Imagine that one year from today you are sitting comfortably in front of a fire talking with your wife, husband or friend and you make this statement: “This has been the best year of my life.” What would make you say that? Why is that statement true? What would have to happen between now and then in order for that statement to be true?
A vision is a ‘tomorrow statement’ made today. Yet all too often, vision gets dusty because it remains in the realm of dreams or worse…delusions. However, this doesn’t have to be true for you. You can move straight to your vision of the future if you are willing to set goals today.
Goals with clearly defined steps move you toward a desired future.
Effective goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable and Compatible. Or to say it another way effective goals S.M.A.C.!
A goal must be SPECIFIC
What is your goal? In order to accomplish your goal first break it down into achievable steps. Now turn those steps into the simplest possible tasks. Finally, assign each task to what a Daily Action List.
A goal must be MEASURABLE
In order to accomplish a goal it will need to be assigned a time limit. Have you set clear and specific deadlines for your goals? DO NOT SKIP THIS: In order to be effective a goal must be written down and include due dates. A goal that is not written down is just a dream.
A goal must be ACHIEVABLE
Be realistic. If you find it difficult to hold down a job you probably should not make it your goal to be a millionaire this year. That would be delusional. Are your goals realistically doable with the time and resources available? Dream within the context of your life and not someone else’s life. In other words, avoid the temptation to measure yourself against someone else.
A goal must be COMPATIBLE…
…with other goals and highest truths in your life. Is what really matters most to you reflected in your goals? Why is this goal important to you? What motivates you to want to achieve the goal? A scripture? A person? A belief? The problem is not that there are so many options. It may be just as simple as this: you have lost the ability to choose wisely. More choices just mean more choices. But the ability to choose wisely means moving into your best year ever.
Review your goals daily. In fact, rewrite them every day. Years ago I wrote: “There is so much to fill our time that the one who has the greatest desire to achieve the goal will accomplish it because they will fill their time with meaningful activity.” I still believe that to be true because effective goals lead to meaningful activity; and meaningful activity reflects the highest principles and deepest truths of your life.
As you write your goals consider this advice from SOLOMON.
The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty. (Pr. 21:5)
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. (Pr. 3:5-6)
Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. (Pr. 3:7-8)
Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine. (Pr. 3:9-10)