Happy new year!!! We are already almost halfway through January. Can you believe it? within no time we will be singing Christmas carols again. I don’t like them. The Christmas carols. But I like everything else about the jolly season. So friends, before then, we need to strategically plan our days so that when the year ends we will have made the most of our days. There is a quote that goes something like, ‘Failing to plan is planning to fail.’ You decide, will you plan to fail by not planning at all or will you take the bold step and plan your way to success? I have made resolutions severally at the beginning of the year but failed to achieve even one. We shall see why later, but first things first. I want us to look at the meaning of the word goal and get to know the difference between a goal and a resolution and why you should make goals instead of resolutions. I know most of you have already made your goals and I am here to help you refine them a little bit more so that you can achieve them. I am sure that this article will help you to make achievable goals, so stick around.

What is a goal?

Simply put, a goal is an objective, something you aim to achieve. It is an idea of the future or desired result that a person or a group of people envision, plan and commit to achieving. From the latter definition, we see that a goal can be made by an individual or by two or more people. It could be a married couple, or two people in a relationship, or in an organisation. You have to envision what you want to achieve, plan and then commit yourself towards achieving your goals.

Goals can be long-term or short-term. Long-term goals are the ones you want to achieve, maybe 5, 10 years from now while short-term goals are the ones you want to achieve say, in one year.

What is the difference between a goal and a resolution?

A resolution is just an intention, a statement of intention, it is vague. e.g. I will get in shape, or I will be more productive this year. Resolutions tend to aim for extreme changes. e.g. I will stop overspending. A goal on the other hand is more specific, for example, if you want to lose some weight in a particular season, you need to look at it deeper and ask yourself some questions that will make your goal achievable as we will see later in the article.

Why should we set goals?

I am going to quote a few bible verses that relate to planning our lives. Proverbs 16:3 ‘Put God in charge of your work, then what you’ve planned will take place.’

Psalm 20:4 ‘May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.’

Luke 14:25-33 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish. Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace.”

Psalm 90:12 ‘Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.’

The number one reason I believe we should make life goals is that God wants us to make our days count. To make use of every second that He has gifted us. But before even we make plans, it is wise to commit our work to God, to put Him in charge and as the word says, ‘He will make our plans succeed.’ We need to spend our days here on earth with an understanding that we are not here to stay, therefore we should be diligent in how we spend our time. Before making those goals, you must sit down and ask if you have what it takes, whether you are willing to commit yourself to achieve your goals because it will not be easy at all. I love the illustrations that Jesus Christ was using to teach people. That if a man wants to build a house, he must sit down and estimate the cost and see if he will be able to bring it to completion rather than just start blindly and run out of materials. Or if a King wants to go to war with another King, he must evaluate and know if his army is big enough for the war. I think we should apply such principles if we want to make achievable goals. Do you have what it takes to achieve that goal you are setting or you are doing it because others are?

Bill Copeland says, ‘The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score.’ Can you imagine a football match without a goal post? Where would the players be directing the ball? A goal will give you a sense of focus in life. Rather than doing things as they come your way, you will actually have a concrete plan of how you will do things.

Setting goals will help you take control of your life so that you are not just sleepwalking through life.

By setting goals, you will get maximum results if you commit yourself.

Goals will help you create accountability to yourself. You can monitor your progress, identify where you are doing well and where you are not.

Goals will motivate you and will give you something to strive for.

Setting SMART goals







Your goal should be clear and it should answer the following:

What do you want to achieve?

Why is this goal important to you?

Who is involved?

Where is it located?

Which resources/limits are involved?


This enables you to track your progress and stay motivated, stay focused and meet your deadlines and the feeling of excitement as you get closer to achieving your goal. You should ask: How much? How many? How will I know when it is accomplished. For example, rather than just saying ‘I will get in shape this year; you can go deeper and ask yourself how you will achieve this goal. you can start by saying maybe you want to lose 20Kg by the end of the year and then you can go ahead and plan on how to achieve this target. Maybe you will be running 2 Km three times a week, or you will enrol in a gym etcetera.


