2016, The Year to Leap Forward. 2016 has already turned a leaf. Day 1 is gone, never to return again. However, due to this being a leap year you still have 365 more daily opportunities. This is the year to leap, and you’ve got to do it with intent and a commitment to consistent action if you plan to reach your destination. I’ll share 5 ways to reach your goals in 2016 without depending on just will-power (which can fail you every now and then).
At the start every year many of us scribble down a list of goals. While it’s important to have goals, often times we don’t sit down and count the cost of achieving those goals. This explains why countless give up on reaching their destination a few weeks or months into creating the new habits that would certainly take them across the finish line. You may say that you lacked will-power and therefore gave up on reaching your goals, but I’m going to show you it’s beyond will-power.
Your will, as important as it is in the equation, can only carry you so far. You must see the end of your goal long before taking the first step. God sees the end from the beginning and calls it done. You must learn to operate from the same place. This is your place of vision. If you don’t have an internal vision of what it’s like to reach a certain goal, you may live vicariously through someone else and yet never put yourself at the finish line.
Fear also has a way of stopping us from moving forward, or even committing to take all the necessary actions needed to reach our key goals. Maybe this year you plan to walk 100K steps/week for our Fitbit overachievers, or you plan to run a marathon. Regardless of the goal, you have to first take time to see yourself achieving it, and then go on to detail the steps needed to reach that goal.
Let’s consider these 5 ways to reach your goal.
1. See the Vision
I like reading the books of Moses because in them we can see how he was given a vision, and then a plan to achieve the desired end result. Moses had to follow the plan exactly. When you consider the tabernacle he built, God told him how he would have to build everything according to the vision he saw in the mountain. (Exodus 25:40
) It took Moses 40 days to get the vision from God. And then he had to write it down and revise it, since he had to go back for another 40 days in God’s presence to see more. You have a vision of achieving certain goals, but sometimes may not realize that there’s some meticulous research required before embarking on the path. Without the right vision you’ll perish along the way like those lost at sea without a compass. You must see the vision and write it well before starting.
2. Cast the Vision
Moses then was able to share the vision with others who would go the distance with him, whether it was his brother Aaron, or Joshua and other tribe leaders. You must cast your vision. Share it. (Habakkuk 2:2
) Tell the world what you plan to do, even if they dare laugh at you! Once Moses returned from the mountain he shared not only the 10 commandments God shared with him, but also the vision for the tabernacle. You must not be shy about doing this. Yes, people may make fun of you, or judge you according to your track record – or at least what they think they know about you. Share your vision anyway. Cast it even if it seems something extraordinary which from your standpoint may require ridiculous faith! DO IT!
3. Find Your Supporting Cast
You cast your vision so you can find your supporting cast. Moses couldn’t do it all by himself. Jesus didn’t choose to do it by Himself either. He found his supporting cast and shared His vision with them on a regular basis. He was going to the cross and there was no stopping Him (Matthew 16:21
). They knew but wouldn’t believe it until it happened. He was particular about who his supporting cast would be. As for Moses, he was also open to advice from those who were more experienced, like his father-in-law Jethro (Exodus 18:19
). The first part in reaching your goals will be to find others to join your team whether as peers or supporting cast, so you can get to your destination in a timely manner. Who will run with you? Who has similar interests and may even want to compete with you and help you get better? Those who read the vision are more likely to go with you for the long haul.
4. Sticking to It
This is the hard part. Many of us give up too early, or, worse yet, don’t even begin for fear that we won’t finish. And because you review your track record from prior years, you start with trepidation that you may not finish again. It’s time to throw the old results out the window and learn that it’s going to take more than sheer will power to stick with the vision. If you don’t review the end result daily then you’re more likely to quit. Jesus knew going to the cross wasn’t easy. You find Him praying daily, and constantly reminding Himself and His disciples of His impending crucifixion (Matthew 20:18
). If you don’t make yourself accountable by sharing the vision then you’re more likely to quit. The reality is that roadblocks will always present themselves along the way. These hurdles are just that, hurdles. Just learn to jump over them without falling flat on your face. You will simply learn that there’s no easier way around a hurdle than to jump past it. If you go under or around you’re defeating the purpose of the hurdle. It’s there to test whether you’re going to keep up your speed toward the finish line. If you do anything other than jump over it, you’ll be delayed or worse yet fall flat on your face for hesitating. Review the vision constantly so you can stick with it. See the end result and rehearse it.
5. Pass / Fail
What does this mean? Shouldn’t you succeed at everything you put your hands to? Absolutely, you should. That’s a promise to you, but sometimes you may end up letting your emotions (fear), prior knowledge or experience get in the way. For example, Moses sent 12 spies to check out the land of Canaan, and guess how many passed the test? 2! Only 2 passed the possibility test! Joshua and Caleb knew that despite the hurdles they would face, they had the Greater One on their side who gave them the land by promise. Eventually, they were the only 2 from a generation that walked out of Egypt to make it into the promised land after 40 years! (Numbers 26:65
) Will you pass or will you fail? This will depend tremendously on your faith in the promise God gave you to overcome and take the territory that’s yours. At His very last day on earth, Jesus prayed about the trials He was about to go through. He not only stuck with it, but saw beyond the trials, and ultimately decided to do His Father’s will. Notice it wasn’t His will power that sent Him to the cross! Neither will your will power take you to the finish line. You must decide to pass from the get-go or you will fail at the final hurdle. You decide!
You’ve been given certain territories, and if you don’t step out in 2016 and leap forward with intent and action you will miss the best opportunities to grow and develop your faith.
You will find God’s will and discover more about yourself, especially the chinks in your armor and where you are weak in character. If you draw back like a coward you will go around the same mountain for another year never apprehending the promise that was given to you and your descendants. That would be a shame! So, wake up and write your vision for 2016 and beyond. Go take your land. Go expand your territory. Go after the giants in the land and slay them so others around you may know that there is a God who promised and whose word is always true. He promised and He will be alongside you, but you’ve got to go for gold, or you will miserably fail from the get-go. Passing the test is a choice, not a chance!
This year, I’m committing myself to running my first marathon. What about you? What goal will you achieve this year that you’ve put on the back-burner for months, years or decades? Go ahead and cast the Vision so your supporting cast can find you!
Pierre A. Laguerre
“My Focus is to help you walk in the Kingdom life daily, and to challenge, inspire and motivate you to walk in lock step with the One sent to help you.”
P.S. IF YOU’RE ON THE ROAD TO BEING A DISCIPLE YOU CAN’T AFFORD TO WALK IN MISGUIDED FAITH. CHECK OUT FIXING YOUR FAITH BY GARY KEESEE, A TEACHING SERIES THAT HAS HELPED MY WALK IN THE LAST 4 YEARS.