The Spiritual Reason You Can't Finish What You Start

Are you tired of not finishing what you start? Are you afraid to make goals because you don’t want to face the disappointment of not reaching them . . . again?

Here’s the truth: creating a new vision board and buying a new planner alone will not help you reach your goals. In today's video, I’m sharing the one-step, fail-proof planning practice I’ve used for years to successfully accomplish the plans God has placed on my heart. If you're ready to see your God-sized dreams come to pass, this video is for you. Enjoy!


It’s the beginning of the year, and everyone is excited to start fresh, so let me ask you an honest question:

On a scale of 1-10, how ready are you for this year? 10 being “I finished planning last year, let’s go” and 1 being “Oh wait, it’s a new year already?” 😆

Wherever you find yourself on this scale, today's video will help you learn:

  1. 🏁 The obvious but frequently overlooked reason you can’t finish what you start.
  2. 👟 The first step to take to overcome that challenge so you can dominate your goals this year.
  3. ⚡ How to unlock God’s power to make this your best year yet.

But first, if it’s not Jan 1 when you’re watching this that’s ok. My friend and creator of Powersheets, Lara Casey, often says “There’s nothing special about January 1st.” So don’t wait for the beginning of next year or month or the next Monday to get started on what you learn in this video. You can start these simple practices today to get results that will make an impact for a lifetime. Remember, a life well lived is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. 

The Spiritual Reason You Can’t Finish What You Start

Speaking of running, in high school, I ran the 300-meter hurdles and I absolutely hated it. Trying to run as fast as you can against competition is hard enough. But the competition was not my greatest challenge, it was the obstacles I had to jump over on my way to my end goal.

These hurdles, however, were intentionally placed equidistant on the track, and I could clearly see them, so I knew when to jump. Now, we wish the challenges we face in life were as predictable, but they are not. So when we make our plans, we usually envision a clear path to our end goal, and well, that’s just not how life works. If we want to accomplish our goals, we need to expect opposition. 

This is especially true for someone of faith. You think I just want to eat healthy, start that business, go on more date nights with my husband but what you're really doing is potentially breaking generational cycles of disease, poverty, and broken homes. You’re not just making plans, you’re taking terrioty, and with that comes opposition.

When you're trying to do something new that’s honoring God through your life, you’re encroaching on enemy territory. You think you're just setting a new goal and you’re actually engaging in spiritual warfare. Now that’s not a bad thing. We need to courageously and boldly take territory and claim what is ours in Christ. But we must realize that there will be opposition. Just because you want to do something good doesn’t mean it will be easy and I’m here to tell you today, do it anyway. 

One of the major reasons people don’t accomplish their goals is not physical or mental, it’s spiritual opposition. When we accept that fact, we better prepare ourselves from getting discouraged and thinking we’re weak or incapable when the opposite is true. The enemy is coming for you because you are making your way to victory and he’ll do everything he can to stop you before you get started. 

A common mistake we make is stopping when opposition comes instead of pushing through. We mistakenly think the opposition means we’re not strong enough, maybe this was a bad idea, and we talk ourselves out of making Godly progress.

When I ran hurdles, I was not surprised that they were on the track. I expected them to be there because that was part of the race. Can you imagine if I ran up to the first hurdle and stopped. No, you jump, you overcome. You keep going because the hurdle is not the destination, the finish line is. The obstacles we face in life are not the end of our dreams and plans, they are the stepping stones that strengthen us along the way to our God-given goal. So what we need to do then is to stay focused.

The 1st Step You Must Take to Dominate Your Goals

When you think of a runner at the beginning of their race they are not looking to their competitors or surprised by the hurdles they must overcome. Where is the runner's focus? It’s on the finish line. It’s on the end goal.

When my kids are practicing shooting basketball, my husband always reminds them to look up, keep their heads up, and look at the goal when they shoot.

As we dream and make our plans we too need to focus on the goal. In Philippians 3:14 the Apostle Paul says:

“I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (‭‭Philippians‬ ‭3‬:‭14‬ ‭ESV‬‬)

Paul had more opposition and competition than we could ever dream of as he moved forward to fulfill God’s call on his life. But he wasn’t focused on it. His eyes were on God, he finished strong, and he was victorious in accomplishing his goal.

Opposition overtakes you when you get distracted by it. Competition defeats you when you don’t stay in your lane. But victory is reserved for those who keep their eye on the prize. 

With unlimited distractions this is not easy to do but there is one practice that has helped me to accomplish my goals for years and that is selecting a word for the year. Not a long list of resolutions but just one word that will be my focus of the year. 

Choosing one word helps in many ways. 

  • First, it keeps your focus simple and memorable. If you get off track you easily come back to focus by remembering your one simple word. 
  • Second, having a word of the year makes it easier to stay on track because you can filter all your decisions through that one word focus.

Last year I shared with you my word for the year was strength. I wanted to get physically stronger through strength training and spirituality stronger as well. When I wanted to try something new or change something up I could easily ask myself, will this ultimately make me stronger? This made decision making easier and now I can look back over last year and see how I did get stronger in many ways. This year my word is build. Last year established a strong foundation for my life and this year I want to build on that so this will be my focus. 

How to Select a Word of the Year

So out of all the millions of words in the world how can you choose just one?

  • First, pray about it and ask God. He will lead you in the right direction.
  • Second, write down your dreams and and goals for the year and see if there is a common theme that connects them all. You’ll find my free worksheet below to help you walk through this exercise.

How to Unlock God’s Power to Make This Year Your Best Year Yet

Once a runner has their focus, it is now about maintaining the stamina to finish strong and the power to do that comes from the work they put in before the race. What do they eat? What thoughts are in their mind, and their lifestyle all contribute to how they perform on game day.

In the same way, once you have your word of the year you need power to see it though and this is where God’s word comes in. Not only do I select a word of the year I choose a scripture of the year as well that aligns with that word. I conduct a quick Bible search of my word of the year and choose a scripture that encourages me in that direction. I’ll certainly write it down, maybe place it on my desk where I can see it every day and even memorize it. When Joshua was called to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land by taking new territory, God told him:

“Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:7 NKJV)

Joshua was told to obey God’s Word in order to be successful and he was instructed to do so by keeping God’s word in his heart. Feeding our hearts and minds the truth of God’s Word is the fuel we need to start, run, and finish strong. So choosing a scripture of the year helps to keep our minds on God’s word instead of our opposition or challenges so we not only reach our goals, but we’ll also be in alignment with God’s will making us unstoppable.

We will be able to say confidently the words of Paul in Philippians 1:6:

“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” (Philippians 1:6 NLT)

You might not finish everything you start, but if God is in it and He’s called you to it, He surely will. 

Now that you are encouraged to run with focus this year, you need a plan to get to your end goal. Watch this video to learn my easy 4-step process to biblical planning rooted in the power of God’s Word. 

And for more encouragement download my free Bible Study called “Worry-Free” to learn the 3 lies feeding your worry and the truth to set you free. Thanks for watching and until next time, be beautiful, be blessed, and beloved.