Writing Goals For a Better Future
Twenty-five percent of people abandon their New Year’s resolutions after one week. Sixty percent of people abandon them within six months. The average person makes the same New Year’s resolution ten separate times without success. Only about five percent of those who lose weight on a diet keep it off; ninety-five percent regain it. A significant percentage gain back more than they originally lost. Even after a heart attack, only fourteen percent of patients makes any lasting changes around eating or exercise.
But while New Year’s resolutions don’t work, goal do. Surprised? Dr. Gail Matthews, professor at Dominican University in California, did a study with 267 participants. She found that it is forty-two percent more likely to achieve your goals just by writing them down. Writing down your goals is nonnegotiable.
Every December I take a good deal of time to pray, think and write down my prayers and thoughts. Then I write down my goals for the year and beyond.
Habakkuk 2:2-3 NKJV - 2 Then the LORD answered me and said: "Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it. 3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.”
A vision is simply a picture of the future. Faith in God allows me to see beyond my eyes. 1 Corinthians 2:9-10 - But as it is written: "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him." 10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.
What Michelle and I are doing today is what we saw ourselves doing over 30 years ago. Proverbs 8:17 – I love those who love me; and those who diligently seek me will find me.
Writing goals affects the brain in unique ways. Writing down goals allows electric signals to travel back and forth through a bundle of fibers in the brain. These signals move into the fluid around the brain and travels up and down the spinal column, eventually communicating with every fiber and cell in our bodies – literally turning our thoughts into actions.
The right hemisphere of the brain is the imaginative side, while the left is the literal side. If you only think about your goals, you’re only using the imaginative side. With the two sides working together on the goal you’ve focus upon, you bring your whole body in on it.
Writing down your goals forces you to hold yourself more accountable and demands results. It will force you to clarify what you want. Imagine setting out on a trip with no particular destination in mind. How do you pack? What roads do you take? It motivates you to take actions. It provides a filter for other opportunities. Every dream, intention or goal encounter resistance. When you focus on get attention – positive or negative. It helps you see and celebrate your progress.
Process of Writing Goals
Develop Goals for a balanced life: Personal (spiritual, health, financial), Family and Occupational. Write your goals in as much detail as possible. Write positive statement, not negative ones. Make sure your goals stretch you. Isaiah 54:2-3 - Enlarge the place of your tent, and let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings; do not spare; lengthen your cords, and strengthen your stakes. 3 For you shall expand to the right and to the left, and your descendants will inherit the nations, and make the desolate cities inhabited. If you are not growing, you are dying.
Keep your goals before your eyes – Proverbs 4:20-23 NKJV - 20 My son, give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. 21 Do not let them depart from your eyes; keep them in the midst of your heart; 22 For they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh. 23 Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.
Seek to be a blessing, not to be successful. Keep your focus outward.
2019 Sermon Notes
WE SHALL OVERCOME....Starting With the Past
David battled four unexpected giants when he was
old and weak. What giants from our past need to be overcome?
Text: Romans 8:31-38
What is an overcomer? ___________________________
It means to defeat; to subdue; to conquer; to break through.
Jesus said in Luke 10:19 “I give you ________________________”
- The Serpent of Past Sin
Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no ______________________
HOW do we overcome this serpent?
- The Scorpion of PAST PAIN
- Inner Pain can come from many places.
- HOW do we smash the Scorpion?
- Take away its _________________________
III. The GIANT of Harbored Bitterness
Unforgiveness and bitterness will lead to all sorts of ___________________________________Hebrews 12:15
Steps to Overcoming this GIANT that will eat you alive!
Listen: You can be a destroyer of the KINGDOM of the ___________________________Matthew 16:18
We Shall Overcome – Our Flesh
- How do you identify with Paul’s struggle?
- Explain the internal power struggle you deal with?
- What do believe is the difference between condemnation and conviction?
- Why is condemnation harmful?
- Why is conviction beneficial?
- What is wrong with a sin-avoidance mindset?
- 2 Corinthians 5:17
- What does it mean to be a new person in Christ?
- What is new? What has not changed?
- Colossians 2:13
- What does it mean to be made alive with Christ?
- How important is it to understand that you have been forgiven all of your trespasses?
- Colossians 3:1-3
- How do you seek heavenly things? How do you set your mind on heavenly things? How do you set your mind on other things?
