Progress – something we all want or have wanted at various points in our lives. Progress is simply a movement towards something more developed, and or preferably better. Do you want to make more progress in life? Here’s a simple 8 step plan for making progress.
1. Start with prayer
Start by praying about the area(s) in which you want to make progress. If it is your whole life, then pray about this too. You can also write a letter to God. The first letter I wrote to God was when I was a child. I wanted a pair of new shoes. Now, I didn’t need the new shoes; I just wanted another pair. I wrote the letter to God, sealed it in an envelope and hid it. I knew that God read my letter as I wrote it and I expected him to answer.
Two weeks later, my parents bought me a pair of new shoes. I was very surprised. “How did you know I wanted a pair of new shoes?” I asked my mother. She said she just passed by the shoe store and saw that lovely pair and thought I would like it. Then I told her I had asked God for a new pair of shoes two weeks ago. “Well,” she said, “God answered your prayer.”
I was very happy and grateful for my new pair of shoes. After thanking God and my mother, I went to check for the letter where I had hidden it. There it was, unopened, just as I had left it. That experience strengthened my faith in God, and I have had many similar experiences with God. As Jesus said, “Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours” (Mark 11:24). While God always has the final say, our faith is very important.
2. Build and maintain a strong, burning desire
Build and maintain a strong, burning desire to make more progress, specifically the areas you want to improve. Desire is the impetus or driving force that propels us to achieve our goals. It is desire, that feeling of wanting something that makes us take action to get it. When that feeling propels you to take action toward what you want with a sense of urgency and a fire lit within you, then you have what is called a strong burning desire. You must maintain that strong, burning desire and take action to get what you want until you get it. For information on how to build and maintain a strong, burning desire and make more progress in life, read Transform Your Life: 7 Steps to a Better Life.
3. Assess your current situation
In order to make more progress in life, it is important to understand where you are right now, so you can plan where you want to go, and the best way to get there. Think back to the time you became a Christian, or as far back as you can remember. How much progress have you made? Who or what helped you to make this progress? Could you have made more progress? If so, what held you back? What’s preventing you from making more progress? Identify the factors that are affecting your progress and address them so that you can move forward.
4. Set your goal
We all have things we want in life. Decide what you truly want and write it down. Do you want to have a closer relationship with God? Would you like God to bless you more in some areas of your life? Whatever you want, be very specific about it and write down your goal. Visualize your goals or see yourself achieving them.
5. Develop a strategy for getting there
A strategy is a plan of action for achieving your goal. Ask yourself the basic questions – What? Who? When? Where? Why? How? For example, what will you do to get what you want? If you want a closer relationship with God, what will do, in addition to praying about it? How much more quality time would you spend with God, and learning about God? Whatever your goal may be, you can also ask God to help you develop a strategy for achieving your goal. Remember, ASK and you will receive (Matt. 7:7)
6. Take action
After developing your strategy, you must take action if you want to make progress and be successful. Write a simple action plan and implement it. List the things you intend to do and when you will do them. Prioritize the most important ones and do the things on your list as planned. Don’t procrastinate. Take action so that you can make progress quickly. Be persistent and work for what you want.
7. Monitor and evaluate your progress
Monitor your progress – regularly. Using your action plan as a guide, monitor your progress and evaluate it. Are you making enough progress? If so, continue with you plan. If not, ask yourself why and address whatever challenges you may face. Whatever you do, monitor and evaluate your progress on a daily or weekly basis so you can take corrective actions as the need arises.
8. Celebrate your progress
Celebrate your progress – even small wins. Once you are moving forward, celebrate. Enjoy both the journey and the destination. Celebrating your progress will keep you motivated to continue working toward your goal and you will have more joy in your life.