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The Benefits of Goal Making

01/04/2016

For me, goal making begins in the fall. The way my job works the fall is the start of a new season or year. However, I know for many that the dawning of a new calendar year is also the time to reevaluate priorities and create goals or resolutions. Therefore, this is a repost from the fall. My hope is that this post will serve as tool to help you in your goal making process.

I don’t know about you, but every year the coming of fall feels like a new season of life is beginning. Maybe it’s the cooler weather, which is a great change of pace for those of us who live in Texas. Maybe it’s the start of football season (Who Dat!) or even more importantly the kick off of fantasy football season (Is being in 3 leagues too many?). Whatever it is, my life tends to mimic the school year calendar. As fall arrives, I begin thinking about what this new season will bring. What are my goals and aspirations for this next year? I begin dreaming and then planning.

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For those who know me, I can be sort of a nerd when it comes to goals. I am very driven and enjoy the process of accomplishment. But I don’t think goals are only for those who are competitive. I think we all can benefit from making goals. Here are a few reasons why I think everyone should create yearly goals.

Highlight Priorities

For most of us, we try to do too much. In the attempt to do everything, we tend to sacrifice the important things for lesser, more pressing ones. We give in to the tyranny of the urgent. Writing down goals forces us to evaluate our priorities. It allows us to be reminded of things that really matter in our life. A mentor of mine once told me, “You need to know what you have to make A’s in and what it is ok to make C’s in.” For those who are highly competitive, like myself, that can be a hard statement to swallow. But he’s right. We can’t do it all. Or at least can’t do everything with excellence. The more we pile on the less effective we become. I would rather make an “A” as a husband and a “C” in my job than vice versa. Writing down goals helps to show me those things I have to make A’s in and all the other stuff that it is okay to make B’s and C’s in.

Provide Direction

There’s an old saying, “a river without boundaries is a swamp”. Goals provide boundaries for how we use our time. They are like rumble strips on the side of the interstate. They keep you from going out-of-bounds in life and encourage you to move in the right direction.

Bring Accountability

If you set specific, measurable goals, then reviewing them often provides instant accountability. You can see clearly which areas you are having success in and which ones need improvement.

Create Purposeful Living

For me, this is the most important reason to make goals. We all only have 24 hours in a day. Goals help to ensure that we are not wasting our time. They allow us to take control of our time and schedule instead of being their slave. Goals provide the framework to live an intentional life. And I think a life lived with intentionality is a life full of joy and fulfillment.

As I conclude I would caution anyone who undertakes to make goals to be careful not to become legalistic with them. The process is more important than the product. For example, I want to read my Bible consistently. This next year I have a goal to use my daily Bible reading plan 75% of the time. What if I only read it 65% of the time? Sure there will be some disappointment, but I have to remember the “why” behind that goal. It’s not to check something off a list, but I want to read scripture so I can grow in my relationship with the Lord. That can be accomplished even if I don’t hit 75%. The process of reading is more important than actually hitting that goal.

What are some reasons your set goals?

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About the Author:

I have a passion to equip or prepare young leaders for maximum impact in their spheres of influence. Former Pine Cove camp director and currently a general manager for Hawaiian Falls. I am originally from South Louisiana but now live in East Texas with my beautiful wife, Robyn.