When I turned 30 I didn’t think much of it. I had a one and a four-year-old, a job I loved…life was busy and full. The biggest hint of sadness I had at becoming 30 was feeling like it was the turning point from being thought of as a ‘young adult’ to being a full-blown adult…with all the rights and responsibilities entailed. Facing 40 has proven to be a much more difficult birthday to deal with.
While I believe picking One Word is the first way you should look at goal setting, there are still very concrete things that need to be accomplished and having a strategy for those is necessary as well. Notice I said ‘very concrete goals.’ We run into trouble because we try to apply these steps to vague desires or guilty ‘shoulds’ instead of concrete tasks.
At the beginning of this series we talked about how important it is to know the ‘why’ of goal setting. The overarching reason for why we set goals is to help us grow. It is just as important that we understand our personal ‘why’ for each concrete goal we make. There’s a big difference between ‘losing weight’ because you want to feel healthy and be able to take part in the physical activities you enjoy and ‘losing weight’ because your mother-in-law makes comments or you think your life will be happier then. The first reason will motivate—the second deflate.
My suggestion is to keep the number of these goals between 4 and 7. Anymore and the chances increase that you will do more beating yourself up for failure than feeling victorious about success.
Across the street from me, I am told, there used to be an orchard. Now a beautiful log home sits surrounded by apple trees of all sorts and varieties. The beauty of the flowers that fill those trees in the spring can hardly be matched! The fruit that follows the flowers is delicious and I am thankful for the neighbors who willing share what their trees have produced.
We are a lot like those apple trees.
Last week I encouraged you to set goals that wouldn’t be empty when you accomplished them. Focusing instead on things that build your character; “Fruits of the Spirit” as they are called in Galatians 5. We want to grow fruit, so let’s look at the apple tree.