January is the month we all sit down and scribble out our major and minor goals for the year. Many of them fall into the category of wishful thinking and a great many more end up on the cutting room floor. They just didn’t enter the year’s picture.
Now if this is often the case, why do most of us take part in this seemingly meaningless yearly ritual? What is the point?
I believe a significant factor is that we must have something to motivate or drive us. There is an innate whisper (God) that tells us that we must live at cause, and we must have a purposeful existence. Otherwise, we feel aimless, rudderless, pointless. We set goals because there has to be a reason we’re here… a defining point to it all.
Now, does the act of goal setting need to be futile? No. If you’re tired of the senseless goal setting and you want goals with teeth, think about them in these terms.
First: Beware of Vague Goals—Is your goal specific? Can you define it, describe it, know the what, how, and why of it? Don’t merely set a goal without understanding how it will benefit you and your family. If it’s to start your own business, do you know what it is you plan to do, how it is you plan to do it, and why you need to accomplish it? If you don’t, your goal is merely words on a page.
Second: Beware of Unworthy Goals—One definition of failure is succeeding at the wrong things. Many people with riches are still unsuccessful because their goals are unworthy. Many of us could name a handful of notorious people, like Bernie Madoff, who are perfect examples of this. He succeeded at his unworthy goal miserably, right? If you make sure your goals are “God-worthy,” you’ll never have to worry about accomplishing something that is unworthy.
Third: Beware of Unbalanced Goals—You can accomplish this by asking these three questions:
- If I get to where I’m going, where will I be?
- If I achieve my goals, what will I have?
- Are the things I am living for, worth Jesus dying for?
God wants what is best for you. He wants your life to be prosperous and enriched. He wants you to make goals and live each day with a confidence and commitment to succeed. And He wants you to beware of the paralysis of goal making without obligation or reason. So before you sit down and write out this year’s goals, ask yourself, “Am I doing them for the right reasons?” If you can say, “YES!” then you’re very likely to succeed.