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Reviewing our journey, Part 1 was about plucking weeds of unnecessary baggage from our lives, Part 2 was about planting seeds of the right mindset, and now, Part 3, is about nurturing the direction of our growth by setting goals.
This is probably the most technical I’ll ever get with my posts, but I figured these tips would help in a practical way. It’s called SMART Goal Setting, something that I didn’t create but found useful during my training as a tutor. I hope you enjoy!
1) Have Direction — SMART Goal Setting
Everyone has gotten stuck in the “drifting” mode at least once in our lives, getting trapped in routine and losing direction, merely drifting through life rather than progressing purposefully. There’s that part of us that yearns for more, that feels guilty for knowing that life could be more fruitful, or feels bored simply living in mediocrity. Yet sometimes our dreams feel too big that we bury them, denying them as if they never existed.
But the trick is not to deny our big dreams; it’s to break them into smaller steps so that they are more attainable, well-defined, and less overwhelming. To do this, make sure they are:
- Specific – Who, what, where, and why? It’s easier to tackle goals that are clear & specific rather than general & ambiguous.
- Measurable – How much? How many? How will you know when it’s accomplished? This helps track progress; the more you notice your progression, the more motivated you become!
- Attainable – How? Make ambitious goals, but make sure they’re realistic. It will save you from unnecessary discouragement.
- Relevant – Is it worthwhile? Is it the right time? Why does it matter?
- Time-Bound – When? Make schedules and deadlines for yourself — it will keep you on track.
2) Expect Delays or Changes
Set SMART Goals, but be flexible. It’s common for goals to take longer to accomplish than expected, so don’t beat yourself up about it. You may also want to tweak your goals a bit too — that’s OK! Goal-setting is never set in stone. Also, you may fail several times, but keep your chin up and keep trying; persistence is key.
3) Be Prepared to Yield
It’s great to focus on your goals, but don’t become too self-absorbed. It’s OK to drop your plans once in a while to help a friend in need, or to tackle priorities that need your immediate attention. And finally, although it’s good to define what you want, don’t forget to ask what God wants. Many times His Will will match yours, but when they conflict, don’t be afraid to drop your plans and seize whatever He has in store — they may be greater than any dream you could imagine.