Godly Goal Planning

“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23

“The object of a new year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul.”  G.K. Chesterton


  • Grab your journal and Bible and head to the place in your home where you have your quiet time. Read Psalm 121 in its entirety. Journal about your hopes for the New Year.

Godly Goal Planning

I have a confession. I am not a big fan of New Year’s resolutions. I don’t really see the point of making a goal at a specific time of the year and then feeling pressured to keep the goal “just because everyone else is doing it.” It’s a flawed system right from the beginning. We set ourselves up to fail and to not complete our initial goal because we did not do one small step. We neglected to stop, pray, and ask God for His help and wisdom on our journey.

Goal planning should always be done with a partner—God! Here are some easy-to-follow steps for what I like to call Godly Goal Planning:

Pray – Proverbs 19:21 gives us a foundation to begin “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” We must start out our goal-setting session in prayer. Asking the Lord to bless and ordain the project.

Plan – Proverbs 16:9 tells us, “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.” Write down your plan. Be committed enough to put it down on paper.

Prioritize – Proverbs 24:27 (NLT) tells us, “Do your planning and prepare your fields before building your house.” We cannot do everything. We need to align our priorities with His and ultimately make sure they are God ordained.

Pray – 1 Thessalonians 5:17 reminds us to “pray without ceasing.” We must continually take our challenges to the Lord.

Commit – Proverbs 16:3 (ESV) states, “Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.” Tell someone about what you are doing. Post it on Facebook. You are not truly committed if you just keep it to yourself.

Execute – Luke 1:37 gives great direction by telling us, “For no word from God will ever fail.” Jump in feet first with God and go. Make the changes that you have planned and have committed to in your planning stages.

Pray – Continue to trust that the Lord will provide for all your needs during this time of challenge. 2 Chronicles 15:7 tells us, “But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.” Stop and pray. Be thankful. Ask for help and strength if needed. But always remember to pray.

Celebrate – Psalm 100:1-3 states, “Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know the Lord is God.” Take the time to celebrate your accomplishment but do not forget to acknowledge the One who walked beside you in your time of challenge.

Pray – Most importantly, we need to remember to thank God for what He has done during this season in our life. Take a moment and thank the Lord for honing you, teaching you, and trusting you.

When we turn over our lives to God and truly live by faith, we are trusting in Him to provide for us in all aspects of our lives. This includes areas like self-improvement, budgeting, and even child-rearing. Regarding anything we need or want, He wants us to come to Him and ask for help. When it comes to goal setting and execution, if I take my requests to the Lord and we work together to create a plan, and I pray fervently over my goal, I am ultimately successful. If I am prideful and try to do it all myself, I will ultimately fail. Isaiah 64:8 (NKJV) says it best: “But now, O Lord, You are our Father; We are the clay, and You our potter; And all we are the work of Your hand.” We must submit to the will of the Lord to be ultimately successful.

I hope you found encouragement and newfound excitement today in the area of goal setting.

Blessings and Love,


Questions to Ponder

  • Do you have any areas in your life that need improvement? Do you need to spend some time with God creating a goal plan? I encourage you to spend some time in prayer asking God if He sees any areas in your life that could use improvement or encouragement. Ask Him to make your plan for change very clear so you can easily identify the issue and execute the plan. Be prepared for the answer. Journal about your experience so you can go back and reflect on what you learned and how you grew during the experience. Don’t forget to celebrate your accomplishment!

Faith-Filled Ideas

Do you smile enough? A smile can change a mood in a room, calm a crying child, or even diffuse a horrible situation. My challenge to you this week is to smile at everyone you encounter, a genuine smile of happiness. A smile that says without a doubt you are happy to see them. Proverbs 17:22 (GWT) states, “A joyful heart is good medicine, but depression drains one’s strength.” Some added health benefits of smiling are lower blood pressure, relieved stress, and uplifted moods. Smiling is contagious!

Leslie Leonard
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2 Comments on “Godly Goal Planning”

  1. Thank you Leslie for sharing your wisdom. Reading and reflecting on your words has allowed me to jump into the icy cold water of avoidance and wake up.

    The word “new” seems to be a word that comes to me quite often, new focus, new stage of life; empty nesters, new grandparents, new routines, new adventures, new challenges, new disciplines, new commitments. If I am honest with myself, I have mixed emotions about the word “new”. I am set in my ways and want to stick with what works. I’ve tried many new things along my life’s journey. Some were good and some not so much. As I get older, do I really want to produce the effort to try new things and why?

    See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:19

    Yes, I am living in the wilderness, the dessert, just like the Israelites. God provided for them, He disciplined them and He taught them to trust Him. I have to wake up to this, with its many streams of living truths.

    The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him. Psalm 28:7

    The flip side of this emotion is the realization that I am not perfect. I am a lump of clay in which Papa God is molding. I am a work in progress, having periods of times of yielding to His plan and other times where I have been lazy and didn’t follow through. (my loss).

    For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans
    to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a
    future. Jeremiah 29:11

    So therefore, I suffer great loss if I do not submit to the teacher’s (God’s) lesson plan for me. I won’t advance and I will not graduate with honors.

    Maybe there are two trains running here. What I mean by this is; two trains of thought. One train represents the way of discipline and the other is the sinful ways in my life. I tend to place my focus of the New Year on change in the areas of lack of discipline, (food choices, time management, exercise, budget, daily devotions, spending time with God). These areas of my life need to be disciplined, but I can’t just leave it there. I have to seek The Teacher’s will in the areas of sinful habits. Not even going to try and list them all. Papa knows where I need to be refined. The student does not know all they need to know, if they did then, there would be no need for the teacher.

    I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you. Psalm 32.8

    Did I catch that, “I will instruct, teach, counsel you, My eye upon you”. What a relief! I don’t have to come up with the lesson plan!! He will.
    Note to self: Pray for wisdom as to what my responsibility is as the student.

    Who is the man who fears the LORD? He will instruct him in the way he should choose. Psalm 25:12

    It might just be that through new disciplines God will reveal the sinful habits and the lesson plan for both will be intertwined producing a new thing within me. As I live out my days here in the dessert of planet Earth I will try and seek and stay close to the teachers word so that I may hear His instructions and choose well.

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