by Dave Brock/ June 30, 2020
To a leader, goals can be a best friend or a worst enemy. Maybe you’ve set a goal and failed miserably to achieve it, failed to set a goal and found yourself lost, or hit your goal early. Regardless of the results, goals are an important part of growing as a leader.
Fortunately, there are specific times of the year when our culture encourages setting goals: a new year, a new quarter, a new school year. Yet completing goals continues to be a struggle for many. Perhaps the challenge isn’t setting the goal but setting up the goal for success. A goal can be a dream, but dreams are unattainable if they are left dormant or to happenstance.
A step in the right direction is to not just have an end date, but check-in dates for evaluating the progress of the goal. The success (or lack thereof) of a goal should not come as a surprise. When proper check-in points are established, then goals can be kept on track or adjusted as needed to set expectations into a proper timeline. Whatever your goal may be, set up several check-in points consisting of pivotal steps that help in achieving the goal. If the goal is to build a bridge, then steps for specific tasks must be identified, tracked, and completed. These steps would include having the proper permits and building plans, purchasing materials, hiring workers, and more. Without each of these tasks being properly planned, the goal of building a bridge will likely not be done well or may never be accomplished.
Nehemiah had a goal of rebuilding a wall. He set goals and followed through! In Nehemiah chapter 2 we see Nehemiah recognizing a need and determining the work that needed to be done. Moving into chapter 3 the work had been divided, and each person had their task—laying beams for doors, installing bolts and bars, and so much more. He could have asked several people to attempt to complete the project without a definite plan in place. Instead, he did the goal justice by having a plan to bring the goal to fruition from the vision to completion.
Reaching goals takes time, so take time to plan goals. If a goal is to raise $1 million for missions, plan how this money will be raised—not just ideas, but action steps! List these steps in a calendar, app, or a sticky-note on your forehead, and check them daily. Use whatever method will keep you on track! You can only reach a goal that you plan to achieve, so plan your goals, no matter how big or small, and know where you can, should, and will go.