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As adults I think we all know or at least are aware of the importance of goals.  Most of the time we do this for our work or business but often fail to do this for ourselves personally.  Because we as adults understand the importance of goals I am actually writing this from the perspective of why teens and youth should have goals as well.  Now, if you are an adult reading this, fine, you’ll find just as much value as a youth would, I would think. Otherwise I would just say, “OK Boomer”.

So, you are a teenager, why should you have a goals?  I mean it’s not like you actually have to plan that much for anything beyond studying for your next test or class.  You probably live with your parents who are the ones with the ultimate worry of providing for you financially, safety and security, and working to provide a family vacation or quality time together to make up for all the time spent at work or otherwise. So again I ask, why is it important for you have a goal or resolution for this coming year?
Jesus often answered a question with another question and in like fashion I will do the same; are you happy or satisfied with how this past year was?  Would you have wanted something to change?  If so how can you expect it to change if you never had a road map?  This reminds me of story of a traveler who stopped to ask someone where they were.  The stranger replied, “where are you going?” and the traveler stated they didn’t know.  So the stranger said, “then it doesn’t matter where you are!”.
WHY

In a Harvard Study it found that 80 percent of students had no goals set (written or thought of), 17 percent had an idea of goals they would like to achieve and 3 percent actually had clear and defined goals written down.  Fast forward 10 years later and the study found that the group of 17 percent made 10x more money than the 80 percent who had no goals and the 3 percent who had goals written made 10x more money than the entire group together.  That is the power of having goals.  They give you a path, a road map to go by.  Otherwise as the Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland said, “any ol’ place will do if you don’t know where you are going”.

Now let me warn you, life is NOT about how much money you can earn.  Some would say that ‘money is the root of all evil’ when actually that statement is incorrect, maybe caused by a mandela effect.  The correct statement from the Bible is “The love of money is the root of all evil” 1 Timothy 6:10.  You see money is amoral.  Which means it is neither good nor evil just like a brick or a hammer can be used to break windows or build a house for the homeless.  It is what we do with it that matters.  But I digress, the point is Goals are not just about money.  They can be whatever you want.

For example, perhaps it is to read so many books this year, spend more time with family, learn a new skill, or whatever it is for you.  I actually teach a “Creating Your Life Plan” workshop which is really profound. In it I speak that while having goals is great, what is better is having a PURPOSE behind those goals.  Otherwise goals without purpose become a string of hollow victories endlessly being replaced by more goals.  I would be happy to host this workshop which takes about an hour to do.  To find out more visit my business page or my personal page.  I would be happy to share with you my Life Plan.  It is no secret and is only a few pages long.

HOW

Believe this or not, I have just recently learned this can be more complicated than you think.  If you want to do it right.  I have been reading a book called “Man in the Mirror” by Patrick Morley.  It has been one of my goals to finish this book.  In a recent chapter regarding time management and planning it speaks of this when making plans and discerning God’s Will:

  1. I tell God what I am going to do.
  2. God responds
  3. I beg God to let me do it anyway!
  4. Finally I humble myself and listen.
  5. God tells me what HE is going to do.

I found this interesting that yes even though we make our own plans and goals do we actually consult the one who directs our life?  My personal life verse is Proverbs 3:5,6 which goes, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge HIM and HE shall direct your paths.”  Which means to me that I have to have faith and trust in God that no matter what happens in life it is for HIS purpose.  The bad and the good and to not ‘lean on my own understanding’.  Also that I should recognize HIS hand in everything and by doing so HE will lead me where HE wants me to go.

The book further breaks it down with another verse from Proverbs 16:1-4.  It says, “To humans belongs the plans of the heart but from the Lord comes the proper answer of the tongue.  All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the Lord.  Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.  The Lord works out everything to its proper end.”
Proverbs is full of great advice and wisdom.  So, HOW to go about with creating your plans or goals for 2020.  Well, when you first have the idea forming in your head you should consult with GOD through prayer and meditation first.  As the Borg say, “Resistance is Futile”, you might as well consult the Master before you begin because ultimately we are just wasting our time if it is not in HIS will.
After you have prayed and meditated on it the next thing is to write it down with a clear action plan.  This is the method I use:
  1. Priority/Goal
  2. Purpose (Why this Goal is important)
  3. Supporting Verse or Inspirational Quote
  4. Envisioned Future (What will it look like when this is achieved)
  5. Current Reality (Be Honest)
  6. Action Plan (How will you achieve this)

SUMMARY

I know this was already long and it could be longer and I would be happy to discuss this further which you can contact me or leave a message in the comments but it is important that EVERYONE have some sort of goals.  Goals to be accomplished in the next year and even the next five years.  These goals should give life to a Purpose otherwise they are merely superficial and we continue in this rat race being lost spiritually, mentally, and emotionally.  Empty and hollow.  But first we should always pray about it and listen for God’s will in our lives.  Once it is set we need to commit it to the Lord.

For those adults I often remark how funny it is that we give more time and attention to what we are going to do with the 2 weeks of vacation we might have than on what legacy we will leave our families.  Consider that.  You’re planning a cruise or Disney vacation for the summer or maybe a beach trip or a mountain escape.  But how much time did you spend on deciding what legacy you will leave to your friends, your family, your church, etc?
Consider these two stories.  1) A shop owner who works 7am to 9:30pm to run his business and try to earn as much money as he can.  He eventually becomes tired and and his tension and hostility shows to his customers who are slow to return for repeat business.  He has little reserves to fall back on.  And 2) another business owner who decides that if it can’t be done by 6pm then he doesn’t need the money.  He spends that time with his family and his church.  Helping others.  His home life is balanced and it shows to his customers that he is concerned and cares for them.  Money isn’t everything.  I would rather be the second example.

I was given a special gift by someone.  A young man named Stephen.  It was a framed quote that says, “Make it a rule…never, if possible, to lie down at night without being able to say ‘I have made one human being at least a little wiser, a little happier or a little better this day’.” – Charles Kinglsey.

New Year’s Examples for Youth (Feel free to add your own)
  • Love Yourself
  • Forgive Someone
  • Do Something Brave (Ride that roller coaster, bungee jump, give a speech, tell someone how you feel about them)
  • Learn A Life Skill (Auto Mechanics, Financial education, Cook, etc)
  • Be Present in the Moment (Put Your Phone Down at Dinner or with friends)
  • Ask Your Parents something about their childhood
  • Write Something Down Everyday that You are Grateful For
  • Read the Bible (Daily devotion)
  • Keep a Journal
  • Make a New Friend
  • Rekindle and Old Friendship
  • Volunteer or Do Something Selfless to Help Someone Else
  • Read a Book that will help you be a better person

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