20 Goals Every Christian Should Set

20 Goals Every Christian Should Set

It's that time of year again-- the time when we pause, look back at the year we had and then look forward to what God has in store for us. For many of us, looking forward involves setting goals for ourselves. 

Whether we’re talking about our personal lives, spiritual lives, relationships, our character, or our future, we need to ask ourselves what kind of people we want to be. Having goals can center us, keep our eyes on Christ, and encourage us to grow. Without goals, we have no reason to press on, and we can flounder, feel lost, or lose track of our purpose.

If you've never considered making goals in the New Year, use this as a starting point and personalize these goals for your own circumstances. 

Here are 20 goals every Christian should set. 

  • Goal 1: Know what you believe.

    When it comes to spiritual matters, understand your faith. I Peter 3:15 tells us to,“… be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” If you don’t know what or why you believe, how can you share your faith and how can you stand firm?

    This year, make it a goal to know what you believe. Set a goal that involves studying the Bible and studying a particular point of faith that has always confused you.

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  • Goal 2: Be real.

    Don’t hide behind platitudes and clichés and trite phrases when life shakes you. Instead, take a risk. Be vulnerable. People won’t open up to you if you don’t open up to them. Pretending everything is okay never helped anyone. 

    This year, set a goal to go deeper with the friends and the community God has called you into. Be honest with your prayer requests. And make it a goal to make sure your friends know you are there for them. Think of your 5 closest friends -- and pray for God's help to see how you can be real with them, and a real friend to them this year.

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  • Goal 3: Put God first.

    “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30). You can’t go wrong when your desires are His, and you look outside yourself to focus on Him. 

    Think through your past week. What were the things that kept you from making God a priority? What can you do differently moving foward to put God first?

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  • Goal 4: Stay strong—by staying dressed in the armor of God.

    Don’t be spiritually naked. Live out Ephesians 6:10-13. Be someone who stands on the power of Christ, rather than on the power of themselves.  

    Think through the Armor of God:

    1. The Belt of Truth
    2. The Breastplate of Righteousness
    3. Feet Fitted with the Gospel of Peace
    4. Shield of Faith
    5. Helmet of Salvation
    6. Sword of the Spirit

    Spend some time this week reflecting and studying the Armor of God. Then ask yourself: what part of this armor can I grow stronger in this year?

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  • Goal 5: Grow in your faith.

    Forget one step forward, two steps back. Leap ahead in your life as a believer. Don’t be content to be,“… infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching” (Ephesians 4:14). We’re meant to mature spiritually, not stagnate or backslide. 

    What is one sin struggle you can't seem to shake? Commit to praying over this for an entire month. Then share this struggle with a trusted family member, friend or counselor. Don't let sin hide in the dark -- that is how Satan wins. Bring it to light and destroy it's stronghold over you.

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  • Goal 6: Live life in between.

    Be a mentor. Find a mentor. Pray for God to sprinkle people into your life who can offer wisdom and people you can share that wisdom with. Your best place is in the middle—helping and being helped. 

    Who needs a mentor that you know? Commit to praying for that person and potentially mentoring him/her. 

    Who could be a mentor for you? Pray for guidance and for God to work in that person's heart as well, that they would long to mentor you.

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  • Goal 7: Be secure in your place as a child of God.

    “Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence” (Ephesians 3:12). You don’t have to guess about your importance and your worth. God gave the ultimate sacrifice for you—His son. 

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  • Goal 8: Memorize God’s word.

    Build a scripture base—a well of peace and comfort and wisdom—inside your heart, and it will never dry up. Ephesians 6:14 tells us God’s Word is the belt of truth. Wear it well. 

    Here are a few guides for beginning to memorize God's Word:

    7 Effective Ways to Memorize Scripture
    How to Memorize Scripture: 6 Helpful Tips
    15 Verses Every Christian Needs to Memorize

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  • Goal 9: Walk the line—of holding to your beliefs, but leaving judgment up to God.

    It’s a hard balance. But we’re asked to stand apart from the world at the same time we’re asked to love the people of the world. Romans 12:2vtells us,“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind,” while Matthew 7:1 reminds us not to, “… judge, or you too will be judged.” 

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  • Goal 10: Be the kind of friend you’d like to have.

    The Golden Rule has stood the test of time for a reason. Even if it’s not direct Scripture, treating others the way you want to be treated is never a bad strategy. And it has it's roots in the great commandment, straight from Scripture:

    "And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” - Matthew 22:35-40

    Who in your life is hard to love? Perhaps one goal you can set is to show this person particular affection and kindness in the coming year.

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  • Goal 11: Turn to God first, not last.

    Don’t waste your time on the world’s wisdom.“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).

    Commit to beginning and ending your day in prayer. When you do, you'll be much more likely to bring your problems and frustrations to him first, letting him settle your spirit before you turn to others.

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  • Goal 12: Be a person of integrity.

    Be the same person when no one’s looking as you are when all eyes are on you. The right thing doesn’t change with the company you keep.   

    Not sure whether you have an integrity issue? Read this post on toxic friends. And be honest with yourself -- if any of those characteristics sound familiar, change is needed.

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  • Goal 13: Be teachable.

    “Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still; teach the righteous and they will add to their learning” (Proverbs 9:9). God wants to shape us until we stand in His glory. Soften your heart and be humble enough to learn. 

    If you're feeling brave, ask 3 people who are close to you where they see room for growth and learning in your life. And then commit to growing in those areas in the coming year.

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  • Goal 14: Aim for financial stability.

    Money guru Dave Ramsey advises, “A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went.” Set an example for your family by being wise with God’s resources. 

    Where are 3 areas of your life where you could use some financial restraint? Home  decor, groceries, dinners out? Think through these and research ways to save in each.

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  • Goal 15: Seek wisdom.

    “How much better to get wisdom than gold, to get insight rather than silver” (Proverbs 16:16). Worldly possessions may not last, but wisdom is something no one can ever take away from you. 

    Where is wisdom found? In others who are further down the path than you, in good books, and of course, in the Word of God. Commit to seeking wisdom and remember that God always gives wisdom to those who ask. (James 1:5)

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  • Goal 16: Live without fear.

    God didn’t create us to be afraid. He doesn’t want us to live in captivity to the what if’s of life. I John 4:18 tells us,“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear…” and God loves us perfectly all the time.  

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  • Goal 17: Prioritize your life.

    What you deem important will be where your energy and time go. “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Luke 12:34). Pick your treasures wisely.

    Ask yourself - when I am at the end of my life, what will I want my legacy to be? Usually, it's the things we can't buy -- close friendships, loving family, a legacy of hard work and kindness -- that mean the most to us at the end of life. Commit to running the race of faith with perseverance, and don't tire of working hard at the things that mean the most.

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  • Goal 18: Live in the moment.

    Don’t spend your life waiting for something amazing to happen. Ask God to show you the amazing stuff He’s doing in your life every day. Your future is your now. All the little moments add up to the memories of your life.  

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  • Goal 19: Strive to be a servant.

    If servanthood was good enough for Jesus, it’s good enough for you. “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).

    Living as a servant is a life-transforming action and will grow you close to Christ.

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  • Goal 20: Leave a legacy.

    Will you be someone who’s remembered? That’s up to you. Ask yourself what you want people to say about you after you’re gone—and then strive to be that person.

    Lori Freeland is a freelance author from Dallas, Texas with a passion to share her experiences in hopes of connecting with other women tackling the same issues. She holds a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is a full-time homeschool mom. You can find Lori at lafreeland.com.

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