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 (Prov. 3:5-6). 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 people have become "one flesh," it’s 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.

Published since 1990, Sound Mind Investing is America's best-selling financial newsletter written from a biblical perspective. Visit the Sound Mind Investing website .

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