Setting and achieving goals is the path to your dreams. To help your children build an exciting future there has to be a spark of excitement about your own future. This comes from a dream brewing deep in your gut that wants to manifest. I’m not talking New Year’s resolutions that are quickly made and forgotten. Don’t roll your eyes and say, “I’m tired already! I just want to bring home a paycheck and pay my bills.” That is a worthy short term goal, but you need to show your family how to live life full of dreams and how to set goals that get them there. I want to encourage you – you can do it! Here’s nine “P” ways to get from setting goals to living the gold. Live this in front of your grandchildren and they will live it too!
1 – PONDER YOUR GOALS
Take time to deeply meditate on your dream. This will bring you to the place of knowing you are absolutely committed – do or die. Sam and I pondered our options then chose a trip to Disney World as the way to give our grandkids a positive, fun and memorable experience. We started by laying out steps and made a commitment. Set an appropriate time line, remembering to stay flexible. Remember, you can’t do it all at once. Getting overwhelmed takes the fun out of it. The train leaves the station slowly. No crazy zero to sixty miles an hour like some roller coasters. Proverbs 3:5 & 6 says commit your ways to God and He will direct your steps.
2 – PRINT YOUR GOALS
Here’s a golden tip for you; type out your goal and put it where you can see it. Look at it often until it gets imprinted into your mind and heart. Tape your written goal or a photo where the family can see it and get them to adopt the goal with you. I like this because it gives me daily reminders while I do the necessary, mundane duties that keep life going. We put up pictures of Disney where we could see them and stayed excited about our goal when the going got tough. Habakuk 2:2 says write what you see about your future so those who read can go after it. Deuteronomy 11:20 tells us to print out goals where we can see them every day.
3 – PRAY YOUR GOALS
Prayer develops eyesight and helps God give you direction as you journey. How exciting to have the God who created the universe directing your path. Seek Him often. Listen always. We asked God to order our steps and give us wisdom about how to plan our Disney trip. We ended up utilizing a trip planner, which helped a lot. I Thessalonians 5:17 tells us to pray about everything. That includes your big dreams and your small goals.
4 – PAY YOUR GOALS
Start a new bank account and nickname it your goal and start saving. We took eight people to Disney World and that cost a pretty penny. It took a year of saving. We took grandkids who had never been on a vacation. To see their excitement as they boarded the plane and saw Elsa singing “Let it Go” in front of the Disney castle was priceless. Save your change, stick a few dollars here and there, eat out less, utilize coupons – you know the drill, just getting started is most of the battle. Live different now so you can live different later. Sacrifice more now so you can spend more later. As often as we could we put a little away toward our Disney trip. While Anthony saved coins we saved dollars. Proverbs 13:11 says don’t get rich fast, but gather little by little.
5 – PREPARE YOUR GOALS
Preparation is the key to building the muscle to birth and sustain your golden goal. So maybe you can’t run the iron man competition tomorrow, but you can start out walking, then move up to jogging. Start around the block, then two blocks, then a mile, and finally the marathon. Excitement builds as you tackle the challenges and move toward your goal. We kept writing and rewriting what our days would be like and what we would need to take on our Disney trip. Proverbs 24:17 tells us to prepare first, then build our dream house.
6 – PLAN YOUR GOALS
Part of the joy is the anticipation that takes place in the planning. Think of the scenery, the fun and the path as you map out your itinerary. Research and journal the details and begin to make commitments. You’ll be much more likely to achieve your goal if you make a no-turning-back commitment. Make that reservation! I also like to keep a record of to-do’s and refer back to what I’ve done so far. If you’re a list maker you’ll get it when I say sometimes I’ll do a task I did’t put on the list, so I write it on the list and then cross it off so I get credit for it. Since I’m in charge of handing out my own credits I score big on this! Psalms 37:23 tells us to make a plan, to set our steps in order.
7 – PURPOSE YOUR GOALS
To survive and thrive the process from goal to gold don’t just see the goal, see the purpose behind the goal. The purpose will drive you when the goal seems unattainable. I am going to be out of debt! I am going to raise awesome grandchildren! I’m going to have a great marriage! I am going to survive and thrive in my challenge! Seeing a clear purpose means you are more likely to keep driving toward your target and reach it. As we went along we began to see a deeper purpose for our Disney trip; to create positivity in our grandkids who have had a tough go of it. Romans 8:28 tells us that everything works for us when we understand the purpose and pursue that.
8 – PASSION YOUR GOALS
You must have a deep passion for your goal that will drive you from the goal to the gold. Stoke your passion by making a benefits list. See all the great results you will get when you achieve your goal. We thought of everything good we would experience and everything good we would get from our Disney trip. Hebrews 12:2 tells us that Jesus endured the trial of the cross because of His passion for His reward.
9 – PACK YOUR BAGS
Pack your bags! It’s time to actually experience your big dream. Some dreams take a year, some take a lifetime and some may never happen. But, here’s the good news; if you make living your life a pursuit of God’s greatest and best, then even if you never see your dream manifest, the joy of the journey will surpass the joy of the dream. Always remember, it is more important to show your children how to dream and journey than it is to live a life centered around getting things.
Sometimes the real thing is almost a let down after all the dreaming and planning. So take photos, keep a journal of experiences, feelings and insights, so you can relish the memories. You’ll be surprised what unexpected pleasures will pop up that you’ll want to save for later. Make a scrapbook and hang pictures of your kids living the dream. It’s a great way to rekindle the dreaming spirit in the future. Never stop dreaming. If you stop you’ll go backwards so keep dreaming even while you pursue your present dream. Make the pursuit of your now goal an opportunity to dream up an even greater goal.
Our dream is to live, laugh and love with our grandson as we experience this delightful day by day journey helping him become a respectful, godly, and productive member of society. Now that is a golden future worth dreaming and paying the price for. God bless you as you journey to productivity with these nine P’s, achieve your goals, and see your dreams become reality!
Love, Sam and Debbie