One year in seminary I set a new year’s resolution to eat not
one single French fry for a whole year. Now, it’s funny to think about all of my friends thinking I was accomplishing an unbelievable feat. I made it a whole year but all it did was “resolve” that I could survive without a fry. All a resolution is is a decision to or not to do something. It’s really not that inspiring. But Dictionary.com defines a goal as “the result or achievement toward which effort is directed”! Wow that’s inspirational! It’s so inspirational that the Apostle Paul uses this term to describe a life purpose: “I press on toward the goal to win the prize of God’s heavenly calling in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14).” Goals give you purpose. In fact, in 2017, let’s not just make a goal, let’s make a s.m.a.r.t. goal.
- Specific – General goals are not tangible such as I’m going to work out more. But the more details you put to the goal, it’ll come alive: I’m going to work out three days a week at 5:00 a.m. and I’m going to meet and build a friendship at the gym with one person to converse the Good News of Jesus with.
- Measurable – You can’t measure loving your neighbor more in 2017, but you can make a goal of ringing their doorbell once a week and asking them how you may pray for them. This also allows you to evaluate whether or not your goal is on track during the year.
- Attainable – I’m most likely not going to have a leading role in a Hollywood film this year even though I’m convinced my wife knows I’m better looking than Channing Tatum. Sorry, Channing. But, I’m blessed to be making disciples among twenties in our growing mission work and my goal will be speaking at twelve more events, in addition to our mission work, inspiring more people with my testimony than I did last year.
- Readjust – Let’s not be static and legalistic. God might open doors or reveal new insights that may lead you to readjust the goal set. Be open to this and the newness that comes into your life: “Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it (Isaiah 43:19)?” Be perceptive.
- Timeline – In 2014, my wife and I had a goal to launch this growing mission work among twenties in the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex on November 1 that year. We did it! One hundred and twenty twenties have been equipped firsthand in this ministry since then. If your only deadline is January 2018, you’re not likely to get around to doing it during the year since it’s not imminent.