The ability to convert ideas to things is the secret to outward success.
~Henry Ward Beecher
If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.
Our plans miscarry because they have no aim. When a man does not know what harbor he is making for, no wind is the right wind. ~Seneca
Goals are dreams with deadlines. ~Diana Scharf Hunt
Guess what? January is just a breath away. As the calendar turn us yet again into another year, there is a natural sense, hard-wired into us, to reset our souls, realign our priorities and establish goals to accomplish our dreams.
I have looked over many different lists of questions that others have asked themselves in order to move forward, and here I have selected the top 10. These questions are powerful, I would recommend that you schedule some time to be alone where you can pray, read through the questions, and then write out answers to the questions.
After you have answered the questions, the next step will be to prioritize them and set some short term and long term goals in order to measure progress and see movement toward the direction you are going.
1. What area of your life is most in need a change this year?
2. What is one thing you can do to dramatically improve your relationship with God this year?
3. What would happen if your best dream came true? What is your best dream?
4. What is the single biggest time-waster in your life, and what will you do about it this year?
5. What positive habit would you most like to establish this year?
6. Where will you commit and invest your time and talent this year?
7. What book(s) will you read this year (outside of the Bible) to enrich your life?
8. What area of doctrine/theology/spirituality do you want to study for better understanding this year?
9. What one thing can you do this year that will leave a positive and lasting legacy for your family and community?
10. What one thing do you most regret about last year, and what will you do about it this year?
After you have finished answering these questions, it is critical that you create a “next step” of what you will do to make your answer become a reality. Dreams and goals are great, but if they are absent an action plan they generally never see lift-off. As you create actionable steps employ someone you can share your list with and ask them to keep you accountable to doing what you know you need to do.
The choices and decisions you make today -will- determine your life experience and outcome in the next 5-10 years. So carefully answer the questions and establish a plan to accomplish the goals you have made.
Bonus Questions for those who dare!
1. Ask your spouse,
- What is it like having me as a husband/wife?
- What can I do differently this year to improve our marriage?”
2. Ask your kids, “What is it like having me for a mom/dad?
- What is it like having me for a mom/dad?
- What can I do this year to be a better parent?
3. Ask your co-workers,
- What one thing can I do differently this year that will make the most positive impact for our company?
- What is it like to work with me?
4. Ask your pastor,
- What is the greatest need our church has that I can help with?
- Where should I be plugging in at church to become the person God created me to be?
Here’s a final thought on persistence from Zig Ziglar:
“Persistence is the ability to maintain actions regardless of your feelings. You press on even when you feel like quitting. When you work on any big goal your motivation will wax and wane like the waves hitting the shore. Sometimes you’ll feel motivated, sometimes you won’t. But it’s not your motivation that creates results – it’s your action.
Persistence allows you to keep taking action even when you don’t feel motivated to do so, and therefore you keep accumulating results. Persistence will ultimately provide its own motivation. If you simply keep taking action, you’ll eventually get results, and results can be very motivating.”