July 24, 2019 –
Psychologists use the term “goal gradient” to describe the fact that having a plan pulls you toward the goal, like a magnet.
As you set goals, write out specific, stated goals you want to achieve.
- State goals in the positive instead of the negative. “Witness to someone this week” is a better goal than, “Don’t pass up witnessing opportunities.”
- Set specific, measurable goals. Knowing what you want to do provides a measurement for signaling when you have reached it. Build checkpoints along the way. Decide dates, time, and quantities so you can measure achievement.
- Set priorities. Where you have several goals, give each a priority. Then review the goals and re-rank until it satisfies you that they show the life God wants you to live.
- Write goals down so you won’t forget them. Putting a goal in writing makes it more concrete and increases your sense of commitment.
- Set realistic goals. Set goals you are capable of achieving. You won’t spend the effort to reach a goal that you perceive to be unattainable. Set goals, so they are out of your immediate grasp, but not so far that there is no hope of achieving them.
- Don’t set goals too low. If the goal is set so low you feel no challenge in making it; you will not invest energy and time going after it.
- Set goals that relate to your vision. Make sure the purpose you are working for is something you want, not just something that sounds good.
- Set goals aligned with your core values. Christians need goals shaped by values different from the values of the world. You want to be working toward goals that have eternal meaning for you. Setting goals consistent with your values helps lead to success. Setting goals opposite or inconsistent with your values dilute the chances of success. Conflict, frustration, and stress can take over when you’re spiritual goals and spiritual values are misaligned.
- Commit to the achievement of the goal. Stay focused. Once the goal is clear, the other decisions become more natural. Look at all your daily activities through the lens of your goals.