SETTING AND ACHIEVING GOALS
Key Scripture: There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven. - Ecclesiastes 3:1
There is a right time for everything, including short-, middle-, and long-range financial and estate planning. Retirement planning should begin when a person is young, but seldom is. If you are in your mid-forties and still haven’t started, your financial plan is overdue. First, you should know your net worth. Then you must evaluate how fast your investments are growing as well as how much future income they are likely to produce. If your net worth is not growing fast enough, or no margin for safety against inflation exists, you must get them on target.
People, who make goals, whether monthly, yearly, or long-range, are unwilling to leave life to chance. Through setting and keeping goals, you can avoid piecemeal planning. You can coordinate and plan your savings and investments, tax status, will, trusts, life and health insurance, and your retirement. Paul, the great apostle, said, "Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 3:13-14). Now that is a plan!
Good planning and goal-setting require discipline and self-control. Even more important, however, is the inner strengthening of the Holy Spirit (Eph. 3:16). Do not throw yourself into attaining a goal and forget other important things such as relationships. Use common sense, but do allow goals to stretch you a bit. When setting your financial goals, remember that a goal should be clearly stated and understood. It should be practical, have a sensible time allotment, and should be measurable using figures, dates, and amounts.
The following goals are examples for you to consider. Prayerfully consider the ones applicable to you. Remember to be realistic when setting your goals. Please see Worksheet 4-A.