you, start the process of making the goals you list SMART. SMART is an acronym for goals that are:

Specific: Have you stated what you want in a clear, well defined manner. A fuzzy goal will give you fuzzy results that you may not want.

Measurable: The goal of obtaining ” a lot of clients” is not measurable. Is “a lot “3 or 30 or 300 clients? If it isn’t measurable, how can you tell if you are getting closer to or have actually arrived at your goal?

Attainable: With all due respect to Spud Webb, being 5’2″ with aspirations of playing in the NBA may not be an attainable goal. Choose goals that are actually in your realm of possibilities. Now this does not mean limiting yourself or God. But many of us choose goals based on wishful thinking, not through honest prayer and careful analysis of reality. But let’s not get it twisted. God ultimately determines what is attainable for you.

Relevant: How is this goal tied into the vision God has given you to fulfill? Are your personal values being represented by this goal? Does the goal have deep meaning for you? If your answers to these important questions are negative, you may be just spinning your wheels with this one. Reestablishing a goal that ties it to a greater purpose may be a better use of your efforts.

Time specific. A goal without a deadline is a mere wish. It fosters procrastination. And don’t use the “sovereignty of God” as a cop out. We know God is in charge. Don’t be afraid of a deadline.

Many will use the arrogant sin discussed in James as an excuse to not setting a deadline for the goal.The sin in James 4:13  was not in the person saying “I will go to the city today or tomorrow and do business and make a profit”. The sin was that person thinking he can control the future. Set a date to do business, but don’t forget to add “if the Lord wills” to that goal. If your date is off, He’ll let you know. God expects us to co-create our future with Him, not just sit by and watch Him do all the work! Making the goal time specific transforms us from being mere dreamers into powerful doers.

So now you have a few suggestions on how to make written goals work for you. I can assure you that if you give these steps a try, you will build more courage and faith in your life and experience more of the miraculous power of God. Be sure to read my other blog on accountability to keep you true to the goals you’ve listed. Goal achievement is near impossible without the involvement of others in the Body of Christ to keep you from drifting.

Now go and set some SMART goals!

Be sure to visit Dave at www.stewartperformancecoaching.com for more life performance tips!

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