Do you have a dream that you can’t stop thinking about? Does it feel as if God is nudging you towards something bigger?
Then this is the post for you. The answer? Start setting goals to live your God-given passions!
We’ve all been given gifts and passions by the Lord. When we align our gifts and passions with the places where God is at work, we live out our purpose and find joy!
This is a guest post written by my dear friend, Tammy Rotzell.
But, I call her a productive machine! She always meets her goals; even though she struggles with a chronic illness. She shares how she sets and meets her goals below.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Take it away Tammy!
Setting Goals to Live Your God-given Passions
Perhaps you long to quit a job that is sucking the life out of you. Maybe you dream of a day when you’ll be free of the financial debt you are in. It could be that you long to serve in a particular ministry but it seems too far out of reach.
Whatever it is, I have no doubt that it boils down to feeling more at peace and living out what you are most passionate about.
Life has just gotten in the way and made you feel as if it’s never the right time.
It may not seem like it now, but by taking a few, easy steps, you truly can make your dreams a reality right now.
What if I Fail?
“What if I fail? Oh, but darling, what if you fly”?
I often talk to people who see what others are doing and they say to me, “If only I were younger,” or “They don’t have the same challenges that I have.”
Truthfully, I used to feel the same way.
It wasn’t until I was blindsided with a chronic illness that God showed me that not only could He still use me, but He could and would do it from the comfort of my own home, allowing me to work entirely around my chronic illness.
Whatever your challenges are, you can still set goals and more importantly, actually achieve them!
Whether you have young kids, are adjusting to an empty nest, taking care of aging parents, living with a chronic illness, or on the verge of a divorce, they are all just an excuse.
Those excuses, no matter how valid they may seem, are called limiting beliefs. They are what stop you from believing you deserve and are capable of achieving the life you want to live.
Your body is designed to protect you from danger.
When you feel yourself getting dangerously close to the edge of your comfort zone, your brain kicks into gear and signals, “Danger, danger! Don’t go there!”
Your brain tells you to stay away because you will probably fail.
And here’s the truth.
You will fail!
You’re going to fall over and over again.
“Success is on the same road as failure; success is just a little further down the road.” Jack Hyles
A mistake, or even a big failure, is not a bad thing. It teaches you something valuable and becomes an opportunity to help you learn what works and what doesn’t.
In fact, would you like to know the secret to some of the most successful people in the world?
They aren’t afraid to fail.
Not only are they not afraid to fail, but they’ve learned to embrace their failures as the opportunities they are!
In the book, The Dream Giver, Bruce Wilkinson writes about learning to face fear and break free of our comfort zones. (Fantastic book by the way!)
“Each time you break through a Comfort Zone, the area of your comfort increases. You become comfortable with more and more things.”
Fear is like a muscle that needs to be strengthened. It requires pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone over and over again.
So I ask you, do you want to stay stuck in your boring, worn-out comfort zone or do you want to take a chance and start living?
Use Brain Dumping While Setting Goals to Live Your God-given Passions
Now that you know and have accepted the fact that you are going to fail (and will be totally fine when you do!), it’s time to give yourself permission to dream big. It’s time to open your eyes to where God is leading you and run with it!
Enter brain dumping.
If you’ve never heard of this before, simply put, it’s just dumping everything that’s in your head onto a sheet of paper.
It’s not neat and organized, but rather a way for you to begin weeding through your thoughts and start making sense of it all.
I use this in many areas of my life.
I brain dump when I’m determining what blog posts I’ll write over the course of the year, and when I’m working on new products.
My husband and I use it when we are setting our financial goals. I’ve taught it to my youngest son to use for school projects.
To apply it to your goals, pull out a large piece of paper. (I use good old fashioned oversized construction paper) Set the timer on your phone for thirty minutes and just start writing.
By setting a timer, it forces your brain to push everything else out so that you can focus on one task at a time.
This is your time to dream big. Nothing is off the table.
Don’t ask yourself how you’re going to turn your dreams into a reality. It’s a very important question, but it’s not the time to ask it.
Consider what you want your life to look like.
Would you love to travel the country in an RV and homeschool the kids? Maybe you’d like to spend three months in Italy when you retire. (Or is that just me?) Do you feel God calling you to a new ministry?
There is no such thing as dreaming too big.
Now for the Big Question
Now that you have your wildest dreams down on paper, it’s time to ask yourself how.
(Take a breath. I’m going to walk you through it.)
Grab another piece of paper and write down one of the goals that you listed. Start writing everything you’ll need to do to accomplish that one goal.
Using becoming debt-free as an example, here are some things that may be on your list.
- List all of your debts in order of smallest to greatest.
- Purge every room in your house, and sell anything you no longer use and put all of the money earned towards your debt.
- Get a temporary, part-time job and put the extra money towards debt.
- Build a $1000 emergency fund.
- Find a way to cut back on your weekly grocery budget.
- Pack a lunch for work instead of eating out.
- Contact a debt consolidation company.
Do you see how it’s starting to come together?
Having a goal of becoming completely debt-free seems impossible when you consider your mortgage, car payments, student loans, and credit card bills.
However, when you begin to break it down into manageable tasks, it isn’t so daunting.
Prevent the Squirrels
Now that your goal is broken down into manageable tasks, you have one more step to ensure your success.
It’s time to prepare yourself for those “squirrel moments”.
You know what I’m talking about. Those moments when you see someone else doing something and you veer off track thinking you are missing out and, therefore, need to chase after them too.
To prevent this from happening, there is a ridiculously simple system you can put in place.
Take the #1 item on your task list and write it down in your day planner, put it on your fridge, the dashboard of your car, or on your bathroom mirror. Then put the rest of your list (master list) someplace that you can easily access it.
When those squirrels go running by and make you feel like you’re missing out, write it down on your master list, tuck it away, and then let it go!
Once you are ready to move on to the next task, pull out your master list, reevaluate it and make any necessary changes, then move on with the next item that is the most important right now.
This will help you to keep those blinders on to what everyone else is doing and stop chasing after something that is going to derail you from reaching your goals.
Wrapping Up – Setting Goals to Live Your God-given Passions
Setting goals can feel like a huge mountain to scale, especially when you use the word, “How” too soon.
By taking these easy steps to map out your goals, you’ll be leaving that worn-out recliner and blowing through the walls of your comfort zone in no time!
Three months from now, after setting goals to live your God-given passions, you’ll look back and see that accomplishing your goals is far easier than you thought possible and you are a lot closer to living that dream you can’t stop thinking about.
Thank you, Tammy!
Tammy is the owner and founder of Footprints of Inspiration where she provides encouragement, guidance, and resources to help women live out their God-given passions. She is the author of Finding Peace in the Mess 30-Day Devotional and Prayer Journal, as well as a new soon to be released Bible Study. Tammy loves a good cup of chai and in her free time, you can find her sitting on a beach with her husband of 27 years.
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