Determined to stop procrastinating, I find I often set unrealistic goals. I regret losing benefits in the past, so I want to make the most of all I can now.
To “optimize” is “to make something as good or as effective as possible.” (Merriam-Webster) I want to make my life as good, as effective for the Lord as possible. I want to know Him deeply and to benefit others. Prayerfully setting goals helps me do that.
Here are some things that help me remember how to set goals and reach them. I like the letters OPTMIS to remind me to optimize the gift of time in a God-honoring manner.
O – Obtainable. Is this a desire or a truly achievable goal? (“Goals and Desires” March 2. 2015) Do I have control of the factors that will make this happen? How much time and energy can I reasonably commit? Two hours a month volunteering or 20 minutes a day sewing may be appropriate.
P – Precise. Is the wording of this goal specific? Not “Lose weight” but “Lose 10 pounds.” Not “Exercise more” but “Walk 45 minutes 5 times per week.” To word positively, say “Become 10 pounds lighter!”
T – Time limit. Setting an end time to achieve the goal creates energy and focus. It adds motivation and prompts action today. The time limit should be reasonable. “Become 10 pounds lighter by August 1.” Or “Memorize 1 Corinthians 13 by April 10.”
M – Measure. What concrete criteria will I use to gauge progress? “Weigh every Tuesday and record in a diary.” “Use phone app to record walking dates, times, distances.” I can see what I’ve actually done then adjust my efforts accordingly. And celebrate!
I – Ink it! Write down my goal AND why it is important to me. Writing the “why” motivates by highlighting the positive impact and satisfaction the completed goal will bring. “I want to be 10 pounds lighter to relieve stress on my heart and make it easier to breathe when I climb stairs.” Post this paper where I will be reminded to take action – the bathroom mirror, the computer screen, over the kitchen sink.
S – Share. Telling a friend my goal and my why strengthens my commitment to act – and increases the joy as I progress. (You ladies help me a lot!)
Setting goals for things we believe the Lord is calling us to do helps us achieve them. We can optimize the daily life God gives us and step by step progress in our calling.
What goals- or tweaks in goals – do you need to make?