What Are Your Goals?

5952852137_315996159aThis past week we’ve been talking about setting goals for classes.  One of the more common mistakes Christian educators in churches (not in schools where they have formal curricula and testing) make is not thinking about the goals for a lesson or class.  Why are you teaching this?  Setting a goal helps the teacher to determine how a lesson should be taught and evaluate whether the teaching was effective.

This got me thinking that this isn’t just an issue for church teachers.  We often don’t have goals in our own lives.  Just like how goals can help a teacher decide what they want to teach, how to teach it, and determine whether the teaching was effective, so having goals in our lives can help us to decide what we need to be doing, how we do things, and whether we moving down the right path towards achieving those goals.

Have you thought about goals?  What goals do you have for your life? How do you set goals?

Let’s talk about it…

What are Goals?
A goal is any specific thing you want to achieve in your life.  They can be big or little.  The keys to a good goal is that it is…

  • specific
  • attainable
  • actionable
  • has a deadline

Big and Small
I think one of the biggest problems people have with setting goals and achieving them is that they think the goal has to be big, which can become overwhelming.  Don’t be afraid to set smaller goals.  Even small goals can accomplish big things in your life.

One of the key things I took away from the Financial Peace class is how seemingly small goals each month quickly add up.  I’ve seen lots of people who set several small financial goals (save a little here, increase income a little there, etc) and in a year or two their financial situation was completely transformed from drowning in debt to being debt free with savings.

The same is true in many areas of life.  Do you want a better marriage?  Perhaps the goal “have a better marriage” isn’t the best.  Instead, set some actionable goals like,

  • Eat dinner together
  • Pray together and for each other
  • Say something nice about your spouse everyday
  • Read the Bible together
  • Make time for just the two of you
  • Forgive

These are all achievable things.  I’ll bet you can think of some other goals for your marriage as well.  Perhaps you don’t do them all at once, but over time you work toward them.  The crazy thing is that even though any one of these things may seem small and insignificant (except maybe forgiveness), the overall effect of these goals can completely transform your marriage.

Goals for Faith
The same is true of our faith life.  You don’t have to start off by setting the goal of being Mr. or Mrs. “Super-Christian”.  Start by setting some actionable, achievable goals.  Here are a few you might consider:

  • Start each day with 5 minutes of prayer
  • Start each day reading a devotion with Scripture
  • Attend worship every week
  • Confess your sins daily and ask for forgiveness.  Then read a Bible verse that tells you of God’s forgiveness and trust His promises.  (1 Jn 1:9; Heb 4:16; Ro 8:1; Eph 1:7; etc.)

That last one is probably one of the best.  That is the essence of our faith, even though we continue to sin each day, we continue to go to God and trust in God’s forgiveness.

Try coming up with some goals of your own:

  • ________________________
  • ________________________
  • ________________________

Why We Don’t Set Goals?
Goals can help focus us.  They can help up to stay the course and accomplish the things we want for our lives.  So, why is it that so often we don’t have goals in our lives?

  • Business: One of the biggest reasons we don’t set goals is that we are so busy that the only goal we can think of is to keep our head above water.  Setting a goal feels like just one more thing to do.  If this is you, perhaps the first goals need to be focused on reducing the busyness of your life and finding time to rest.
  • Fear of Failure: Sometimes we’d rather just not try at all than risk failure.  Failure can be demoralizing and embarrassing, but the reality is that you won’t get anywhere if you don’t at least try.  It’s OK to fail.  Often times that’s how we learn best.
  • We’re Comfortable: I’m just fine with my life the way it is.  Sure it could be better, but it’s not worth the effort.  Being content in Christ is good, but that doesn’t mean you don’t keep working at things.  Also, even if your life is pretty good, there are plenty of people out there who could use your help.

It’s Time to Set Some Goals
If you already have some goals in your life and you are working towards them, great.  If not, I want to challenge you to set some goals this week.  Take some time to pray about and think about what goals you should set.  Read the Bible and listen.  Then sit down and write down a goal or two and develop a plan to achieve those goals.  Remember, to make your goals specific, actionable, achievable, and to set a goal date.  If you want to be really bold, you can even post what your goal(s) are in the comments.

Share Your Thoughts

  • What are some goals that you’ve set for your life?
  • What advice do you have for people as they set goals?

 

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