I am going to make a couple of bold guesses to kick off this post. One. You are good at some things. Maybe even really good at something. Probably not an expert at anything. Two. There is a bunch of other stuff you wish you were better in. You stress yourself out over these areas. Am I close? Well I don't wish to make this about your strengths and weaknesses and how much time you should spend developing them. Read someone like Tom Rath for one perspective on that topic. However, I do want to challenge you to engage in a simple but thoughtful process of goal writing. Here are a few tips on how to approach this task in an efficient way. Again, like my last post stated...WRITE it down!
- Write down every category in your life that you would seek to have goals in. List them by importance. Personally, I have ten categories. I'll list them to give you glimpse into my world. Marriage, Family, Leadership, Financial, Giving, Physical Health, Reading, Music, Writing, Creative. This isn't the perfect list...it's just my list. Make your own.
- Your personal mission statement should be represented in the categories in some way, shape or form. Your personal values will most likely be repsented in your goals.
- Now try writing 2-5 diverse goals under each category. Try to vary your goals in difficulty, expected time to complete, required consistency, and number of people that must be involved to complete. Diverse goals will keep you encouraged. If all your goals can be accomplished by you, you will probably be lonely. If all of your goals are long-term goals, you will end up discouraged and wanting to quit without a sense of completion.
- Be specific as possible. Give yourself deadlines. Idenitfy specific times and days in your schedule when you will accomplish these items. We will talk in detail about this in tomorrow's post.
- Check back once a week or at least every two weeks to see how you are doing. Take a few minutes to make notes on your progress, areas to focus on, and adjustments to make.
A few other notes of encouragement in this process if I may. If you realize after a couple of months that you are making zero progress in an area, consider three things. One. You aren't passionate about achieving this goal and it may not need to be on the list. Two. Your schedule isn't providing space for this goal to be achieved. If you are passionate about it. If the category is toward the top of the list. It's probably time to change your schedule. Three, table this item and move it to your bucket list. Just plan to do it later. In the meantime, remove the stress and anxiety of feeling like a failure when you look at the list and realize nothing is moving on this front.
For those people of faith like myself, you may ask yourself "why no spiritual goal category of growth for Kyle?" The Jewish understanding for faith was much more profound than our modern Christian American understanding. We see faith as a token card to carry around in our wallet. To whip out when convenient. The Jewish understanding of faith was woven into every fabric of life. How you take care of your body is deeply spiritual. How you interact with your family matters to God. How you spend your money tells God everything about what is taking place in your heart. I encourage you to see each of your goal categories through a spiritual lens. Let me know how it's going.