- Your eyes and ears are the answer.
- What are you watching and reading? What is filling your ears?
- Do you mostly have control over these? (YES)
- To be controlled by the live-giving Spirit, to what should you be watching, reading and listening?
- What you say is the most important thing you are hearing daily!
- Is your conversation mostly in agreement with the live-giving Spirit or with your destructive flesh?
- What fruit, results or evidence are you experiencing currently? (rhetorical)
- How does fruit or results help identify if you are living in the flesh or Spirit?
- What does it mean to be a “careful” or thinking person?
- Flesh is always the default mode of your mind. To live in the Spirit, requires you to “set” your mind on the things above. Do you find this statement to be true?
- What is wrong with drunkenness?
- How is drunkenness the opposite of being filled with the Holy Spirit?
We Shall Overcome – Thoughts
- What happens if you don’t change some of your current thoughts?
- Where are these thoughts leading you – to a good and better place or to a bad and even worse place?
- Do you believe you can change your thoughts?
- Do you believe that if your most dominant thoughts became more positive, healthy, productive and victorious that you might begin experiencing better results more consistently?
- You can do it!
- Your most dominant thoughts are controlling words and actions leading to certain, even predictable results. Yes, you will have opposition. Yes, many circumstances are out of your direct control. Yes, there are still many variables within your control that you must control to get better results!
- Satan wants us to focus on everything that is wrong with us. Those thoughts drive us towards negative words and behavior. We seek relief in those things that cause us and those around us further damage. This is the self-sabotage of sin. This is why our minds must be renewed by the Word of God.
- Don’t let the devil use your mind as a garbage dump.
- If you have a mindset that God loves everyone, how will that affect your words and actions? How will that affect your results in life?
- With whom you spend significant time will greatly influence your mindset and attitude. With whom do you need to reduce or increase time exposure?
Negative, sinful & damaging thoughts
- Evil thoughts lead to evil actions - Matthew 15:19
- Corrupt Mind – 1 Timothy 6:5 & Titus 1:15; Depraved Mind – 2 Timothy 3:8; Poisoned Mind – Acts 14:2; Hardened Mind – 2 Corinthians 3:14; Blinded Mind – 2 Corinthians 4:4; Darken & Confused Mind – Ephesians 4:17-18 & Romans 1:21
- How does understanding better how your flesh and your enemy attacks your thoughts help you overcome those thoughts?
- How does this knowledge help you pray for yourself and others?
When Jesus comes into your life, He opens your heart and mind to understand Scripture
Luke 24:44-45; Romans 12:2; Hebrews 4:12
Guard your heart and mind
- By prayer – Philippians 4:6-9
- Romans 8:6; 1 Corinthians 2:16
We Shall Overcome Fear
Text: 2 Timothy 1:7
The Apostle Paul reminds us that we are “more than conquerors …”
Today we need to discuss a thing called fear and how we overcome it.
There are two kinds of fear:
Fear that is ___________
Fear that is ____________
Perhaps there is a fear that you need to overcome today.
There are fears that seem to plague Christians.
2 Timothy 1:7NKJV
Who was Timothy and what was his fear?
- We’ve Been Given the Spirit of _______________________
- We’ve Been Given the Spirit of ____________
1 John 4:18NKJV
III. We’ve Been Given the Spirit of__________________________
So, what do we do to OVERCOME FEAR?
Overcoming the Fall-Out of Conflict
NEWS FLASH In this life, you will never overcome “HAVING” conflicts. The only people who do not experience conflicts are those who are dead in ________.
For us, Palm Sunday is a beautiful expression of the Triumphal Entry of King Jesus into Jerusalem. But when you dig beneath the surface of the traditional celebration, you see that this was a CONFLICT-FILLED week for Jesus.
But it is in all of these events that we find out how we can truly live as OVERCOMERS when it comes to the fall-out of created by interpersonal conflict.
Four events from Holy week that provide the tools to deal with conflict.
- Start with a _______________.
- Galatians 2:20
- Face the Issue with a HEART of _____________
- Matthew 6:12
- Speak the Truth ______________
- Ephesians 4:29
- Focus on Reconciliation, not RESOLUTION
- Hebrews 12:14
Conclusion: The greatest conflict is to be a war with_________