A goal should be realistic and attainable and at the same time stretch your abilities. You should not be setting goals in your comfort zone. For example, saying that you want to read a bible verse a day while you know you are capable of even reading 3 or so chapters in a day. It is also good to look at the constraints that you could come across by setting a particular goal, for example, if your goal involves money, say, going back to school for that degree, you should ask yourself if you will be able to pay for it or if you have the time to do it.


Ensure that a goal matters to you and aligns with other relevant goals. You should ask yourself: is the goal worthwhile, is this the right time for this goal? Are you the right person for this goal?


Ensure that your goal has a target date so that you have a deadline to focus on. You should be able to ask yourself: when? What can I do six months from now?, what can I do Five weeks from now? What can I do today towards achieving my goal?

Tips on how to achieve your goals

  • Write down your goals on a physical book, not at the back but in front, make them a priority. Human beings are very forgetful but writing your goals ensures you have somewhere to refer to six months down the line rather than just saying it in your mind.
  • Have a positive mindset about your goals. Don’t set goals and go about discouraging yourself. Wake up every day and tell yourself that you can do it. Also use a positive vibe when writing down your goals, for example instead of saying I will stop being stupid in how I spend my money this year, you could say, I will be wise in spending my money this year and then you go ahead and strategise on how you will do it as we have discussed above.
  • Take the first step. Avoid procrastination. Allow me to narrate another brief bible story. Do you remember (from the bible of course, if you read it) the time God used Moses to bring plagues on the land of Egypt and then the Egyptians were so over it and Pharaoh surrendered and told Moses to stop the plagues that he will release the Israelites? Then Moses asked Pharaoh, ‘ When can I stop the plague?’ and Pharaoh in all his glory said, ‘Tomorrow.’ and Moses was like, Tomorrow it is (I have just paraphrased). The Egyptians endured the plague another night when Pharaoh had the chance to say ‘pack your bags and leave immediately.’ And the plague would have ceased. I hope you get the point. Now is the time. Create the time and do it now. I heard someone in our church say, that if you are looking for an excuse not to do something you will always find one.
  • Commit yourself and be consistent.
  • Know your strengths and weaknesses and set goals in both areas. Most people will focus on the areas where they do so well and forget the areas of their weaknesses. Some people like me, don’t like running or doing any physical activities but I love to read, so most often I will find myself setting goals about the number of books I want to read in a month and never will I set a goal of going to the gym even if both goals are very important. Strike that balance between your strengths and your weaknesses.
  • Avoid burnouts. As much as we are insisting on setting goals and committing to achieving them, know when your body needs to rest or when you need to sleep more even if you have set a goal to wake up at 4am every morning.
  • Break Your goal into small attainable segments rather than tackling it as a whole. Aim for small progressive and consistent baby steps and build a habit.
  • Embrace failure if it comes, learn from it, rise up and move on.
  • Find an accountability partner (someone you trust, don’t go about telling just anyone, men a wicked, that’s what the bible says, some people you call friends will rejoice on your downfall so be cautious of who you tell) about the goals you have set. This could be your spouse. This will help you achieve your goal. Let them pray for you, or encourage you if you are struggling in an area.
  • Get help if you can. Don’t die alone. No man is an island. If you have set a goal to read the entire bible through the year, get into a program that will guide you to do so. Like a bible study group or a WhatsApp group with people with similar objectives. Or you can get a gym partner if you want to lose some weight, or join a book club, do all it takes to get you going.
  • Track your progress and review your goals as time goes by. Know what’s working and what’s not and readjust accordingly. Have a flexible mind.
  • Do not set goals that someone else has power/control over. e.g I will get that promotion, instead, you could say, I will get the experience and the training that I need to be considered for that promotion.
  • Set reminders of the deadlines you have set for yourself. This way you will be reminded of where you need to be before a particular time.
  • And, I saved the best for the last, Reward yourself after completing your goal successfully. You can go on a trip or dine at a nice restaurant. This will keep you motivated.

Thank you for reading and I pray that you set those goals and commit yourself to achieve them.


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