Create a Step-by-step Plan
By Rick Warren
— October 15, 2010
"May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed." Psalm 20:4 (NIV)
Successful people are willing to make sacrifices and put in the time of preparation that unsuccessful people aren't willing to do.
I gave you a homework assignment yesterday. Did you write down the barriers to your goals? I hope so. You need to identify your barriers so you can create a step-by-step plan to overcome them. That's step six in the steps to getting where you want to be.
Step #1 - Determine your present position
Step #2 - Be specific about what you want
Step #3 - Look for God's promise
Step #4 -- Ask God to help you
Step #5 -- Identify the barriersStep #6 -- Create a step-by-step plan
In Genesis 24:12-14, we see that Eliezer designed a simple but well-thought plan to find Isaac's wife. He took ten of Abraham's camels with him, loaded with samples of the best of everything Abraham owned. He journeyed to Nahor and then made the camels kneel down outside the town beside a well.
Eliezer then prayed, "O Lord, God of my master, Abraham, please give me success on this mission. See, I am standing here beside this spring. This is my request. When a young woman comes to draw water, I will say to her, 'Please give me a little drink of water from your jug.' If she says, 'Yes, have a drink, and I will draw water for your camels, too,' let her be the one you have selected to be the wife of my master's son." (Genesis 24:42-44 NLT)
Now this was a big deal because camels can drink a lot of water. So that meant the woman would have to draw 20, 30, maybe 40 buckets of water. That's a serious commitment. And that's the kind of woman Eliezer was looking for - a woman who was kind, generous, had a servant's heart, was willing to help someone in need and would go the extra mile.
And you know what? His plan worked. A woman named Rebekah offered Eliezer a drink of water and then she offered to water his camels also.
As you make plans to overcome your barriers and achieve your goals, I want you to ask yourself two questions.
- How do I intend to get there once I know what my goal is?
- How long will it take?
The second question will determine your schedule, your deadlines, and your timetable. This will help you think through a course of action.
Now you may be thinking, "Rick, this is a lot of work. It's going to take time." You're right, it will take time. That's why 95 percent of Americans have no written goals. A recent Harvard study showed that only 5 percent of Americans have written goals and many of them are among the highest earning people in the nation. That's because successful people are willing to make sacrifices and put in the time of preparation that unsuccessful people aren't willing to do.
You can either drift through life or you can be directed through life by taking the time to think through where God wants you to be. Is your future worth the effort? Yes, absolutely!