“We should make plans counting on God to direct us.” Proverbs 16:9

By John E. Schrock, Businessman

Underline the key concepts found in this principle.

Planning can be a goal in itself, but goals are primarily long or short-term strategies set within a plan. The plan is the big picture of our objectives and short term goals are like points along the way in the strategies of how to get there. Whatever we do in life should be done based on a goal. If we don’t have a goal, then we don’t have direction for our lives, and we will become a part of someone else’s plan. We must understand that things don’t just happen. We can dream of possibilities and the future, but it will not happen unless we design a plan with weekly or monthly goals on how to achieve them. We should always work from a daily planner or some written list of things to do for the week. This will give us an exciting life and future, because we are going somewhere by getting things done. Without planning and setting goals, we just respond to situations as they come up, which gives us a feeling that life is full of nothing but situations.

Getting somewhere in life starts by -

1. Knowing where we are (awareness).

2. Knowing what we want (a goal).

3. Having a plan for how to get there (a strategy).

The majority of our lives can turn out to be what we want it to be, if we have a goal and keep working on our plan. When we plan our activities and reach the goals we set for ourselves, we get a great feeling of satisfaction. We will have become achievers. We should ask ourselves: The things I’m doing this week, are they things I planned as a part of my personal goal, or things that were planned for the benefit of someone else?

We must all respond and participate in the ideas and dreams of others. But, if we want to reach the desires of our lives, we must also have ideas and dreams of our own and start planning on how we will bring them into reality. Yes, we should have goals and make plans, but count on God to direct us.

In order to have our dreams come true, we need to do these four things:

1. Write out our dreams (clarity).

2. Write out what it will cost (evaluation).

3. Write out our goals and strategies (plan).

4. Review them regularly (focus).

There is a law in life that, "we attract that which we give attention to." So, always carry a pen and paper with you to write down thoughts that contribute to your goals and after awhile you’ll see a plan develop to accomplish them. Writing out our dreams and goals will do two things for us: First, we will find out if we really have a dream or if it is just wishful thinking. Second, we will discover the cost of the dream. Jesus said that before we build, we should consider the cost such as time, effort, and money. Building dreams always costs us something. The price and sacrifices needed to achieve the dream may be more than we want to pay. So we can either forsake the dream or adjust the goals. It’s very important to constantly review our goals. This keeps us focused and develops a mindset to achieve.

Certain goals must be set within our overall plan so we can measure the progression of the plan. Without goals our dream will seem out of reach. But if we have a good plan with goal posts along the way, we can focus on the goal which is short-term, rather than the 5 or 10-year plan which will seem too far away and hopeless, causing us to lose interest.

Of course, we must always ask God to bless our plans. If that seems difficult, perhaps we should change them. If our plans cannot be blessed by God, then we are building on sand. And even if we achieve them, we will not be happy very long.

This principle is part of the one year character development program: Foundations For Achievement.

Thoughts to Ponder:
The person who aims at nothing is sure to hit it..