Seven Steps for Setting and Reaching Goals
“I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead…” (Philippians 3:13).
- Stay focused . Anticipating larger goals turns ordinary activities into achievements and adventure. Don’t let daily details distract and derail your long-term goals.
- Set realistic expectations. Achieving a small goal is more valuable than brooding over impossible expectations. Be aware of your own limits as well as the demands put on you.
- Expect challenges. Successful people are not mistake-free; they just don’t give up when things go wrong. Rather they find valuable lessons in challenges and adopt new strategies.
- Maintain a positive attitude. Make the choice to focus on solutions rather than problems. Cultivate thankfulness, optimism, and trust in God in the situations you can’t change.
- Seek support and accept responsibility . Surround yourself with people who have positive life skills and learn from them. Develop new habits and ways of thinking. Social ties create mutual accountability and give opportunity to grow in responsibility and consistency.
- Practice new choices. Positive choices, when repeatedly made, build body, mind, and spirit. Steady growth and development overcome big, bad habits. Fast is fragile; slow is stable.
- Connect. Circumstances alone cannot change the heart. Recovery from broken habits, restoration of health, and renewal of hope and happiness come through a daily relationship with God who is personally interested in your healing, growth, and progress. He will guide, sustain, and empower all who come to Him in prayer.
Ellen White speaks about maintaining a positive attitude and practicing new choices
Ellen White was wholistic in her approach to healing. She realized that the mind was linked to the body and that God intended humans to have restored social relationships. For her, the most important connection was with a loving and holy heavenly Father.
"While words express thoughts, it is also true that thoughts follow words. If we would give more expression to our faith, rejoice more in the blessings that we know we have,—the great mercy and love of God,—we should have more faith and greater joy. No tongue can express, no finite mind can conceive, the blessing that results from appreciating the goodness and love of God. Even on earth we may have joy as a wellspring, never failing, because fed by the streams that flow from the throne of God.
"Then let us educate our hearts and lips to speak the praise of God for His matchless love. Let us educate our souls to be hopeful and to abide in the light shining from the cross of Calvary. Never should we forget that we are children of the heavenly King, sons and daughters of the Lord of hosts. It is our privilege to maintain a calm repose in God.
"'Let the peace of God rule in your hearts; . . . and be ye thankful.' Colossians 3:15. Forgetting our own difficulties and troubles, let us praise God for an opportunity to live for the glory of His name. Let the fresh blessings of each new day awaken praise in our hearts for these tokens of His loving care. When you open your eyes in the morning, thank God that He has kept you through the night. Thank Him for His peace in your heart. Morning, noon, and night, let gratitude as a sweet perfume ascend to heaven.
"When someone asks how you are feeling, do not talk of your lack of faith and your sorrows and sufferings. Let the fresh blessings of each new day awaken praise in our hearts for these tokens of His loving care."—Ellen G. White
"When someone asks how you are feeling, do not try to think of something mournful to tell in order to gain sympathy. Do not talk of your lack of faith and your sorrows and sufferings. The tempter delights to hear such words. When talking on gloomy subjects, you are glorifying him. We are not to dwell on the great power of Satan to overcome us. Often we give ourselves into his hands by talking of his power. Let us talk instead of the great power of God to bind up all our interests with His own. Tell of the matchless power of Christ, and speak of His glory. All heaven is interested in our salvation."
Ellen G. White, The Ministry of Healing (Mountain View, CA: Pacific Press Publ. Assn., 1905), 252-253.
Published in Mosaic newsletter, 2019 Q4, Fall issue