Are you in a rut? Are you slow to think about resolutions because you’ve made them (and tossed them) before? If you’re not intentional, momentary ruts can cost you greatly and you’ll end up squandering days, months, even years of this one and only life you’ve been given. The following diagnostic questions will help you dream again and, with God’s help, allow you to be all you can be in 2013.
- What is your dream for your life?
- What do you see as the vision/calling- or God-given picture- of your life?
- If you had unlimited resources (of time, money, energy, people) what would you want to accomplish with the rest of your life?
- What do you love to do more than anything else? What makes you feel fully alive? Why?
- What do hate the most? What makes you angry? Why?
- What do you do best? What are your best gifts? These are things you’ve heard others (not just mom) say mark you as being unique.
- What is God’s unique mission for your life?
- How will you fulfill this mission, starting TODAY?
You can begin by setting S.M.A.R.T. goals now. It’s critical that you write them down.
S pecific- Be as detailed as you can be about the goals you are stating. A specific goal has a much greater chance of being accomplished than a general goal. I heard years ago that, “If you shoot at nothing, you’ll hit it every time.” To set a specific goal you must answer the six “W” questions: Who will be involved? What do I want to accomplish? Where will it happen? When will it happen? Which requirements and constraints will place on me? Why will I do this? (What will be the specific reasons, purpose or benefits of accomplishing this goal.
M easurable- Every goal must be measured. How will you know you’ve accomplished it? What will be success? At what point will you know you’ve achieved that goal?
A ttainable- An attainable goal will stretch you to achieve it, but it will not be extreme. Attainable goals will challenge your attitudes and abilities and help you develop skills you may not have in order to reach them. Attainable goals will help you identify previously overlooked opportunities and bring you closer to the achievement of goals you once thought impossible.
R ealisitic- A realistic goal represents something that you are both willing and able to work toward. A goal can be both very challenging (perhaps seemingly beyond your reach to start) and realistic. You are the only one who can decide just how challenging your goal should be. But be sure that every goal represents major progress. Challenging goals are more often reached than lower, easier ones because a low goal exerts a much lower motivational force.
T imely- Your goals must have target dates. If you don’t set a timeline you will not be motivated and you will not reach your goals. A deadline too far in the future is too easily put off and a goal that’s set too close is unrealistic and then discouraging. Place times/dates on a calendar that will mark where you should (will!) be when you get to that date.
PRAY, DREAM again and then set S.M.A.R.T. goals in order to accomplish your dreams. Remember: If your dreams are not God’s dreams for your life you will fail, or even worse, you will succeed at the wrong things and squander your life. Go for it!