The New Year brings opportunities of change and growth. As we look back at 2019, we see things that we’d like to continue to do, and things that we’d like to do differently. When coming up with goals for this new year (and you should!), the actually goals may not be that difficult to determine, but the “how” is what always proves to be the challenge! This involves wisdom. Scripture says, “Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding.” (Pr 3:13). Why are they blessed? Because they will be able to please God as they navigate the through the fog of life and find the light of truth of how to Biblically live.
One way many wisely formulate goals is through the acronym SMART – specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based.
SPECIFIC means it is a focused goal. For instance, I need to eat healthy versus I need to include vegetables in every meal.
MEASURABLE means that the goal can be made tangible. How do you know if you accomplished it? We can’t measure something like “I need to witness more.” However, we can measure, “My goal is to witness to five people this year.”
ATTAINABLE means it isn’t so big that it’s impossible to accomplish (though not too small that it’s not a challenge). Reading a book a day might be a bit too lofty right out the gate, but maybe a book a month or a book a quarter might be more attainable.
RELEVANT means it is impactful to your life right now. To make a goal to learn how to speak Quenya might be pretty cool and maybe in a very rare situation it would be a worthy goal, but in reality, would you ever use it? Instead, a goal such as “Go to bed by 10:00pm each night” might be a little more relevant.
TIME-BASED means you put a time limit to your goal. Instead of leaving your goal open ended as to when to accomplish it, you put the incentive and parameters of a deadline on it to help you obtain the goal. For example, which of the following goals is time-based? “I need to pray more” or “I will pray for 15 minutes each morning three times a week through the year.” We can see that one of these is definitely more defined.
Goals are so important. We need goals that push us and shape us to be believers that are more usable in the Master’s hand. Without them, we will be stagnate, like a body of water with no flow. I hope you take these SMART principles and apply them to your own goals in this new year. May we have no regrets this year, but only joy in knowing we set our eyes on the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!