Well, its that time of year again! A new year has begun! Of course, with the arrival of a new year comes a very real opportunity to reset, refocus and make those yearly resolutions. Most studies have shown that less than 10% of us actually see keep those resolutions. Many abandon their yearly goals by the end of January. There are lots of factors that contribute to our lack of yearly-goal-follow-through but for the sake of brevity, let me offer a couple of things to think through as you set your new goals for 2018.
Set Directional Goals
Directional goals describe what kind of result you are looking to create. Think of directional goals as personal vision casting. Grow in godliness as a husband and father is one of my directional goals for the year. Directional goals provide the why for your yearly goals. Sit down and think through the various roles you serve in and then create a vision (preferred future) for each of those individual areas of your life. What areas of your life as a follower of Jesus do you hope to mature in? How do you hope to improve as a Dad or Mom in 2018? What kind of student do you want to become? Prayerfully setting directional goals keeps goalkeeping from becoming cold, lifeless task-completion.
Set Measurable Goals
Once you have established your directional goals, create action items that will help you advance towards those ends as the year unfolds. These action items can be worded as measurable goals that help advance you towards your directional goals.
Directional Goal: Improve my current level of financial stewardship in 2018.
- Read 3 books on personal finance
- Increase monthly giving percentage to church from 10% to 12%
- Increase monthly savings from 9% to 11%
Measurable goals can work hand in hand with directional goals in a host of ways. When a goal is measurable it can be assessed. Progress can be noted and celebrated. When the measurable goal is tied to the directional goal is has deeper purpose and meaning.
Remember, we need both directional and measurable goals. Directional goals keep us from achieving things that really don’t matter while measurable goals help us establish a metric for gauging our movement in the direction we are wanting to go.
A Gospel Reminder for Goal-Makers
And above all remember, the ultimate goal is a deeper understanding of grace. Grace that reminds us that there is only One who has ever completed all that He set out to achieve. It’s not you. It’s not me. It’s Jesus. So make goals this year and with commitment and God-honoring diligence “redeem the time”. But remember, while we often fail to meet our goals, grace never fails to meet us.