Offer Them Christ
The Weblog Of J.F. Howard

Goal Setting (Part 1)


            Do you make new year’s resolutions or set goals for your life each year?

            I know most people never follow through on their new year’s resolutions, but I think they are important.

            I love having a goal.

            Goal setting motivates me. It keeps me moving forward and focused on a particular destination. Even when I fall short, I stay energized because the goal is still out there before me.

            Someone has said, “Without clear goals, we will often end the day having accomplished nothing important.”

            Near the end of August 2008 I realized that I had neglected regular exercise for most of the year and had gotten in poor physical condition (weight up, energy down, attitude way down). I decided to set a goal to go 250 miles (walking/running/biking…anything!) from September to the end of the year. At the time I set that goal, it seemed a long way off with only a short time to get there. I slowly started walking a few miles here and there. As my conditioning improved I turned to bicycle riding. Before long I was making time in my schedule for regular exercise, my conditioning and stamina were improving, and even my attitude was getting better. I began to look forward to the time of exercise. I started getting closer to my goal. When I didn’t want to exercise because of the weather or the busyness of my schedule I heard this little voice say, “Remember the goal!” I stayed with it as the days got shorter and the temperatures got colder.

            I was very pleased when I reached my goal a month early! I was so excited that I set a new goal of 100 more miles by the end of December. On cold days, windy days, rainy days, busy days, I kept thinking, “You can reach your goal.” And I pressed on.

            As I write this (the week before Christmas) I am just 7 miles away from reaching my second goal. I’m almost there. I’ve already set an exercise goal for 2009 (and I’m not going to wait until September to start working on it!).

            I’ve also set some goals for my personal spiritual life in 2009, as well as professional growth, and some family related goals as well.

            What are your goals for the coming year?

            Years ago I learned that the best way to set goals is to make them S.M.A.R.T. goals. S.M.A.R.T.  goals are:

S = Specific
M = Measurable
A = Attainable
R = Realistic
T = Timely

            After the first of the year, I’ll write some more about S.M.A.R.T.  goals, but for now let me end with a quote from the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche which reads: “The essential thing in heaven and earth is . . . that there should be a long obedience in the same direction; there thereby results . . . something which has made life worth living.”

            I’m going to set some S.M.A.R.T.  goals now for 2009 which I hope will result in the life that Nietzsche describes.

            Will you join me?



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