13 Bible Verses for Goal-Setting With God

According to U.S. News & World Report, most New Year’s resolutions fail by mid-February. But don’t lose heart — here are some Scriptural encouragements to goal-setting in the remaining 11 months of the year.

Five-Dragon Peak
Five-Dragon Peak (photo: Kanenori / Pixabay / CC0)

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” —Proverbs 3:6

A few years ago, I stopped making New Year’s resolutions. Instead, I started focusing on goals for the year. It’s my approach with clients. We close gaps and reach goals. When I struggle to meet goals, I evaluate the situation and every time, I notice that the most significant component is missing — God.

In order to achieve these goals, we need a strategy, but more importantly, we need to invite God in our goal-setting plans — to set the path straight. 

I wanted to share some Scripture verses that have helped me. I encourage you to meditate on them as you invite God into your goal-setting strategy.

Matthew 6:33 — But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Seek God first. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you and lead you in the direction the Lord wants you to go. Remember the end game, the ultimate goal: heaven. Our paths should be those that lead us to God. 


Philippians 4:8 — Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.

Evaluate the value of your goals. Are they noble? Will they glorify God? What you want to achieve is important but more importantly is understanding the way you want to achieve these specific goals. Be clear in the why. 


Revelation 21:5 — Behold, I make all things new. Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.

When my daughter was younger, she took piano lessons and the teacher was reminding her to practice and she said, “I know, practice makes perfect.” He replied, “No, there is no such thing as perfect. Practice makes better.” Let’s invite God into our lives and hearts to make things better — to start anew.

Proverbs 19:21 — Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. 

Your plans may not be God’s plans for you. Seek to understand what God is calling you to do and how to reach your goals. What is he putting on your heart? Take your goals to prayer and discern the will of God. 


Romans 12:2 — Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Transform your mind to the will of God. If we truly want to reach the goals God has for us, we need to surrender to Him. We let go of our own understanding, our own wishes and we surrender. We start to transform by looking at ourselves through the lens of God. We find our faith in ourselves by first having faith in God.

Matthew 7:7-8 — Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asks receives; and he that seeks, finds; and to him that knock it shall be opened.

Ask God for help. We all face road blocks along the way. We need to seek God throughout the entire process and ask for help. Ask Him to show you how to overcome the obstacles. Take the challenges to prayer. 


Proverbs 3:5-6 — Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Trust in the Lord, not yourself. We all fail. We all stumble but we must lean on Christ along the entire journey. We trust in Him. God is who strengthens us. Scripture teaches us that, through Him all things are possible. Trust in the Lord. Monsignor Daniel Trapp once said, “We should lean on Jesus so much that if he were not there, we would fall.” Let’s lean on Christ by talking to him daily about our plans. 


Proverbs 21:5 — The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.” 

Be diligent about your plans. Don’t rush plans or goal-setting. Don’t just declare I want this to happen; have a plan and a strategy to achieve it. Meditate on them, take them to prayer and ask God to speak to you about these plans. Journal as often as you can about your progress and evaluate the stumbling blocks. 


Proverbs 29:18 — Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained, but happy is he who keeps the law.

Be very clear on what you are trying to achieve. Write down a vision statement and a mission for your work, your company and you family. And throughout the year, compare your goals and what you have achieved to the vision and mission. 


Habakkuk 2:2-3 — Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that whoever reads it may run with it.

Don’t put that pen down just yet. Keep writing your goals and plans. Research shows that people who write things down, remember things more. Make your goals visual and a daily reminder of what you are striving to achieve. Tape them somewhere in your house where you will read them daily 


Luke 14:28 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it?

Success is in the details. Dig deeper into the strategy and write down deadlines and what you plan to do daily, weekly and monthly to reach your goals. 


 Hebrews 10:35-36 — So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promise.

Don’t lose your confidence. The devil will get in your head and make you doubt. We tend to shame ourselves for failing. Focus on Jesus as you seek to maintain your confidence in your ability to achieve your goals. 


Romans 7:15 — I do not understand my own actions. I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 

We all can learn so much from St. Paul and all his letters. In this one to the Romans, he speaks of doing things that we hate. We self-sabotage and prevent ourselves from reaching our goals by doing the very thing we despise. He goes on to say that he delights in the law of God. He seeks God to do what is right. We must seek God first when setting up our goals for change. Seek God and he will set the path straight.