We can all agree 2020 did not go as expected. While we all had great plans and goals for the year, many were let go as the COVID-19 pandemic took over our lives, our churches, businesses, and governments.

Above all, 2020 taught us that if anything can go wrong it, it will.

We learned we have less control than we thought and the only thing to expect is the unexpected.

So how do we plan when our plans can change in just a moment?

Here are the best tips to remember while you’re trying to plan for 2021

  1. Claim scripture promises and pray them.
    God promises to care for you (Isaiah 46:4). He will never leave you or forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6). He will protect you (Psalm 121:7). Pray throughout your planning process. Pray over your list of goals. Make sure all your plans are saturated in prayers to your Creator.
  2. Focus on Eternity.
    Do not claim nearsighted victories for yourself in 2021. Visualize eternity when you visualize your future. It is not enough to want to be thin or good at your job in 2021. Focusing on eternity means wanting to be healthy in body and mind, not merely thin. It means being dedicated, loyal, honest, and hardworking, not merely good at your job.
  3. Include others.
    Make sure that your progression forward in 2021 includes those relationships that you bring from 2020. It’s not enough that you plan to better yourself. Make sure you also include service–service to your family and friends and maybe even people you don’t know.
  4. Be S.M.A.R.T when goal-setting.
    Goals are more often attainable when they follow the S.M.A.R.T. model. As you’re planning your goals for 2021, remember to make your goals SPECIFIC, MEASURABLE, ACHIEVABLE, RELEVANT, AND TIME-BOUND. If your goals don’t fit this model, it is easy to modify them. Doing so can bring your goals within reach this next year.
  5. Give yourself grace.
    Give yourself some grace! There is no way of knowing when our plans will be changed against our will. In 2020, most of the circumstances that changed our plans were not within our power, yet we were very hard on ourselves when our plans went haywire. When jobs were lost, we took it personally. When gyms were closed and we gained 20 pounds, we were angry with ourselves. Give yourself grace as your goal-set for 2021.
  6. Tell everyone.
    Make sure that no matter what your plans are, you tell everyone you know–everyone you love. Make sure everyone you interact with knows your plans clearly. This is part of including others and will help you achieve your goals.

Good Luck and may God bless you in 2021.