Do you fly through your day with a million things to do and no game plan for accomplishing them? Life needn’t be so hectic. Don’t allow yourself to become entangled in activities that consume a lot of time, energy, and resources without moving you any closer to your short- or long-term goals.
How can we guard against this? By clearly defining those goals and reviewing them regularly.
Proverbs 29:18 tells us, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” That is exactly what a goal is: a vision of what we hope to accomplish in the future.
Goals are important because they give us purpose. They give our lives direction.
Think and pray about where you’d like to be in twenty years:
- What do you long to accomplish in that period of time?
- What character qualities would you like to see developed in your life?
- What strides would you like to make in your family relationships?
I recently updated such a list I’d made back in 1995 and was amazed to see how little my goals have changed in fifteen years, and how much progress has been made toward attaining many of them. Reviewing such a list once or twice a year will help keep you moving in the direction you want to go.
Once you’ve decided where you’re headed, it becomes easier to chart a course to your destination.
Take each of your long-range goals and devise a series of smaller steps to reach them.
Avoid making vague resolutions:
- “I want to eat better.”
- “I’d like to get in shape.”
- “I resolve to have more consistent quiet times.”
- “I want to be a better mother.”
Instead, set specific, short-term goals:
- “I will drink water instead of soda.”
- “I will walk around the block every night after dinner.”
- “I will read a chapter of Proverbs and pray before breakfast each morning.”
- “I will smile at my children and look into their eyes when they talk to me.”
Think of your goal as a target. If you ever hope to hit it, you have to do more than just think or talk about it. You must take aim and fire.
It’s important to keep your eye fixed on the goal, otherwise, you’ll send your arrows flying in the wrong direction. It’s also important that you do not become discouraged and quit your first attempts fall short of the mark. Every shot gets you that much closer to the goal. Move forward, retrieve your arrow, and try again.
There will never be a better time to begin. Start small if you need to. It helps me to put my smaller goals on a “To Do” List so that I can track my progress. I keep a separate list of tasks to do daily, weekly, or monthly.
I keep a list of yearly tasks, as well, which includes family birthdays and annual traditions, as well as seasonal chores like sealing countertops, renewing car inspection stickers, fertilizing the lawn, and pruning trees.
You can adapt my lists to fit your circumstances, or start from scratch using the following blank masters:
For more help with goal setting and organization, check out our other planning charts. To read further on related topics, we recommend the following resources:
- The Family Manager: A Revolutionary New System for Creating a Well Organized, Smoothly Running, Low Stress Home
- The Richest Man Who Ever Lived: King Solomon’s Secrets to Success, Wealth, and Happiness (see chap. 3 on goal-setting)
- The House That Cleans Itself: Creative Solutions for a Clean and Orderly House in Less Time Than You Can Imagine
- The Messies Manual: A Complete Guide to Bringing Order & Beauty to Your Home