7 Great Goals for a New School Year
It’s that time of the year again as summer winds down and the school year begins. It’s a time of planning and getting back on a regular schedule. After all the school supplies, books, and arrangements have been settled—it’s a good time to set goals in place. Not rigid or hard to keep objectives, but rather simple boundaries to set in place for every school year.
Goal #1) Stay connected to God
“Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me” (Isaiah 46:9).
School can be busy and distracting for the most dedicated of Christians. We never intend on going days without prayer or Bible study. We think that missing a Sunday or two isn’t a big deal, but then we realize down the road—we haven’t been in fellowship with other believers for months! It’s important to make God a priority by establishing your prayer time, Bible study, small group accountability and regular church fellowship. When you put God first and stay connected with Him—everything else falls into place.
Goal #2) Keep focused on your purpose
“But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth” (Exodus 9:16).
There’s a lot of activities to get involved in—and sometimes those “extra” things take up so much time and energy that your education suffers. Very few people can skip the education part and live successfully on their hobbies or extracurricular adventures. Your work in school isn’t ultimately to your parents, teachers, or community. You are to work as if God was your professor—and you give it your best work with the focus of completing your purpose in education.
Goal #3) Seek and maintain true friendships
“The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray” (Proverbs 12:26).
Your choice of friends reflects you. They will either influence you to follow Christ with all your heart or they will influence you towards following worldly pleasures. Maintaining godly friendships will strengthen your faith when you feel weak. You will need words of encouragement, acts of kindness, and gentle reminders of God’s love through your friends. Be mindful to give back what you’ve received in good friendships.
Goal #4) Resist the urge to give into temptation
“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).
Until the day the Lord brings you to heaven—you will be tempted. Although your soul is saved, the sinful nature is still a part of you. Each of us has our own crafted temptations in which we can be weakened and tempted to sin. It’s important to have an awareness of what tempts you so you can begin to build the right defenses. Having an accountability person helps to overcome the darkness of temptation in all its secrecy.
Goal #5) Make a schedule and stick to it
“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it” (Hebrews 12:11).
Before you are overwhelmed with projects, papers, and exams—write up a schedule with the intent of actually following through. This plan should be flexible so that you can move things around if necessary (i.e. a work schedule, volunteering). However keep it tight enough that you will have accurately given yourself not just enough time to study, but also for ministry, fun times, rest, etc. Pray before and after you complete the schedule so that you will have the Lord’s leading in the preparation and discipline of keeping it.
Goal #6) Get involved in clubs and/or activities that focus on helping others
“Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?” (Isaiah 58:7).
The years before you get married or have children can easily be the most selfish years of your life! If you’re not careful, you can find yourself spending your days only seeking out what pleases you instead of what is pleasing to God. Getting involved in organizations that not only remind you about the suffering and pain of others, but also give you the opportunity to be a part of the solution can be an amazing gratifying experience. The world is hungry for young people who are willing to help the hurting.
Goal #7) Take care of your body with healthy eating and exercise
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
The busyness of the school year can take away from the responsibility of maintaining a healthy body and appearance. Those who choose to eat healthy diets and exercise are most ready to put in the time and energy for studying. Diets don’t work for everyone; however, by making simple choices of reducing sugar, fat, and fried foods along with a little exercise every day can work wonders in your studies.
Goals with God
Goals that are bathed in prayer have the greatest success rates. The Lord knows the desires of your heart and can lead you in the best direction to accomplishing His plan for your life. It’s up to you to discipline your spirit, mind, and body to live for Him every day of your school year.
Article by Crystal McDowell
Crystal McDowell is a writer, speaker, and teacher with a passion to encourage believers to know and grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ through practical application of God’s word.
Crystal and her husband, Marshall, raise their five children in the Bloomington, IL. As a freelance writer and editor for over 13 years, Crystal has published numerous Christian curriculums for Sunday School and VBS as well as many articles dealing with marriage, motherhood, and relationships. She’s a weekly staff writer for www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com as well as writing her own blog at http://crystalmcdowellspeaks.blogspot.com.