“Write! Write! You want me to write, Lord! But I’m not accomplished enough and have not learned enough. What if I write things that expose my vulnerabilities, my fears, my stupidity, or my ignorance?”
For with all my education and learning, I have become acutely aware of how little I know. Just when I think I know a subject well, I turn a page and discover I have just begun to learn.
As I pick up pen and paper, the boldness with which I have written in the past is now tempered with a deep humbling awareness of the present.
Difficult times compel us to stop and make an assessment of where we are in life.
- Are we achieving the ambitions and aspirations we had?
- Are our goals and plans to achieve stated in such a way that even when faced with unexpected obstacles, we have a clear direction on how to get there?
Such an evaluation can enlarge our vision. We may need to abandon unclear goals and replace them with new, more coherent, or articulate ones.
At these crossroads, we are given the opportunity to clarify what is really important to us so we can step out with a new purpose and ending in mind.
Developing a vision is more than just thinking about what you might want to do or to have. It’s also developing a new focus. Your focus determines who you are and who you can become. It makes you unique.
On the front page of my website I have defined my platform with the following:
- On God – let Him lead
- On what you can do – not what you can’t
- On choices and possibilities
- On solutions – not problems
- On principles and values – live them
Once you have used goal setting you will never live without it. It simply becomes a way of life. By writing down the steps in a formalized fashion in the beginning, it soon becomes second nature.
Here are some things to remember:
Does your goal adequately reflect what you want to accomplish?
For example, you might want to become financially secure and choose an occupation that has the best potential for making lots of money. However, if your goal doesn’t reflect who you are, your personality, your talents, passions, etc., your goal will soon create high stress and great dissatisfaction. If you like working with people but choose to be an accountant who works with books, the conflict will soon deplete you.
Sometimes we have to let go of an old reality to create a new one.
In my previous post, I introduced you to the 9 basic components of a goal. In this post, I’ll give you a case study of a goal I made and the process I went through.
My goal statement
My goal statement reflected the need to sell my home and find a new residence. I reviewed obstacles and outlined a plan of action. As I put my plan into motion, my on-going evaluation revealed a need to modify my original goal statement, which was:
I will put my home up for sale and find a new residence within my current community to live in.
The obstacles involved finding another home I could afford, upgrading one that was for sale, etc. Listing any obvious obstacles required getting enough information to formulate a workable plan of action.
Before we start putting together a formal goal plan, let’s review a few important things:
- Don’t focus on limitations – fear of the unknown can color our belief in ourselves.
- Give yourself permission to make mistakes – do your homework ahead of time.
- Don’t get discouraged if, in the process of putting your goal plan together, you discover the goal isn’t exactly right. Make corrections as needed.
- If the goal isn’t right for you it is okay to let go of it, re-define it or re-work it. We are not only learning about goal setting but a lot about ourselves in this process.
- Don’t abandon your goals because you believe you won’t be able to complete them. It’s okay to put some goals on hold while we meet current commitments or circumstances.
Why should I bother putting together a formal goal plan? I know in my mind what I want and how to get there. Isn’t writing it down a waste of time?
Remember when you hadn’t established daily and weekly routines and life just sort of happened?
You struggled to get up in the morning because you stayed up too late the night before; you put off doing the things you didn’t like to do and succumbed to however you felt at the moment. And most of the time, life was chaotic, unpredictable and unsatisfying.
Without a formal goal plan, our goals remain vague.
Without specific, defined goals, our lives often resemble a piece of wood floating down a river; at the mercy of the current, wind, rocks and sandy beaches.