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The 5 Best Areas of Life to Set Goals

Goals are essential to growth in life, but what are the best areas of life to set goals for?

Personal Growth
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When we think about living life with the desire to follow Jesus, setting goals probably doesn’t come to the forefront right away. Behaviors like serving, reading the Bible, and going to church seem a lot more obvious.  

Isn’t it self-serving to set goals for personal growth and development? Not necessarily. While someone’s intentions can be selfish, having goals and ambitions in life can actually be a behavior that honors God.  

Living a life devoid of ambition is not God’s desire for our lives. He gives us a stern caution in Proverbs 6:6-11

“Take a lesson from the ants, you lazybones. Learn from their ways and become wise! Though they have no prince or governor or ruler to make them work, they labor hard all summer, gathering food for the winter. But you, lazybones, how long will you sleep? When will you wake up? A little extra sleep, a little more slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest— then poverty will pounce on you like a bandit; scarcity will attack you like an armed robber.” 

Proverbs 6:6-11

First of all, nobody wants to be known as lazybones! But on a more serious note, what this passage cautions us against is an unmotivated life. God has so much more potential for us than to simply allow life to happen to us, but it’s up to us to put in the effort. Setting goals that drive us toward the purpose God has for us is a way to make good use of the talents and resources he’s given us, and the relationships he’s placed in our lives. 

But how do we know what kinds of goals are worth setting or what the best areas of life are to set goals? 

The 5 best areas of life to set goals

There are five different areas of life where we can benefit from goals: 

1. Career 

Striving for professional growth and development honors God’s guidance to “work willingly at whatever you do, as though you are working for the Lord rather than people” (Colossians 3:23). If your aim is to do well in your career, it shouldn’t come from vain hopes of personal gain, but rather a desire to let your work ethic reflect the way you demonstrate your faith. 

Career goal ideas: 

  • Complete a certification or attend a workshop relevant to your field within the next six months. 
  • Achieve a promotion within the next year by taking on additional responsibilities and demonstrating leadership qualities. 
  • Launch a side business or freelancing venture within the next year. 

2. Finances 

The Bible talks a ton about money – and for good reason! In our society, we’re taught that money is ours. We’ve earned it, and it’s ours to gain, save, and spend however we want – and less is less. The truth is everything we have, including our income, is a gift from God. If we’re too greedy or possessive over our money, it can drive a wedge in our relationship with God (Matthew 6:24).  

But when we’re wise with it, making good decisions with what God has entrusted to us, money can be a resource that helps us grow his Kingdom and bless others. But this takes intentionality in your habits and behaviors, and that’s where financial goals can be a big help.  

Financial goal ideas: 

  • Start a budget and develop a plan to pay off high-interest debts, such as credit cards, within the next two years. 
  • Set aside 10% of your monthly income to give to your church or a local charity. 

3. Relationships 

The company we keep can have a huge impact on our quality of life and our faith. Proverbs 27:17 speaks to the power our relationships can have on our own lives. Having good people around us keeps us encouraged, cared for, and feeling loved. 

But no relationship is one-sided. If you feel like your most important people have been neglected lately, setting some intentional goals for your relationships can keep them going so you continue to have people in your corner – and so you get better at doing the same for them! 

Relationship goal ideas: 

  • Attend a communication workshop or counseling sessions to enhance communication skills with your partner. 
  • Dedicate a specific amount of quality time each week to spend with loved ones, free from distractions. 
  • Learn your friend or significant other’s love language and do something based on it each week that makes them feel seen and appreciated. 

4. Health 

The Bible is clear that our bodies are merely a temporary dwelling (2 Corinthians 5:1-5), but that doesn't mean our health should go on the back burner. In fact, in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, we’re reminded of the importance of honoring God in the way we take care of our bodies.  

This means that prioritizing your health is a way to demonstrate your faith. Not only that, but when you’re healthy, you’re able to show up better at work, at home, and wherever else God leads you in life! 

Health goal ideas: 

  • Establish a regular exercise routine, such as going to the gym three times a week or practicing yoga daily. 
  • Adopt a balanced and healthy diet, incorporating more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. 
  • Start going to regular appointments with a mental health professional. 

5. Fun 

It’s important to not get so in the weeds of life that you forget to have fun sometimes. After all, like Proverbs 17:22 says, a joyful heart is great medicine! 

The Bible also speaks to the value of rest. We were made to work (Genesis 2:15), but we were also made to rest (Mark 2:27). Even Jesus took time to rest when he needed it (Matthew 8:24)! So if things are feeling off-kilter in your life, maybe you need to set aside deliberate time to rest and enjoy all that life has to offer! 

Fun goal ideas: 

  • Dedicate time each week to pursue a hobby or learn a new skill, whether it's painting, playing an instrument, or cooking. 
  • Plan and execute at least one memorable travel experience each year. 
  • Attend social events or gatherings regularly to connect with friends and expand your social circle (like joining a Group at LCBC!). 

While it’s tempting to view goals as a way to puff ourselves up and fuel our pride, goals can actually be great tools to help us maximize the purpose God created us for in life. Check out this episode of the Live Changed Podcast, where Jon Acuff expands on easy-to-follow tips that will help you set up worthwhile goals like these! 


The Live Changed Podcast is produced by LCBC Church. LCBC stands for Lives Changed By Christ. We are one church in multiple locations across Pennsylvania. Subscribe to the Live Changed Podcast wherever you listen to podcasts!

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