In Craig Groeshchel’s blog today he reminded everyone of how to set goals. I know you’ve probably seen these before, but it’s a good reminder.
First, a good goal is specific. Don’t just say, “I’m going to get into great shape.” That’s a good idea, but it doesn’t tell you what to do Tuesday morning at 6:30. Better to say, “I’m going to lose ten pounds.” Or “I’m going to go from size 14 to size 10.” Or “I just want to jog a mile without dying.” And put a time frame on it. “I will lose ten pounds by May 31.”
Second, a good goal is attainable. If I said, “I will be an opera singer by year end,” it’s not going to happen. Mainly because I don’t like opera. But even if I did, no amount of training would get me there. For me to sing well would rival the miracle of the resurrection. If you have two car payments, credit card balances through the roof, first and second mortgages on your home, and a student loan, and you’re resorting to pawning your kids’ Legos, an attainable goal is not “I’ll be debt-free by Friday.” But you might be able to pay off one credit card in three months. How? That decision is up to you. Maybe you will stop eating out or cut cable television. You can do it. If you keep your goals within reach.
And third, a good goal is written. Writing a goal is the first level of accountability. You would not believe the difference in outcomes between a written and an unwritten goal. The Harvard graduating class of 1953 was surveyed to find how many students had written goals. Three percent. That’s right, only three out of one hundred had put pen to paper. Thirty years later, those same three percent had accumulated over ninety percent of the wealth of the entire graduating class. That’s the power of a written goal. Now turn that same power toward God’s vision for your life. Just think what a few words in black and white can do.
What are your goals for 2008?