Setting Goals is something we all do whether we think we do or not. Even from a little child, we start setting goals to get the attention we feel we need and deserve from our parents and others around us. It's just something that God in His wisdom has hard-wired into us as human beings. Where the problem comes in as we get older, we begin to learn goal-setting skills from our parents and/or guardians. According to the statistics, we know that these valuable skills often aren't being taught correctly if at all. Just like money management ability goal-setting skills are learned at a very early age. If for some reason no one takes the time to teach you the value of setting goals then chances are high achievement has not been your forte. Financial goal setting provides an assurance of future accomplishments. when we fail to set financial goals we often cancel out our future. Not only the future we thought we had planned for ourselves but the one that God had planned for us as well. This is the most damaging reason why refusing to set financial goals is so dangerous. Too many people believe that no matter what they do that God is going to make a way somehow. They really think that their own lack of financial stewardship has nothing to do with how God is able to use them in the future. I'm here to tell you that nothing could be farther from the truth. Unless somewhere along the line in your life someone took you by the hand and held your feet to the fire to get you to desire more from yourself.
For me, that person came in many shapes and sizes but the one person who was there for me at the most critical time was my aunt's boyfriend. I was 19 yrs old and living with my aunt at the time. I had moved in with her after my mother lightweight abandon me after I graduated high school. Yes, she ditched me. My mother did not kick me out the house after graduation she moved out. I remember it very well as being one of the two defining moments in my life that made me the man that I am. She said, "If you're not going to go to college then my job is done." And with that, she went and found a swank little apartment in the hip part of town. Bought herself a new car and a new wardrobe and reclaimed her life. I was lost. I could not believe what she had done to me. Never the less it forced me to man up and go get a job and enroll in school. By then she had already sold the house and I was living with my aunt who happened to work for the university that I was attending.
Here I was 19 years old without goals. I was just living a life that had no direction and that was going nowhere fast. Then came along my aunt's boyfriend and man by the name Booker T. Gray. He was cool and had a love for cars just like I did. He had a way with people and could talk to anybody. He was the first person that really started asking me what I wanted to do with my life. I know what your thinking. How is it that a person can live to be 19 yrs old and nobody and I mean nobody really really show interest or care about what they would become in life. Wow right? But it happened and it happened to me. But Booker T. Gray changed all of that. He began to challenge me to think about my likes and dreams and how to make them happen. He became a hybrid father/friend to me that was sorely needed all of my life. Growing up without a father in the home presented to me some huge challenges but with Booker help, all of those challenges were being met in short order. I was getting a crash course on goal setting and how to be a man at the same time. We love working on cars together and scouring junkyards for parts. Booker was a problem solver from His own years of struggle and deficiencies. But with great skill God used this man to bring me out of the deep depression, I was in and into the reality of who I could be and that all came to a head the day he blessed me with a life-changing gift.
I was unemployed and by then I had dropped out of college. I had a car but it needed parts to fix it that I could not afford. So my car was just sitting there in front of my aunt's house. Then one day while out on one of our excursions to the auto parts store Booker who had just received a nice sum of money from a settlement walks over to me in the auto parts store and hands me $500 dollars. He then says this is to get your cars fixed so that you can go find a job. I believe a cried right there in that store. Not only did this man believe in me he put his money where his mouth was. I quickly gathered the parts needed to fix my car and went to check out. I noticed a help wanted a sign and asked the cashier for an application. Needless to say, I went home and fixed my car. Then I got a call from the manager of the auto parts store. I interviewed and was hired on the spot. I began working and got my own apartment and a short time later applied and was hired to become a Sheriff's Deputy for the Hamilton County Sheriff's Department. Needless to say that we remain good friends to this day and I stop by to visit with him to tell him to want he meant to me every time I'm in town.
The goals setting skills that he talks me through working on cars and daring to dream and be different has stuck with me to this day. Those same skills have moved over into my financial life where they have become most valuable. From counting the cost of my actions to long-range planning financial goal setting is mandatory for those who wish to live a full life in Christ.