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Personal Growth

Goals, life, Personal Growth

Stop Missing the Mark With Your Goals!

January 4, 2018 • By

We all do it. We make goals that we hope will change our lives for the better.

Lose weight.
Write a book.
Get out of debt.
Launch a business.
Lean a new skill.

The world is full of people with unfulfilled dreams, goals, and desires. At the beginning of every year, around 62% of people make New Year’s resolution. Only 8% of those resolution makers actually follow through.

The problem with most of us is that we just don’t understand the process of moving from where we are to where we want to be. We’re pretty sure we know where we want to go but there’s a disconnect, and that disconnect keeps us living in the land of dreamers instead of enjoying success.

The following are seven questions that, if answered thoughtfully, will greatly increase your odds of accomplishing your goals, and moving from frustration to fulfillment. They are questions that successful people have been asking themselves for years (I didn’t make them up) and I think they’re really going to help you.

1. is my goal achievable?
Let’s be honest. Sometimes we have crazy dreams. Not everyone who tries to become the next great movies star ends up on the screen. Some people work their entire lives to accomplish something, and it never happens. The tragedy is that, if they would have applied themselves to something else, they probably would have experienced massive success. Asking the achievability question will help eliminate pining for things that just aren’t going to happen.

2. How will i measure my progress?
A great goal is measurable. Dieters can measure their progress with a scale. Writers can measure their progress by checking their word count. Sometimes measuring progress just means drawing a mark on the calendar for every day that you worked toward your goal, and try not to miss a day. Find a way to measure progress and measure it every day.

3. Where am I now?
It’s hard to know if you’re moving forward if you don’t have a clear picture of where you are. What is your skill level? What are your resources? What are your giftings and passions? What is your current quality of life? Take inventory and write it down.

4. What is the deadline?
Great goals have a deadline. It eliminates “pie in the sky”, and “someday” thinking and lights a fire under you to git ‘er done. Share your deadline with a friend and ask them to hold you accountable. I have a friend who’s goal was to write a Life Plan for himself. When he wasn’t getting it done, I challenged him to have it written by a certain date or he had to buy me lunch at the most expensive restaurant in town. You better believe he got it done!

5. What are my obstacles?
This is where we get real about what’s holding us back. Do you have a hard time getting out of bed early? That might be an obstacle. Do you lack knowledge needed to accomplish your goal? That’s another obstacle. Too busy? Too tired? Too broke? More obstacles. Write them down and start brainstorming ways to overcome them.

6. What skills or knowledge is needed?
This flows beautifully from question 5. Personally, I have never achieved a big goal without having to read at least one book, take a class, or seek out loads of information. The best goals usually require some growth on our part so get ready to learn and be stretched.

7. What is my plan?
This is where it gets fun. Grab a notebook and pen and start charting your course from where you are to where you want to be. Write the names of books you’ll read, obstacles you’ll overcome, and who you’ll include on the journey. Turn the dream into tasks, and break those tasks into smaller ones. What can you do, every day, that will lead you to reaching your goal? Make a plan, discipline yourself to live it out, and delight in your accomplishment when you reach it!


life, Personal Growth

4 Benefits to Having Uncomfortable Conversations

November 15, 2017 • By

I was recently invited onto a podcast to be grilled by the host for an hour.

I don’t know why, but conversations like this have always been difficult for me. I don’t answer questions “on the spot” very well, and I tend to freeze if the topic isn’t something I’m very knowledgeable about.

When I was younger, there were people in my life who would ask me questions about my faith, not in the spirit of exchanging ideas, but to try to make me look foolish. I honestly don’t know why your neighbor’s son was hit by a car, I’m not sure what happens to people who have never heard the gospel, and I have no idea if God can create a rock so heavy that even He can’t lift it.

Truth be told, I’m not much of a theologian. I’ve been reading through the Bible, over and over again, for around 30 years, and I’ve been in ministry for over 20. But I’m a Bible College dropout, and I’ve only read a small handful of books on theology. I know other people who are able to answer difficult questions much more concisely, and with greater confidence than I can.

Fortunately, the podcast was produced by a friend from our church, and it was done in the spirit of honest conversation, rather than an attempt to publicly debate me. Nonetheless, it was very uncomfortable. But, as I’ve been mulling the experience over for the last week, I’ve come to realize that there are some benefits to engaging in uncomfortable conversations.

They force you to really think. A lot of times, we just adopt our beliefs without giving much thought to them. We were taught certain things, they sounded good, and we accepted them. What we believe about God is the most important thing about us, yet we give more thought to the shoes we buy than the faith we buy into.

They make you dig deep. Let’s face it, most conversation we engage in is pretty shallow. It doesn’t take much thought, and doesn’t challenge us. But an uncomfortable conversation is like a workout. We have to search our memory for information we’ve read, observations we’ve made, and evidence we’ve accumulated. This is especially true if you don’t want to give answers like, “because the Bible says so” or “just because”.

They challenge you to decide where you really stand. I know that it’s important to pick your battles wisely. However, it’s also important to know what you believe, and not be wishy washy on certain issues. That doesn’t mean we become dogmatic or inflexible. It just means we move toward becoming established in our beliefs about what is important to us.

Lastly, uncomfortable conversations are humbling. I mean this in a good way. If you approach an uncomfortable conversation in the right spirit, you have the opportunity to learn what you don’t know, and you can start growing in that area. In the instance of the podcast, I was inspired to do some reading on the issues we talked about. I don’t want to merely postulate or philosophize. I want to actually know what I’m talking about.

If you’ve been avoiding uncomfortable conversations, I would encourage you to kindly engage in one in the near future. They are, well…uncomfortable, but so is exercising and learning new skills. Give it a try!

If you’d like to listen to my uncomfortable podcast conversation, click here.