Photo by Estée Janssens on Unsplash
Goal-setting is something that I'm passionate about. Goal-setting helps me keep myself on track, and gives me something to aspire to. For example, I've found books to be extremely important in my growth. And so a number of years ago I started setting myself a book goal for the year. I went with 12 books for the year which I thought was doable. 1 book a month on average shouldn't really be a problem! From that first year I exceeded the 12 book mark, and went on to use that goal for the next 3 years. Then a couple of years ago I thought I had book-reading as a habit down pat, and decided not to give myself any goals and to see how many books I would be able to get through. To my surprise, I read maybe 4 books that year. FOUR. That was WAY down from what I was doing previously. So last year I thought I would bring back the book goal. I got through 15 books last year.
This is the same in many areas of my life. Where I have set goals, I normally achieve them. I do like the SMART goals technique (Specific, measureable, achievable, realistic, timely), but I have feel that on occasion it lacks a little... something. It feels a little cold, and sometimes it feels a little mechanical. NOT very exciting.
On Sunday I spoke about "seedulness" (podcast available here: www.theliftchurch.com.au/podcasts), and how that affects goal setting. Seedfulness is in essence being aware of what God has given to you, and being deliberate about giving your seed(s) the best chance to reach its full potential. This is how seedfulness impacts my goal setting:
I'm concerned with what I do have and what I can do rather that what is outside of my control.
I'm focused on my effort rather than measuring my success based on my results. My efforts are hinged on what I've decided to do rather than how I see/feel things are going.
I'm grounded in the "now" rather than trying to live in the "future". I'm not living beyond myself.
I know that my current effort will lead to greater in the future. I'm excited to see what God will do with my stewardship of the seed He has given me.
Going back to my book reading goal, one of the things God has graced me with is an ability to understand and retain information. This information helps me grow in my leadership, in my teaching and preaching, and generally in being a better person. At the end of the day my desire is to be a better leader, teacher, preacher and person, but these things are FRUITS and not necessarily fully in my control. So I create conditions for my seeds to grow into those fruits through reading. And after a few years of being deliberate about reading I can say confidently that reading is one of those things that GREATLY contribute to my growth, and is therefore something I'll continue to be deliberate about from year to year, season to season.
What conditions are you going to be deliberate about this year to set the best condition for your God-given seeds to grow?