With a new year right around the corner (yes, we are already in 4th quarter!) and new possibilities at your fingertips, perhaps you find yourself excited about the possibilities and the dreams God has written on your heart.
You long to make the most of your days and invest your time wisely on the blank canvas of each new day. Yet if you’re honest, deep in the depths of your soul lies a tiny seed of hesitation.
“How can I create a practical plan to help me set biblical goals and achieve lasting change?”
“How I do work towards these goals each day without becoming overwhelmed?”
“What resources are available to help me achieve my goals while keeping my focus on the Lord?”
Friend, you’re in the right place. I too long to become a woman after God’s own heart and live generously with my talents to glorify the Lord.
Ultimately, my goal is to seek God’s will for my life and step out with actionable steps to obey that calling.
Today I’d like to share a simple system I use for setting goals while eliminating the overwhelm.
Big Picture Planning
In I Corinthians, we see Paul relating the Christian walk to that of an athlete’s. He had both goals and strategy… and we should too.
Many Christians loosely set goals only to see them fall by the wayside in a short time. Without goal setting and big picture planning, God-given ambitions fail to ever get off the ground. We must be intentional about spiritual growth and the goals God has placed on our hearts! I personally do my big picture planning with Grace Goals.
Grace Goals is a series of 5 workshops that walks you through the process of setting goals from a biblical perspective. It guides you through dreaming your God-size dreams and creating practical steps for achieving your goals.
This planning tool will help you:
- Figure out what your godly goals should be
- Become confident of God’s favor and power in your endeavors
- Develop a doable, personal plan for change
- Learn why grace is the enablement you need
- Begin to recognize and appropriate God’s powerhouse of grace in your daily life
Friends, big picture planning is a MUST for anyone that wants to achieve lasting, godly change. So have a plan for planning :)
Follow the Footsteps of the Pros
Once you’ve walked through big picture planning and have set practical goals, it’s time to take action. Unfortunately, this is where many lose their vision and determination. A goal will stay a goal unless you don’t take practical steps each day towards making it a reality.
One of the tools I like for creating a daily/weekly action plan is the Eisenhower Box. Presently, this simple concept has transformed my productivity and helped me reach the goals God has placed upon my heart.
This popular productivity tool was created by Dwight D. Eisenhower, the 34th President of the United States. He is remembered for a legacy of productivity, and how much he achieved while in office. Impressively, he launched programs that directly led to the development of the Interstate Highway System in the United States, the launch of the Internet and the creation of NASA. Amazing!
He used an Eisenhower Box to help him plan actionable steps to reach his goals and you can, too!
How to Eliminate Overwhelm Using The Eisenhower Box
Create an Eisenhower Box Action Plan
You can easily develop a daily/weekly action plan using the Eisenhower Box formula:
First, write down all of the tasks you need to accomplish for the day/week on separate Post-It notes. (There’s something so cathartic about the “brain dump!”)
Next, create a four category grid on a piece of paper (I love to use a large poster board.)
Label the grid with these categories:
- Do Now– This category is for urgent and important tasks that are a high priority. These are the items that can’t be pushed back to a later date, and are the most important tasks you need to complete.
- Schedule– This category includes tasks that are important to complete, but it’s not necessary to finish them first. Scheduling these tasks for a later day will not impact your goals or deadlines.
- Delegate- While these items are important and need to be finished, these tasks can be delegated to others. Delegating frees you to focus on those items in the ‘Do Now’ category that only you can complete.
- Delete- These items are neither important or urgent right now, so delete them from what you had planned for the day/week. It’s so freeing to give yourself permission not to do a task!
Now, take your Post-It note tasks and place them in the correct section of your Eisenhower Box. As you determine which box would best fit your task, ask yourself these vital questions.
- How does this task impact my God-given goals?
- Is it necessary to complete this task today or tomorrow to reach my dreams?
- Is this task the best use of my time or can I delegate it to someone else?
- Does this task align with the goals God has placed in my life?
As you put this productivity tool into place, you’ll learn to rely heavily on this visual action plan. Writing down these tasks will relieve you of a cluttered brain, which you will allow you to focus on the most important tasks at hand. Plus, completing each task is a small, but crucial step to reaching your big-picture plans.
By using Grace Goals for your big picture planning and implementing the Eisenhower Box (Our Time Management Toolkit walks you through this exercise and is included with your Grace Goals All-Access purchase!) , you are well-equipped to achieve the dreams God has etched on your heart. May you have the courage to take action and strive to impact the world for Him by achieving your goals. I can’t wait to see what God has planned for you!