1) Look back
Do you journal? Have some record of what’s been going on in your life other than your memory? I hope you do. I keep several journals (writing, devotional and, more recently, personal development).
Looking back enables you to see patterns. From reading entries of previous years, I can see not only my successes but issues I’ve struggled with again and again. They show me which areas of my life, I have yet to achieve self-mastery.
Without the ability to look back, to see the evidence of my short-comings, these habitual failings could easily be overlooked, or remain unchallenged. Noticing meant I had a choice—do something about it, or make excuses and remain in a place of stagnancy.
2) Look forward
Where do you want to go in terms of your spiritual life, your relationship with God and others, your health, or career? When you decide to look ahead, you are creating a focus for your life. By deciding what results you would like to achieve this year and setting realistic goals, you are effectively creating a positive vision for your life.
So ask yourself some searching questions – what would you like to see? Who would you like to be? What do you want to do? Where are you falling short when it comes to God’s Word?
When I looked back through my journals and realised that I was spending year after year lamenting the fact that I wanted to be a writer yet not actively doing anything to make this a reality, I decided to use my constant failure in this area, to set out a vision that I could look forward to and use as a form of motivation.
In a nutshell, one of my visions is to become a skilful writer, to write with such beauty of thought and intensity of passion that my words will be like apples of gold, in settings of silver. I created a vision in my heart to become a writer of intrinsic quality and dynamic influence, so that my readers will be highly encouraged and perhaps even motivated afresh to take hold of God’s Word and allow themselves to become supernaturally transformed.
Now that you have your vision, decide what steps you need to take in order to move towards that vision. Decide how you are going to get there.
Having realised my dream of becoming a prolific and published writer was not going to happen by mere wishful thinking, I came up with a strategy for making this goal a reality.
I created two blogs, which forced me to write regularly. This enabled me to see myself as an authentic writer (since a writer writes!), plus fulfil a long-held desire for God to use my writing to teach and encourage others. Result!
Creflo Dollar says that every failure is a prayer failure! I’m inclined to agree with him.
I know from experience that if I’ve gone into an endeavour without seeking God’s wisdom, guidance and enabling power, either my efforts will fail, or else the full potential of what I’m trying to accomplish will not be realised.
When we look to God for supernatural assistance, we will obtain supernatural results.
Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him,
And He shall bring it to pass.
Psalm 37:5 (NKJV)
5) Take Action
So you have your goal(s). You’ve devised a plan and you’ve committed your dream or desire into God’s hands. Now what?
Well, dear reader, don’t kid yourself that God’s going to go Kerpow! and suddenly you will have lost that weight, landed that new job, or levitated yourself from a position of obscurity to “overnight success”. Whatever you wish to achieve, you are going to have to work, work, work at it. You are going to have to apply yourself diligently.
When I decided I’d had enough of being a victim of the Enemy and of the people whom he used to undermine my self-esteem, I took action by renewing my mind through biblical meditation, studying God’s Word, writing out several affirmations and speaking these to and over myself regularly. I read relevant books, watched motivational videos and sought to apply whatever truths I learned, which aligned with my Christian principles.
Work out what you need to do in order to accomplish your dream and then, as the Nike advert demands, just do it!
6) Embrace Discipline
What is discipline?
It is training yourself to behave in a diligent and controlled way, in order to achieve a particular result.
Now, if you are like most people (myself included), discipline is where you fall down. The New Year arrives with its promise of new opportunities. You get excited. You set goals. You plan. You even start to take action. But then for some reason, you lose your enthusiasm and you lose momentum, or else, something happens to knock you off track.
There’s a saying that wisely observes: “to be forewarned is to be forearmed”. So let me forewarn you today—something or someone, somewhere down the road will cause you to lose hope, lose focus and perhaps ultimately lose your dream. Is there something you can do in advance to prepare yourself against this eventuality?
How about making a pre-commitment to not let weeks and weeks go by before you decide to get back on track with your goals or personal development plan? How about making a solid decision that come what may, you are not letting go of that dream?
How about making spiritual preparation in advance, by way of specific and persistent prayer and/or fasting, so that you have the inner strength and resolve required to soldier on regardless?
7) Seek help from the Holy Spirit
How successful could you be in life if you had your own personal-achievement coach, spiritual cheerleader and perpetual mentor?
If you are a born-again Christian, if you have declared Jesus as Lord of your life, then my dear reader, you have! The Bible refers to the Holy Spirit as our Helper. So don’t ignore this valuable and highly effective resource – ask for his help!
Ask him to help you set your goals in line with God’s will for your life. Ask him to remind you of your vows and commitments. Ask him to help you maintain discipline in your life. Ask him to empower you and show you how to achieve your heart’s desire.
Dear reader, dear aspiring woman of God, make 2018 a year in which you achieve, succeed and excel in the plans and purpose of God for your life.
May 2018 be a year where your spiritual growth and development enables you to experience the miraculous power of God at work in your life, to the extent that He is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that you ask, think, desire and dream.
With best wishes,
CREDIT: the above CC0 images are from Pixabay.com