Want to be Successful? Do This First


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I have come to do Your Will

You make goals and plans. You set high bars for yourself and your children. But what does it take to make those things happen? To be successful?

“Four steps to achievement: Plan purposefully. Prepare prayerfully. Proceed positively. Pursue persistently.” ~William Arthur Ward

An achievement is the successful completion of an accomplishment either by hard work, ability, or courage.

I really like Ward’s quote. With consistent application of those four steps you and I can achieve our goals. The only thing I would change . . . I believe it’s important to put prayerful preparation before planning.

Praying first helps us align our plans with God’s will, and if you’re like me those are plans you want to achieve.

Four Steps to Achievement

1. Prepare Prayerfully – If you “never stop praying” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) you will faithfully pray about your plans in advance. Ask God to guide and direct you. He loves to answer that prayer positively.

[Tweet “Trust God. Obey Him. And dream big dreams. “]

So we have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you complete knowledge of His will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. Colossians 1:9

Pray that the Lord your God will show us what to do and where to go.” Jeremiah 2:3

2. Plan Purposefully – Know your mission statement, list your goals, and if you have aligned your mission and values with God’s will you can make plans clearly. You’ll know when to say “no” and when to move forward with purpose.

O Lord my God, you have performed many wonders for us. Your plans for us are too numerous to list. You have no equal. If I tried to recite all your wonderful deeds, I would never come to the end of them. Psalm 40:5

We can make our own plans, but the Lord gives the right answer. Proverbs 16:1

Do your planning and prepare your fields before building your house. Proverbs 24:27

3. Proceed Positively – Every goal requires an effort. Have you noticed the efforts that make you anxious are the ones you’re doing out of obligation or fear? Hard work is pleasure when you and I are working in ways we are gifted. You’ve heard the quote, “Choose a job you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.”

It’s easy to proceed positively and rarely feels like work when you’re doing the things you were created for.

Teach me to do Your will, for you are my God. May Your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing. Psalm 143:10

“Then I said, ‘Look, I have come to do your will, O God—as is written about me in the Scriptures.’” Hebrews 10:7

4. Pursue Persistently – Sometimes God’s plans come with a longer timetable. When you are persistently pursuing God’s plans for you, He will see them accomplished at exactly the right time. Don’t give up. Get up each day and live. You can trust God’s perfect plans.

So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Galatians 6:9

But you, Timothy, are a man of God; so run from all these evil things. Pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness. 1 Timothy 6:11

God knows you and loves you. You are precious to Him.

Trust Him. Love Him. Praise Him. Follow Him.

It will bless you today, tomorrow . . . forever.

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  1. Gentle Joy says:

    Good thoughts and advice… it is so easy to float through a day… how much better to put God first and follow Him through the day.

    1. Thanks Joy! I agree. It’s easy to just do what I’ve always done. I want to be more intentional, do more planning, and lots of praying.

  2. Perfect advice for achieving the goals God has set for our lives. And I agree with you, Deb, that the prayers must come first!

  3. Kim Jolly says:


    Thank you for sharing this wise words on goal setting. I’ve set some really big goals for myself this year, yet I’m also giving myself plenty of grace too, if I don’t achieve them.



  4. I love this steps to success,
    Easy to memorize too.
    Thanks a lot Deb for your encouragement here as always.

  5. Love these tips! I’m a big fan of outlining my priorities and creating a personal statement to guide me in goal setting and how I spend my time. It makes a such a difference! Thanks for sharing these.

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