Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Are you setting SMART goals?

Woot woot! We have almost made it through the first month of 2015!

How are those New Year’s resolutions coming along?

Hopefully, your resolutions are proving to be fruitful and you still have the motivation to work on them as much as you did January 1. But, if you are anything like the other 90% of us who make resolutions and have either forgotten about or given up on them, I have a “resolution re-do” plan for you!


I am the bookkeeper here at camp and business school was full of practice with goal making utilizing the SMART approach. Since then, I have repeatedly learned that we should, as followers of Christ, set goals for ourselves and it is something we as a staff at Covenant Heights have been reading about, discussing, and trying to put into practice.  

So how do you make a resolution or goal for this year SMART? The key is to make your goal:

In my experience, the more goals I have, the less likely I am to even accomplish one goal. Cut the excess! Think of the top 3 resolutions or goals you had for this year, that aren’t working out so well, and lets make them SMART! (Once you accomplish your top 3 goals, you can always bring back those bottom 3 on the priority list and make them SMART halfway through the year.)

Specific. Do not beat around the bush and make your goal complicated and multi-faceted. Be specific about the end result you desire.
Measurable. What are the parameters of your goal? How are you going to know when you have reached your goal? You need to set a concrete “finished product” you desire for yourself.
Attainable. Don’t set your sights to low OR too high. Are you really going to be able to read 20 books in 2 months when you have 3 kids, work a part time job, and are involved in ministry at your church? It is a great idea…. but let us be real. In order to attain that goal, you are either going to be speed reading or picking up your kid’s 20 page books to read.
Realistic. Ask yourself, “Is this goal something I really desire to achieve and can actually picture myself accomplishing”?  Be sure to make goals that you are willing to achieve and have confidence you can complete.
Timely. Set a timeline for yourself. Make a specific due date for your goal to be accomplished and request your spouse, mentor, or friend put a reminder on their calendar to check in with you on that due date. (tip:  it helps to set multiple dates or checkpoints along the way if your goal is going to take a while)

Let us put each step into practice:

Resolution: I will spend more time encouraging the older men at church. 

Smart Goal Redo: By August 1, 2015, every Monday I will plan and schedule 1 morning to take an older believer from church to coffee.

Checkpoint Goals:
-By April 1, 2015, every 2nd Monday of the month, I will plan and schedule 1 morning to take an older believer from church to coffee.
-By June 1, 2015, every 2nd and 4th Monday of the month, I will plan and schedule 1 morning to take an older believer from church to coffee.

Resolution: Be more consistent about having a sit down family dinner.

SMART Goal Redo: By June 1, 2015 every Sunday I will plan 5 dinners and have a 6 pm. sit down family dinner prepared 5 nights per week.

Checkpoint Goals:
-By April 1, 2015, every Sunday I will plan 3 dinners and I will have a 6 pm sit down family dinner prepared 3 nights per week.
-By May 1, 2015, every Sunday I will plan 4 dinners and I will have a sit down family dinner prepared 4 nights per week.

Now it is your turn! But first, on a spiritual note:

When you set goals, rather than just try to think of all the ways to make yourself a more loveable, productive, awesome person, pray about what the Lord desires for you to improve upon and how you can serve Him better. Ultimately, God is the force of change, sanctification, and refining within us, but we do have the responsibility to be disciples of Him, follow His commandments, & not be lazy about our personal and spiritual lives (as Proverbs 6 warns against). Proverbs 21:5 says:

“The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, 

but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.” 

Goals should not be held with a tight fist and hastily developed on our own based upon a personal whim to achieve perfection. Our main goal should be to do the will of our Father by loving and glorifying Him, seeking His kingdom first, and loving others.  Ultimately, our goals should have those purposes at that heart of them and should be developed with prayer and Christ-like intentions. We need to recognize, as Proverbs 16:9 says, In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.” Let us strive to be able to say as Paul did that we have not attained perfection and have not “made it” in this life, but rather that we are striving forward to what lies ahead, pressing toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called us heavenward!

Happy goal setting!

Deb Fritzler
Office Manager

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