When teaching a goal
workshop, the first questions I directed my attendees to ask themselves were:
1 1. How juicy is
the goal for you? Is it juicy like a freshly picked Cuban mango, or is it dry
like a grocery store green banana? If it’s not ‘juicy’ enough, or you do not understand
your ‘why’ behind your goal, you may quit when you hit those obstacles, or the ‘murky
middle’ when everything seems at a stand-still.
2. 2. Do your goals
line up with your core values? For example, if having dinner nightly with your
family is a core value, however your goal impedes on this time, can you
adjust the goal to work in those dinners? A goal that does not line-up with
core values can result in physical and/or emotional burn out, and regret (from abandonment
by your family for example).
Let’s camp-out on the ‘why’ for a moment. Not the why of
making goals, but the ‘why’ behind our goals. The ‘why’ of writing that blog
week after week when you’re not even sure it is being read. The ‘why’ that is
behind those 5am mornings when you drag yourself out of bed to write those
first quiet hours of your day before kids, work, school, all those other
activities of ‘real life.’ The ‘why’ when that rejection letter comes, that review
that leaves you trembling, or that grammatical error you notice after you
submitted to that magazine you’ve been trying to break into for awhile, and
finally got the nerve to hit the ‘send’ button in your browser. Or even the ‘why’
when we take our breaks to rejuvenate, rest, and wait for God’s timing and
direction to take that next step. Sometimes this waiting can be so much harder
than the doing!
Oh, my goodness! Why do we do this to ourselves?
This is the time, my friends, why I believe it is so
important to have our ‘why’ written down whether in a Life Plan we created,
guided by books such as Living Forward by Michael Hyatt, Intentional Living by
John C Maxwell, or my personal favourite, Storybrand-Creating Your Life Plan by
Your ‘why’ too can be just one statement answering the
question, “Why do I write?” My answer to,“Why do I write?”
I write stories to help me understand life, to show others
that they are not alone in their struggles, and to inspire hope through a new
It’s a statement that I am constantly tweaking as I gain
more life experience and my faith life grows deeper. Our Life Plan may be written down, however
there is always a new piece of paper, a pen and pencil, tools we can use to
edit and change our goals. Often I’ve been
challenged by statements such as ‘goals and intentions do not leave room for
God in your day.’
I must admit I am still prayerfully asking
God to guide me to answer this question!
However, I do believe this is also where question number two
becomes prevalent. Our goals must line-up to our core values. And then
intentionally we will live out those core values through our goals. I believe that our God is a trustworthy God. When in Him, He will
set our paths straight. There is no need
to be afraid to set goals and take a step. He is our guide and will pivot us,
or prune away the vine that is not producing fruit if the direction we take is
not of Him. So why be afraid to set a goal, to be intentional about your day?
God is good and His ways will prevail. We just have to
willing to move so He can work out His plan for us.
I hope you are chomping down on a big, juicy, sweet mango
“I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re
joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest
is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing. Anyone who
separates from me is deadwood, gathered up and thrown on the bonfire. But if
you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be
sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon. This is how my
Father shows who he is—when you produce grapes, when you mature as my disciples.
John 15: 5-8, The Message