My major goof last year, former procrastinators, was not actually writing as much as I should have during the routine time slot I reserved for writing. I respected the routine time (no other appointments), but did not steadily take the next step to fill the time with writing as I should have day after day.
I experienced the big benefit of routine – it facilitates progress. I discovered that if I faithfully followed that routine, progress would take me into challenges that made me uncomfortable. I opted for comfort. Progress stopped.
By opting for comfort, I missed out on the blessings that would’ve come had I continued to step onward. I settled for less. A conference attendee said, “Comfort is the emotion that has deceived us all.”
“You don’t stub your toe standing still. Of course, you don’t go anywhere either.” (Will Rogers) I kept my toes from pain. Therefore, I didn’t move forward much with some priorities.
It’s possible to worship comfort. I don’t think I do that. But sometimes I value comfort too highly.
I’m asking the Lord to deliver me from that and help me value most highly my relationship with Him and what He values for my priorities.
Each of us must determine our own priorities before God. Then, one help to guide us in pursuing them is SMART goals. These help us press through discomfort to real progress.
Specific – Are my goals clearly defined? (Not “Lose weight” but “Lose five pounds a month until I reach x.” Not “read more” but “Read one book a month.”)
Measurable – Is there a means by which I can calculate whether or not I have met the goal? Pounds on a scale, titles of books read, names of recipes tried, places I 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.
Relevant – Does the goal move you toward the priority God has made clear or the dream you believe He’s given you? I was setting goals in too many areas. I’ve pared down to concentrate on writing and procrastination ministry. Remember, invest big in fewer things.
Time-bound or time-keyed. Set a date for completion. Set dates for sub goals that move you along the way. (“Redecorate the 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?)
Risky – Does the goal stretch you? (Will it mean I step out into the unknown in faith?) That means I forget comfort and roll the ball!
For what priority will you use “SMARTER” goals and write sub goals on your calendar?