Road_winding_2Step 1 of Life Planning was Understand Your Mission. Step 2 was Identify Your Roles.  Let’s now move on to Step 3.

STEP 3 – Establish Goals. As Paul identified each role, he gave some specific instructions or goals for the believers at the church of Ephesus to work on. Wives were to lovingly submit to their husbands (Eph.5:22-24), husbands were to love their wives as Christ loved the church (5:25-33), children were to obey and honour their parents (6:1-3), parents were to raise their children in God’s ways (6:4), servants were to obey their masters even when they were not watching (6:5-8), masters were to treat their servants fairly (6:9), and believers were to take on God’s armour and stand strong against the attack of the enemy (6:10-18).

Once your Mission and Roles have been established, Goals must be set that will help you achieve your purpose in life. For each role that you have right now, think about what kind of a person you’d like to be and what you’d like to accomplish. Without goals, mission remains abstract and you will coast along without any sense of progress or achievement. You must prayerfully contemplate the various areas of your life and wisely plan and set goals so that progress can be made. 

If you aim at nothing you are bound to hit it! If you don’t set goals, you are just surviving, not really living. With no effort, you will settle into comfortable patterns and habits. It takes a great degree of effort to escape the inertia of the comfort zone. That’s why goals are important. A goal is a planned conflict with the status quo. Reaching a goal means doing something new, leaving familiar, comfortable terrain, and exploring new frontiers. Sometimes we don’t want to leave our comfort zones. Forsaking old, well-known patterns can be one of the most difficult things in life. This is probably the main reason why so many people don’t set goals. Goals usually push us to new behaviours we’d rather not have to worry about.

Good goals are SMART. They are Specific, Measurable, Action-orientated, Realistic and Time-bound.

A fuzzy goal would be something like this:

  • "I will be a better small group leader next year."

    It’s a nice thought but it’s not SMART. Here’s the same intention in a SMART format …

    • "I will become a better small group leader next year by … reading two books on small group leadership, finding a more experienced leader to mentor me, praying for each member daily, and by selecting then developing an assistant leader."

      Now that’s SMART! It’s Specific (you have outlined some specific things you are going to do to grow), it’s Measurable (you’ll know whether you did it or not), it’s Action-orientated (you can do something about your goal this week), it’s Realistic (it can be done), and it’s Time-bound (you have one year to complete this).

      Consider establishing SMART goals for each area of your life – your spiritual life, your personal health, your personal development, your relationships, your family, your ministry, your vocation or career, as well as your finances.

      The Christian life is intended to be a life of continual growth. There is meant to be a progressive moving forward through various experiences and stages of development until we reach maturity in Christ (Prov.4:18-19. Phil.3:12-16. 2 Pet.3:18. Col.1:10. Heb. 6:1). Goals help us to ensure that this occurs.

      Review your list of current roles and prayerfully set some goals in each area for the next three months.

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