How Do I Get There?: Turning Your Roles into Goals
Let’s take stock here. I know what God desires for my life—to love Him, love others, and to make disciples.
He has designed me and equipped me to make a unique contribution.
He has placed me in a context where I might make that contribution to those around me.
So…what do I do next? How does knowing this translate into what fills my days?
Now before I go further, I have come to believe that while God is absolutely sovereign, it doesn’t mean that we are passive either.
But it also doesn’t mean that we are the ones in charge. It’s not about knowing what God created us for and then taking over.
Rather, I believe it is about prayerfully asking Him to help us direct our steps (Prov. 16:9). We now have the Holy Spirit within us. He helps us discern what to do.
So when I talk about goals, whether they be 10-year, 5-year, or 1-year, I am assuming that they are steps that we are planning with the Lord.
That’s very important. We must commit those plans, those goals, to the Lord. He is the one who will establish those plans (Prov. 16:3).
Goals are the link between the nebulous mission and my ordinary, everyday life.
There is a lot of information out there about making SMART goals: specific, measureable, actionable, realistic, and time-bound. To make them SMARTER, also make them exciting and relevant to your overall life.
I believe these are great tips and suggestions, and I use them to write my own goals every year. Here are a few of my own additions:
1. Write your goals in context of the mission, your life purpose, and your particular roles. This provides a direct line of connection to writing goals that are relevant and not random.
2. Write goals that would give you the most “bang for your buck.” I often ask myself: What goal can I make that will create a domino effect in other areas of my life? If you cannot think of any such goals, then…
3. Write goals in the roles that need the most help, a bit of challenge, or a push forward.
4. Last, evaluate your goal to determine if this is best for your life right now. If needed, take it back a notch.
For example, a young mom with a nursing infant aiming to read the Bible every day for the year (a great goal for sure!) may be setting herself up for failure. But what about reading through the Psalms and Proverbs in a year?
Writing goals that address key areas and consider my stage and season in life while pushing me forward in a specific, purposeful direction have been the most successful. Give it a try!