Setting goals. We hear a lot about goal setting at different times, but I think most of us just find ourselves too busy to do it. The problem with not setting goals is that it slows our forward motion.
My husband is a goal setter of sorts, and he encourages our kids to do the same; especially as they get ready to fly solo. He will actually have them write down their one, two, and five year goals and give them to him. He asks them to set financial goals, professional goals, and relationship goals. At the first year mark, he will share their goals with them so they can be reminded and check their progress.
When I married my husband, he had an education goal. He wanted to have completed his doctorate by age thirty. It was a lofty goal. I am proud to say that while he did not meet that goal, he is going to begin work to complete that degree very soon. It’s almost never too late.
New Year’s resolutions and goal setting are similar, but different. Most New Year’s resolutions are kind of ambiguous. “This year I am going to exercise more. This year I am going to be a better daughter. This year I am going to read more and watch TV less.” Goals tend to be more specific.
I often run across people who are at a loss in life. They just don’t seem to have a lot of direction. I recognize this in others because I know personally what that looks like in my own life. We can often find ourselves so caught up in the busy-ness of life that we allow huge blocks of time to go by without our making any real progress in any real intentional direction.
Setting goals can help defend us from lack of direction. When we set goals, our focus becomes clearer. We are distracted less by meaningless things that make bids for our attention. We can set our eyes on the prize and begin forward motion. Goals lend meaning and purpose to our lives.
I have the pleasure and honor to serve at my church on the ministry team for women’s small groups. The philosophy of ministry there is that we strive through leadership to help move women one step at a time in their faith journey. We want them to take just one step toward their goal of looking more like Jesus. We can’t expect to move every person by leaps and bounds. That can happen for a few, but for most of us, we need the one step method.
Let’s say you wanted to start a catering business, and you are starting from scratch. 🙂 The thought of the finished product might just be more than you can handle mentally, emotionally, financially, and physically- so you never have gotten any traction.
Years ago, Matthew and I were building a house. I visited on the day the brick layers were there. It seemed like a daunting task to me. I said, “How will you finish all this?” The Brick Mason simply said, “One brick at a time.”
Some of us are afraid to set goals because we are overwhelmed at the sight of all those bricks. But most of us could handle one brick at a time. It’s the same way you eat an elephant… one bite at a time. Any of us could eat an elephant that way… although I don’t really know anyone who would want to ate an elephant at all…
I have a friend who is a Life Coach and she asks the question, “What step are you taking today to get you closer to your goal tomorrow?”
What is something you have always wanted to accomplish in your life? Are you putting it off because the thought of it overwhelms you? Let’s think through it together.
Set the goal. Just do it. Say it out loud. Talk to the Father about it. Make sure this goal lines up with what He has created you to do. After all, if it does, what can really, ultimately, stand in your way?
Then set mini goals from the big one. Bite sized pieces. Can you manage one bite a day? One a week? One a month?
Map it out.
Then move the majority of your focus time on the next step. We don’t ever want to lose sight of the end goal, but that, as we have said, can be overwhelming. So spend most of your time focused on the next step.
And make sure someone else knows your plan. Let’s face it, we are all so easily distracted. I can forget all about my next step and find myself engrossed in something that steals me away from the things I truly want to accomplish. Yet when that call, text, or email comes asking me how I am progressing towards the goal I set… I am immediately refocused… and often disappointed in myself!
So let me ask you…
What is it that you have always wanted to accomplish, but haven’t yet? Where do you want to be a year from now in regards to that goal? Have you mapped out a plan to get there? Have you talked to the Father about it? Have you shared your plan with someone who will hold you accountable to it? Alright then.
Let’s do this.