For several weeks we’ve been talking about writing a spiritual goal or theme to guide us through the year. You are probably ready to move on to another subject. But let me say one more thing before we do. Let’s Get Started!
I was reminded several weeks ago about the acronym for a well- conceived goal. It’s S.M.A.R.T.
Wikipedia lists multiple expressions of SMART. These are the ideas I like.
S= be specific: You should be able to break it down into smaller steps.
M = be measurable: Can you determine when you have reached it.
A= attainable: You should be able to reach the goal. Learning a new language
in one day is unattainable but in one year more attainable.
R = relevant: do I care if I reach this goal? It has to matter at least to me.
T = Time-bound: You have a deadline.
I’m interested in that first letter, S - how can I break my goal down into smaller actionable steps? You’ve heard the adage “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” Small steps are what get us to the big goal. Have you thought about the steps that will get you moving toward your goal?
Here are some helpful thoughts on developing smaller steps.
First, break the big goal into Milestones. Some steps might be: Gather Resources, Ask for Guidance, Build a system of Support and Encouragement, Implement what you Learn from the Resources. The milestones you outline will depend on your goal and your starting place so they will vary from person to person and from goal to goal.
Second, develop a task list for the first milestone. You don’t have to have a task list for every milestone, but develop it for your first one. If you are gathering reading resources you may want to identify the best sources, obtain them from a library or purchase them, and schedule time to read and study.
Third, complete the tasks on your list toward your milestone. That’s pretty straightforward.
Fourth, evaluate. Did you spend too much time on this aspect of your goal? What was most helpful? What have you learned? How will the list help in reaching your next milestone?
Fifth, develop task list for the next milestone and repeat.
It’s good to have a direction for your spiritual life. I’m praying you will write yours and strive toward your goal and discover God’s blessing as you grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
~ Pastor Byron
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