Without singleness of purpose and specific goals, we can become like the person described in Scripture as double-minded. "That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does" (James 1:7-8). So let me encourage you to engage in a meaningful goal-setting exercise as you work to get debt-free. Here are some suggestions for effective goal-setting in any area of life; adapt them to your financial situation.

• Set goals that are consistent with God's Word. Many successful people have accomplished much, yet remain unhappy. Having singleness of purpose toward the wrong goals only leads to wrong results. Examine your motivations, as well as your actions, in the light of God's wisdom.

• Ask God for His guidance. This is not the same as having scripturally sound goals. This has more to do with having the wisdom needed to set the right personal priorities. God promises to guide us if we're willing to submit to Him. It's not: "Show me Your will, Lord, so I can decide if I'm willing." Rather, it's: "Before You even reveal Your will to me, Lord, the answer is yes."

• If married, set your goals together. If two have become "one flesh," how critical that they have a singleness of purpose in their commitment toward common goals. Few areas will so quickly affect a couple's relationship as a financial plan that limits their spending freedom because it brings mutually conflicting goals into the open. If you can't reach a meeting of the minds on what your priorities should be, perhaps the marriage relationship itself needs some work.

• Put your goals in writing, signing your name and date. This helps cement in your thinking that you really have made a firm commitment of your will to achieving your goals. It is also helpful to have your goals posted where you will see them daily as additional motivation to stay the course when the inevitable temptations to compromise arise.


© Sound Mind Investing

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