Now get very serious, former procrastinators. As you discern and plan for meeting your goals, make sure they’re priorities God wants. That adds real power. It may be a great year to tackle something He’s prompted but that you’ve procrastinated.
Then set yourself up for actual success by using the well-known SMART guideline (bold words).
Specific – Are my goals clearly defined? Not “Lose weight” but “Lose five pounds by March 1.” Or “Lose 2 inches by March 1.” Not “Read more” but “Read one book a month.”
Measurable – How do you calculate whether or not you’ve met the goal? Pounds on a scale, names of recipes tried, places you submitted applications. Avoid “more” or “less” and quantify your aim.
Attainable – Is your goal actually achievable? “Complete all photo albums” might be unreasonable. “Complete two” is doable. Recognize that a goal should be something over which you have control of the factors that can make it happen. You can’t make your child learn to swim; you can take him to lessons.
Relevant – Does the goal move you toward a priority God has made clear or the dream you believe He’s given you? Is it something that matters to you and God?
Time-keyed – What’s your date for completion? Set dates for sub goals along the way. (“Redecorate bedroom by June 30. Sub goals: Select paint and fabrics by February 28. Paint by March 31. Refinish dresser by April 30. Hang Curtains by May 31. Finalize by June 30.”)
Michael Hyatt recommends SMARTER goals. He adds:
Exciting – Is the goal something you really want to do? What interest or heart desire have you been putting off? All goals do not have to be exciting though achieving them and enjoying the benefits is exciting. Dinner on the table by 6 doesn’t likely rev your motor. But the results of doing that can bring real joy.
Risky – Does the goal stretch you? Will you need to step out of your comfort zone in faith? Say “Yes” to God!
Have you made each goal specific and measureable? Share one!