Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Setting Goals

I'm not a big fan of New Year's resolutions.  I've found that many people make resolutions at the new year without putting much thought into it, only to break those resolutions within a few weeks and then never think about them again.  Instead I like to take time to evaluate and set goals that can be reevaluated at a later time and revised.  I think that there is a place for resolutions, but these are very serious things and not to be entered into lightly.  I think about Ecclesiastes 5:4-7:
When you make a vow to God, do not delay to fulfill it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow. It is better not to make a vow than to make one and not fulfill it. Do not let your mouth lead you into sin. And do not protest to the temple messenger, “My vow was a mistake.” Why should God be angry at what you say and destroy the work of your hands? Much dreaming and many words are meaningless. Therefore fear God.
So last year Dana and I thought about and set 5 and 10 year goals, but this year I wanted to focus our thoughts a little bit differently.   Rather than starting with what we would like to accomplish in 5-10 years, I devised some questions for us to consider individually about who we want to be (as individuals, a couple, and a family).  In a few weeks we will look over our responses and then reevaluate where we would like to be in 5 years (2020) and 10 years (2025), maintaining some of our goals from last year, adding more, or taking some away.

Since I took the time to write these guiding questions I thought I would share them here.  Feel free to use them as you evaluate your own life, who you are and who you would like to be.
First, I would encourage you to read something our previous pastor, from Christ Community Bible Church, sent out for the New Year as people think about goals and resolutions.

Personal Goals: Who do you want to be?  How do you want people to remember you?  Think of 5 character traits that you want to be defined by and prioritize them (most to least important). What do you want to do?  What impact do you want to have?  Think of 5 things that you do (or want to do) that define you as a person (who do you think of yourself as? Be specific: eg. a runner, a fisherman, a pray-er, a gardener, a reader, etc).  Is there anything that you want to change Physically/Mentally/Emotionally/Spiritually?

Family Goals:

How do you want to live as a family?  If someone were to write a description of your family, what would we want them to say?  Think of 5 descriptions that you would like your family to be known by (eg: busy, accomplished, efficient, loving, etc).
What is a family?  How do you live as a family?  How do you live NOT as a family?

Career Goals:
What does career mean to you?  What place do you see career having in your life?
What do you see yourself contributing to society?  How are you compensated for this (it does not need to be money)?
Is there something that you could see yourself doing that brings enough value to another person (or group of people) that they would be willing to compensate you for your efforts?
What do you create that is valuable?  What do you do that is valuable?
How have you seen God provide for your needs this past year?  Would you rather be defined by what you give or what you receive?  Are you willing to live with less in order to give more away (time/resources)?

Financial Goals:
What 5 items would you like to purchase/replace in the next 5 years?
What are 5 things that you currently spend money on that you could live without (or less of)?
Is it more important to give to those in need or save for your perceived future needs (medical, retirement, etc)?  Of the money that you make beyond your annual expenses, what percentage do you think you should give away and what percentage should you save for future perceived needs (not actual needs like a house, car, computer, etc, but needs that don’t currently exist like saving for a day when you can’t work or for things that could go wrong medically, etc)?  So an example would be saying that of your extra money you should set aside 80% for your future use and give away 20%.  Or perhaps you think you should set aside 30% for your future use and give away 70%.  How does Jesus’ parable speak into this?  How about these verses?

After you've taken the time to consider all of these questions and write them down, you can start to turn your dreams and desires into concrete goals and action steps.  Perhaps some of them will be important enough for you to commit to them as a resolution, perhaps others will be goals that will guide your planning throughout the year but may be cast aside or changed at some point in the future.  In any case, I hope and pray that by considering these things you will be drawn closer to God and desire to be made more in His image.

No comments:

Post a Comment