January is when the tradition of writing down our faith goals and year plan happens. Prayer points are spreading across every chat box and we can’t help it but to be hopeful and excited about what God has in stored for us for the whole year.
And as much as those plans are important for us to hold on and trust God all the more, long term plans are as important.
Before the New Year, I started my long term plan with regards to my health. The goal is to have a healthy body 5 to 10 years from now. (I know I’m still young but thinking about my lifestyle, I don’t think I would still be able to climb a mountain after a decade. Haha)
I don’t want to waste a lot of my time on screen, scrolling through some fun-but-sometimes-without-substance kind of entertainment anymore. It’s good to have a break and do some ice breaker but many times, I forgot about discipline and just waste my time away.
So I decided to consume more nutritious food, jog as much as I can, and manage my sleeping time. I haven’t perfected the habit yet. Honestly, I’m yet too far from reality and it’s too hard. But the little improvements matters a lot. Even just rejecting the call of McDo is already an achievement. And some time soon, I’ll see myself in the place where my goal is.
The more important part isn’t speed at all. It’s having the right direction and right action. Slowly but surely.
While still adding things to my long term vision, I came across Hannah Pangilinan’s vlog early this year. It gave me knowledge on how to plan well and get me execute them. So I’ll share to you what I learned and hope to encourage you as it did to me.
How do I know my vision?
You might probably think that this first step is hard. Because while we have our plans for the year, we still get stuck at by thinking that things seem so uncertain and frightening. A lot of times we wake up in the morning thinking only of surviving through the day.
How can we even think about what’s beyond? But if you really think about it, long term goals are easier to imagine than the short term goals.
First, remember when you were young and were asked the famous kindergarten question: What do you want to be when you grow up?
It’s basically just that, but this time, you’re more experienced, more knowledgeable, and more skillful. You can now think logically and reasonably the things that you can and can’t do, and the things that you want and hate doing.
And if that’s still a bit harder, then think about the things that you once loved doing when you were a child. Remember the hobbies and pastime you once did instead of sleeping at noon? Treat them as your inspiration in creating your long term vision.
Second and is more important is, ask God where does He want you to be in the future. He holds your future and He has the best plans for you, so including Him while you write your vision is the wisest decision. (Man -vision- and -decision- rhymes! Haha!)
While you write, don’t let your heart decide everything because the heart of man is deceitful (Jer. 17:9). Let the Spirit lead you and make God’s vision be your vision also. Pray for it fervently and humble your own mind before His immeasurable wisdom. Remember that your future is secure only in Him alone.
Remember our ultimate goal: To glorify God with who we are and with what we have.
Even though there are a lot of pleasing things that this world offers us, we can’t bring this all after this life. So let’s be good stewards of what God has given us today, and at the same time, lay up treasures in heaven.
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
How do I plan it?
There are four steps ahead to guide you. Get your pen and paper and let’s start! (Or you can download the template I made: http://bit.ly/ltvthdi. :))
#1 Know your own personal traits and skills.
Think about your traits, values, principles, temperaments, and personality types and write them down. In another column, write your skills, talents, hobbies, recreational activities that you delight into doing. This will help you understand yourself more, and determine the things you love and don’t love doing.
If you get a hard time, ask a few people you’re comfortable with and you know would tell you honestly about how they perceive you to be.
#2 Where are you right now?
Determine your current status. Where are you right now in your personal, relational, and professional aspects in life?
In personal, you can jot down your current situation in finances, physical, spiritual, and mental health. In relational, write about your relationships with family and friends, what are the groups of people that you’re surrounded with. Lastly, for professional, write down your status about your job (or if you’re a student, then take note of that) or career.
#3 Where do you want to see yourself ** years from now?
Answer the question “Where do I want to see myself ** years from now?” in the same clusters: Personal, Relational, and Professional. What do you want to achieve in terms of your finances, health, relationships, family, career, etc? Write them down specifically as much as possible.
While you think about this, ask yourself if these things will glorify God or not. If you’ll get there, will God be honored the most? Will these things not hinder you with your relationship with God?
Tip #1: You can change the clusters and add more and specific bullets you can think of.
#4 Determine the steps to achieve your vision.
As you have your VISION, you also need to have your MISSION. Here, write the steps that you have to make to achieve our goals. What should be your priorities in spending our money, time, and effort? What do you need to do in order for you to take sight of your goals n years from now?
From this, you can start listing your priorities. These things will then compel you to write your short term goals. To arrive there 10 years later, first, you should be somewhere 5 years from now, and to get there, you should be somewhere at the end of this year, at the end of each month, etc.
And now it’s easier to know what you should be doing everyday! Exercise, budget your finances, meet people instead of facing your screen all day, go to places, experience stuff, attend conferences and/or seminar, and more. This will help you go through your day well, systematically, and productively.
Tip #2: Spend time to think about these things. You can start to write down everything you want and just narrow down things afterwards, if necessary.
Then the LORD answered me and said: “Write the vision And make it plain on tablets, That he may run who reads it.”
Habakkuk 2:2 KJV
Your vision might not always be the same. From time to time, you’d find yourself cancelling out or altering some, or your might add more to the initial list. Or you might grab a clean sheet of paper and do it all over again.
And that’s okay! We can’t plan out our 10 years in just a day, much more an hour. Just do your own pace, be spirit-lead, and be diligent on it. To make this in effect:
► Read it everyday to remind yourself your priorities.
► Include the verses and truths that would encourage you and remind you of who you are and what you’re meant to be.
► Pray to God. Ask wisdom, guidance, and strength to carry out your plans.
I hope this guide will help you in some ways. If you have something to add that helped you in your vision and faith goals, share it to us in the comments below and help a family. 🙂