Thursday, December 27, 2012

Planning And Goal Setting: Benefits and Categories

"Even if you are on the right track, you will get run over if you just sit there." - Will Rogers

"If you aim at nothing, you'll hit it every time."

“How do they do it,” we ask. We wonder how it is that (insert name here) has time to do what they do, or how they know so much Bible, or have a good savings account, or children that play piano and speak five languages. That is one key reason for goal setting. Without setting goals we go through life reacting and whatever we achieve by the time we are lowered into our coffin is by accident. Better to aim higher and achieve greater things.

This whole idea of goal setting can be overwhelming. The rewards are well worth it though. Some goals I’ve personally set and reached in my life; riding from San Francisco to the San Fernando Valley, an inner city mission trip, reading through the Bible, blogging daily and yearly road trips with my daughter. Beyond those there are a myriad I’m working through including visiting every state in the United States.

This year I am going to break my life down into categories and then into sub categories such as: Marriage: a) time (retreats, dates, home-life), b) spiritual (praying, seeking, planning), c) miscellaneous. Typical categories include the spiritual, financial, travel, physical and artistic.

Gleaning through all the questions (who, what, why, how, when) I arrive at goals in each category. Finally I establish markers regarding measuring each goal; excel spread sheets or calendars. For instance the wife and I will take time this year to seek God as a couple. We will calendar a number of periods (days, weekends or weeks) to retreat to a place that allows us to be still and listen. The goal is measured by attendance on the pre-set dates and is fulfilled when those commitments are kept.

It is an exciting process. Though it seems dry and dusty in the mechanics of the process the joy comes when God fills in the outlines that I’ve penciled in on paper and breathes life and fullness into prayer and planning.

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