The end of the year is one of my favorites times of year. Every November, I spend a few days offsite to evaluate the current year and plan my focus for the upcoming year. I have done this for as long as I can remember.
My favorite part is writing my goals for the new year. But this year, I found myself frustrated. My normal flow of goal writing was non-existent.
I pushed on and wrote down goals that I knew I should be achieving, but when I looked at them on paper, I felt pathetic. It’s not that the goals were too big or too small; it just felt like I didn’t care about goals AT ALL.
And if you know me, that’s like saying the Cookie Monster doesn’t like cookies.
So I did the first thing I know to do when I don’t know what to do…I prayed. And God spoke so clearly to my heart and said, “You don’t need more goals, you need vision.”
Vision is bigger than goals. Goals are what you set to help you take the steps towards your vision. But if you don’t have vision, how do you know if the goals you’re setting are worth your time?
So I changed my focus from setting goals, to finding vision.
If you are struggling to find the bigger picture of your life, you’ll want to ask yourself these 4 questions to help spark your vision.
What do I want to be known for?
I have asked myself this creepy, yet powerful question lately: “What do I want people to remember me for when I’m gone?” And it has helped me realize that they wouldn’t care if I learned another language, scratched everything off my to-do list, or otherwise accomplished all of my goals.
I realized that I wanted to be known for teaching others how to live their best life in Jesus. Once you understand what you want to be known for, thenyou can set goals to help you fulfill that desire (and eliminate the ones that don’t).
What would I do if nothing else mattered?
You’d be surprised (or maybe not) at how much we do because of the expectations others put on us. There are only 24 hours in a day and if most of them are spent doing things that you feel you ‘should’ because of the demands of others, there is no time for a higher calling.
This is why so many settle for a good life instead of reaching for the great that God has to offer. When I realized that my number-one desire was to get to know God (I mean really knowGod), I had to do a serious evaluation of what I was spending/wasting my time doing.
Once you’ve established what you want to be known for and what you would do if nothing else mattered, ask yourself “Why?” This will help you weed out any selfish motives (that God doesn’t honor) and help you to see your true heart’s desires.
But don’t stop at one why, keep asking why to each answer you give. This is an eye-opening exercise and reveals a lot about your true motives, but you’ll want to dig deep because it’s your why that will keep you going when you lose sight of your vision.
What’s in my way?
Jesus never promised us an easy life. In fact, John 16:33 reminds us that in this life we will have trouble, but He is with us. So don’t be surprised by the troubles that come your way. Instead, do your best to plan for them. After you’ve established your vision, take a moment to discover what’s in your way. What do you feel is stopping you from moving forward in that vision?
Once you discover this, do what you need to do to overcome those obstacles and give the rest to God. Perhaps you have a negative mindset that sabotages any progress you make. You would do well to learn how to renew your mind. Maybe you have debt that is holding you back from sowing seeds for your future. You would do well to work with a financial advisor and get your finances in order. Whatever is in your way, God wants to help you to overcome.
God has an amazing plan for your life (Jer 29:11). You owe it to Him and to yourself to take the time you need to spark the fire that will ignite the vision to propel you into a bright future.
If you are ready to answer the cry for purpose with the determination to discover, grab a copy of Kris’ new book, Make it Matter- A Roadmap to Living a Life of Purpose.