Positive Goals


“I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus.” -- Philippians 3:14


Goals give competitors and teams purpose and direction and serve as a reminder of the potential rewards ahead.

One essential element to achieving a goal is that it must be stated in a positive manner. There is a part of our brain called the reticular activating system (RAS). One function of this system is to filter incoming stimuli and determine where one focuses attention. And when it comes to setting goals, the RAS plays a part in how they’re interpreted.

For example, a football placekicker can word his goal one of two ways. Either “my goal is to make this kick” or “my goal is to not miss this kick.” There is a huge difference in those statements. Your RAS will choose to focus on one thing. In the first case, the focus is on making the kick. In the second, it is on missing the kick, even though the goal is to not miss it. The last thing a competitor should be thinking about is the potential of failure.

The apostle Paul stated his goal regarding God was “to know Him.” (Philippians 3:10) The thought of knowing God and His calling was stuck in his head rather than the idea of “not missing out” on his relationship with God. And Paul pursued that goal (v. 14) with reckless abandon.

So, begin stating your spiritual and physical goals in the positive, allowing your intricate brain process to focus on reaching them.

  • What is one goal you have for sports? For your relationship with God? For your life?
  • In what ways do you focus on the positive and avoid the negative as you compete?

“Father, give me the wisdom to set goals that will bring You honor and bring me closer to You. Amen.”