This blog submitted by Bob Williamson…Bob can be reached at email@example.com
I’ve been putting to writing my technique for setting goals in preparation for my upcoming Success Seminar and I was thinking about a conversation that I had with Truett Cathy, founder of Chic-Fil-A. He told me that he doesn’t plan things far in advance and instead takes advantage of opportunities as they arise.
Hmmm…. We do things differently. I feel that identifying objectives that I want to achieve and then going after them systematically, but with reckless abandon is a better way for me, and setting achievable goals and working diligently towards achieving them throughout the year has helped me enormously.
I work long and hard at formulating my goals beginning in October and not completing them until January 15th. Once I have them in writing I work even harder throughout the year to achieve them. Like Mr. Cathy I do try to take advantage of new opportunities that may arise and I consider my written goal list to be a “living document” and I don’t hesitate to modify it if conditions change, but I work off a written list.
The important thing about setting goals is to ultimately achieve them; it is after all the reason for setting them in the first place. In order to do so one has to be disciplined in their pursuit of them. I recently read that 25% of New Year’s resolutions are broken in the first week. And the odds didn’t get much better for the first couple months – among gym goers, 80% drop out within eight weeks. It would seem that this would be very discouraging and psychologically devastating.
I detest jogging; it is boring and painful to me. As I run, I huff and I puff, my legs hurt, my lungs hurt, my jaw hurts, and I sweat like a Florida politician at a county fair. I despise my tread mill, but every day, (when it’s too hot to run outside), I get on it and I run for two or more miles,. It has a display that shows little red dots that form as I make progress and I balefully stare at them until the dots complete a circle and indicate that I have completed yet another lap. I also dislike doing sit ups, but I do 125 every morning, grimacing as I crunch away.
Why do I subject myself to this torture? I detest being fat and unhealthy more than I detest the pain from the exercise. I know that I cannot do my God, my family, or myself any good at all if I’m too out of shape to accomplish anything.
Jesus said: For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? I have weighed the cost and determined that it is worth it to me.
We set goals and work hard to achieve our worthwhile objectives in order to improve our lot in life. The Bible encourages our hard work and even tells us to be courageous as we go about it. “But you, take courage! Do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded.”
When I set goals my mindset is long term and short term. What is long term? To me long term goals look beyond this life and into the next. These are eternal goals. We take nothing with us when we leave this earth, no big diamond rings, no Rolex watches, no grand home, or private jets. We only take the good works that we have done in accomplishing God’s work. Nothing else from this earth is allowed in heaven.
So how do I formulate such goals? The Apostle Paul gave me a clue : “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
Short term goals are more concerned with whatever remains of this life. God wants us to be successful and enjoy life and I don’t think He wants anyone to fail. I set short term goals for this life with that in mind.
God has blessed that effort in my life, perhaps because for the most part I have realized the importance of long term versus short term goals. The Bible describes life on this earth as a vapor, here but for a moment and then disappearing. Eternity is forever and ever and ever. Long term should consume our thinking. Don’t put all your emphasis on accumulating and achieving great things that will only mean something in this fleeting life. All of that will soon be burned away like the morning fog. Concentrate instead on things that will last forever and will always remain bright and radiant as the new day.
One day we will face God and give an accounting of this life. That stock portfolio and fancy home that was accumulated won’t mean nearly as much as helping that poor woman pay her electricity bill, or visiting that prisoner, or sick person, or witnessing to that lost person.
My hero, the Apostle Paul wrote of goals in his letter to the Philippians. “But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
He also told us how to run this race:
1 Cor. 9:24
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.