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Posts Tagged ‘goals’

The beginning of a New Year is a great opportunity to seize the reigns of your family’s finances and develop a vision for your financial future.

King Solomon writes in Proverbs, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” (Proverbs 29:18) This quote is exceedingly true regarding our finances.  Without a vision for managing our money, we quickly find ourselves out of control and overwhelmed by debt.

Financial peace in your home can be found through setting goals, establishing a plan, and following through.

SETTING GOALS

What do you want to do with your money this year?  Do you want to be less in debt at the end of 2012 than you are now?  Would you like to be able to take a stress-free trip with your family this summer?  Would you like to begin tithing to your church?

Each year, between Christmas and the New Year, I pull out a piece of paper and begin to dream about how I will manage our money in the New Year.  I start with how much I want to give (15%), and then I look at how much I would like to save (10%).  I also consider the various ways I want to save (IRA, cash, car fund, vacation fund, emergency fund, and other investments).  After I have considered my giving and saving goals, I begin to look at the other areas of my finances.  I consider my current bills and then set goals for managing my car and home loans.

My first financial questions always deal with what I want to accomplish.

ESTABLISHING A PLAN

How are you going to achieve your financial goals this year?

Goals are useless if they do not lead us to action, and the action of financial goals is called a budget.  Through a budget, I consider the resources available to me (my paycheck) in light of the needs around me (my expenses).

I begin my plan by listing the essentials, the things I will not compromise in my finances.  I will not compromise my tithe.  I will not compromise feeding my family and providing a home for them.  From the essentials, I begin to prioritize my way through my other expenses, needs, and desires.  I ask myself questions such as: How much do we need for groceries each month?  What should be our limit on eating out?  What is the average of my electric, gas, and phone bill each month?  What are the areas where I can decrease my spending this year?

FOLLOWING THROUGH

How do I stick with the plan this year?

Even the best plan is of no value if I do not follow through with it.  Two essential keys to accomplishing your plan are training and motivation.

We must all aspire to be life-long learners, and we must recognize there is more we can learn about managing our finances.  There are countless tips, tricks, and methods that have helped families maintain their monthly budget.  If you are going to accomplish more with your finances this year than you did last year, you may need to learn more about managing money than you knew last year.

We must also work to maintain our motivation.  Months of financial discipline can be undone by one season of unwise decision making.  Husbands and wives must be working together toward common financial goals, and they must also help one another stay on track.  Motivation is also encouraged through friendships.  Sharing your financial plans with trusted friends and inviting them to pray with you and check up on your progress is a tremendous tool for sticking with a financial plan.

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Embrace Today Cover jpgSo I’m thinking I may have thrown down a heavier gauntlet than I intended to on Sunday.  I mean “No Regret Week?”  What was I thinking?  Where does this leave all of you who didn’t make it through Sunday without having a regret? 

Maybe we should break this up into smaller bites.  How about “No Regret Day?”  What if we determined to live each day regret free?  And let’s decide to start each day fresh and new.  If we could link together several days without regret, we just might find ourselves next Sunday celebrating a “No Regret Week!”

One of the keys to living life without regret is setting goals.  From football to basketball to soccer, we are constantly witnessing the power of a goal to unite people on teams and to cause individuals to push toward their personal best.

Goal setting in our personal lives draws the best out in us as well.  For a goal to be effective it must be both measurable and attainable.

By measurable, I mean you should be able to clearly determine if the goal was accomplished.  “I’m going to be a better person this week” is not a measurable goal.  “I’m going to stop using curse words and I’m going to say a kind word to my spouse every day this week” is a measurable goal. 

It is important to set short term attainable goals and long term dreams.  It is possible for the short term goals to be check points moving you toward a bigger dream in your life.  “I’m going to get my life organized” is neither quickly attainable, nor is it measurable.  Establishing a plan to organize closets, reduce clutter, and arrange life on a schedule is attainable and will point you in the direction of your dreams.

On Sunday morning, I spoke of living with a sense of urgency.  This does not mean we live in panic or crisis.  It means that we recognize just how quickly time is passing by and we grab hold of the value of each day. 

How will you break free from the grip of regret?  What action will you take today to move yourself forward? 

This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.  –Psalm 118:24

 more time comic 

Podcast

Click here to listen to “Embrace Today” the first message in Pastor Eric’s series “Live Like You Were Dying.

Links

I really got a kick out of the “That’s Life” guy that we started Sunday’s message with.  You can show that video to your friends by taking them to worship house media.

InKung Fu Panda, the wise little turtle has some great advise on embracing today.

Click here to see what’s available at the Procrastination Store.

Need another boost of Live Like You Were Dying motivation?  Click here for the video to Tim McGraw’s hit song.

On the Radar

Our Discipleship Training Series “Beauty of the Bible,” with Peter Lopez facilitating, will begin this Sunday, September 13th and run for the rest of the month on Sunday evenings.  This class will begin at 6 pm and last approximately one hour.  The class is free of charge, and a nursery will be provided.

Our ladies will be attending a great women’s conference hosted by Church on the Rock in Lubbock, Texas on the weekend of September 18-19.  Save the date for this refreshing time, gals!  Registrations must be made through EFC by this Sunday, September 13thFor more information or to register, click here.

Freedom Retreat coming November 6 – 7 at EFC.  If you have not attended one of these yet, please prayerfully consider doing so.  For more information, a schedule, and registration information, click here.

You  Heard it at EFC

Been trying to remember one of those awesome songs we sang?  Here is our worship list from yesterday, for those of you who just absolutely need a copy for yourself.  You can usually find them for purchase on itunes.com.

  1. “O Taste and See” by Brian and Jenn Johnson
  2. “Beautiful One” by Tim Hughes
  3. “The More I Seek You” Kari Jobe version

Sunday Preview

September is going to be a remarkable month as we explore the spiritual truth found in Tim McGraws’s hit song “Live Like You Were Dying.”  Don’t miss this Sunday as we discover how we can train our tongues to “Speak Sweeter.”

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