I’m asking GOD for one thing, only one thing: To live with him in his house my whole life long. I’ll contemplate his beauty; I’ll study at his feet.
Psalm 27:4 MSG
Goal setting can be put on auto pilot in our lives, as something that needs to be checked off on our ‘to do list’ at the onset of a New Year. You can set goals year after year in this mode; whereby, you are disconnected from the goals you have set, you are simply doing it because it is a good thing to do at the beginning of the year, and/or everyone is doing it but there is no structure or accountability included. Therefore goals are sometimes not quite achieved, and you resort to being deflated at the end of the year.
I thereby challenge you and myself to do something very different at the start of this New Year and decade. Albert Einstein is credited with saying “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results.” If you desire different results or wish to accomplish your goals, you would have to make significant changes in your thinking and actions. Do something completely different in your approach to goal setting. What about setting only one goal?
Solomon asked God for one thing; wisdom to rule his people. As a result of asking for a heart of wisdom and understanding to rule, the Bible says that God granted him wisdom. In addition, he was given riches and long life. I would like to draw out one principle from Solomon’s life, that is to focus your heart desires on just one thing or one goal. By doing so, when you get that one thing or achieve that one goal, it will also spiral into other goals in your heart.
Ask yourself, ‘what one thing do I need to achieve this year?’ or what one goal do I need to focus on this year?’. Narrow your focus to one main thing that you want to accomplish, or one main desire that you want God to do in your life. I have discovered that a narrow focus not only enables you to focus more clearly, it is also more manageable and enables you to work on the goal. Perhaps your one thing could be letting go of something painful that happened to you last year. This pain may be holding you back as you keep revisiting it in your heart. When you dwell on the past, it takes some of the creative space in your heart for today’s goals. If that is the case, release the past or pain of the last year. Be encouraged; Apostle Paul said “I don’t depend on my own strength to accomplish this; however I do have one compelling focus: I forget all of the past as I fasten my heart to the future instead.” (Philippians 3:14)
As you decide to move forward, take an audit of the last year and any lessons that will empower you this year. What advice will you give to yourself as you focus on your goal this year? What relationships do you need in order to achieve your goal? David McClelland of Harvard says, “your reference group determines as much as 95% of your success or failure in life.”
Relationships are essential not only to your success, but also your psychological health. It is important to invest in healthy relationships. Spend time with those friends who believe in you and will not talk you out of your goals or diminish them.
Finally, what one tiny step will you take daily towards your goal?
Enjoy the process and the journey.
1 Kings 3:5-12