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In our last two installments of this series we discussed different essential elements that can help you successfully push the rest button in your life and help you to achieve your goals and aspirations. In this final segment of this series, we will be discussion goals, what they are, how to set them, and how to achieve them.

What are Goals?

Mormon WomenA goal is simply an achievement that you strive for. It is something that you direct your resources towards both internal and external. For example, let’s say you want to wake up at 6AM every weekday to get an early start on your day. Your internal resources might be your drive, motivation, or your positive self-reinforcement (“I can do this!”). Your external resources might be an alarm clock, or planning your day so you can have ample time to sleep and be well rested for 6AM.

How to Set Goals

Setting goals is a lot simpler than most people believe. What is it that you want to achieve? Anything in the world can be achieved by setting goals. The bigger the goal, the more work you have to put in to accomplishing that particular goal. Nevertheless, goals and work are eternally intertwined as to their success or demise.

The first question you need to ask yourself in setting goals is: “How much work am I willing to put in to my goal?” Unfortunately, if you are not willing to put in the necessary effort in to your goal, your goal will never be reached. It’s the same concept as buying a car. No matter how bad you want a Ferrari, if you pay a Kia price, you will end up with a Kia, not a Ferrari.

In the Doctrine & Covenants it states, “For of him unto whom much is given much is required” (D&C 82:3). Since things pertaining to the gospel testify of Christ, we understand that all things are inherently connected. We read in the sixth chapter of Moses:

And behold, all things have their likeness, and all things are created and made to bear record of me, both things which are temporal, and things which are spiritual; things which are in the heavens above, and things which are on the earth, and things which are in the earth, and things which are under the earth, both above and beneath: all things bear record of me. –Moses 6:63

With this knowledge, we can use this to look at D&C 82:3 in a different light. If we reverse the order of given and required it reads “For of man unto much is required much is given”. Both of these concepts work with goals. If you want a big reward, then you must work for the reward, also if you are GIVEN the reward first, then you are required to put forth the effort to be worthy of that gift. It is the same in goals. So if you want to conquer the world, be ready to sacrifice and work toward that goal. You will ALWAYS reap what you sow, so make sure to roll up your sleeves and get to work!

How to Achieve Goals

Setting goals in a journalAnother nugget of knowledge we learn from the scriptures that we should “see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order” (Mosiah 4:27). If your goal is to move a mountain, then you must create smaller goals that fit within the bigger goal of moving a mountain. One goal might be to dig with a shovel for a few hours a day. Another might be to enlist help of others to accomplish your bigger goal.

This is one of the bigger secrets in goal setting. Help others achieve their goals, and you will be able to achieve your own much faster. As we learned from Alma the Younger as he spoke to his son Corianton:

“Therefore, my son, see that you are merciful unto your brethren; deal justly, judge righteously, and do good continually; and if ye do all these things then shall ye receive your reward; yea, ye shall have mercy restored unto you again; ye shall have justice restored unto you again; ye shall have a righteous judgment restored unto you again; and ye shall have good rewarded unto you again.” –Alma 41: 14

If you are willing to help those in need of achieving their goals, you will be blessed in achieving your own. So if you want to move that mountain, help someone move their molehill first.

The final step in achieving your goals is to plan backwards and work forwards. Meaning, if we want to move that mountain in one year, how do we do it? What do we need to accomplish per month? How much dirt needs to be moved?

Second, break it down even further; we need to decide what needs to be finished each week? How many hours do we need to perform digging in order to hit our month goal?

Finally, finish up your planning for each day of the week. How many hours today do I need to dig, how many do I need to rest?  Is there anything today that will require me not to dig? Do I need to reschedule digging to another day and double up work on that day?

As you ask yourself these questions, you will start to see what is necessary in achieving your goals. If we required 1200 hours of digging in order to move the mountain in one year, then we would have a goal of 100 hours per month of digging, which leads us to 25 hours a week of digging, which then directs us to a 5 hours goal of digging Mon-Fri.

Instead of focusing on 1200 hours of digging (which is a ton!), you can simply focus on a smaller piece of 5 hours a day to not overwhelm you.

The last part of the goal setting process is the most important, which is obedience to your plan. You must pray to the Lord as if it’s solely up to Him, and work as if it’s only up to you. Rely on the Lord to increase your obedience to your plan, and He will bless you as long as your plan is in accordance with His will.

To ensure that your will is in accordance, your safest bet is to pray and present your plan to Him. He will let you know if you are in accordance with Him. The Lord spoke about this in Doctrine & Covenants:

But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right. But if it be not right you shall have no such feelings, but you shall have a stupor of thought that shall cause you to forget the thing which is wrong; therefore, you cannot write that which is sacred save it be given you from me. -D&C 9:8-9

It is my humble prayer that as you embark with these tools of obedience, faith, action and goals, that you will be empowered from the Lord in accomplishing your sacred goals to become a better person and more Christ like.

Join me next week (Feb 1, 2014) as we discuss new areas of topics of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

About Tony Mucci
Tony Mucci is an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He is originally from Los Angeles, California and currently resides in Orem, Utah. He is an entrepreneur for Eklect Enterprises and a student at Utah Valley University majoring in Software Engineering. Tony has been a member of the church since 1991, and his parents were converts to the church in 1984. He served a full-time mission in the Colorado Denver North Mission from 2003-2005 where he earned multiple awards, including the Gold Award in the Gospel Scholarship Program. After his mission service, he has held different auxiliary positions in the church, from Nursery to Bishopric and is currently the Elder’s Quorum teacher in his local ward. Tony has been married to his wife Liz since 2009 and has two furry babies, Sophie and Saki.

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