GOAL-SETTING AND CORRESPONDING ACTION
Genesis 6:13-16; Luke 14:28-30
“I press toward the mark (goal) for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14). Setting goals is quite good but if an action (pressing towards it in Christ Jesus) is not taken, then the time spent, the effort made and the goal itself become useless. Before looking at goal-setting, we need to consider what a goal is. A goal can be said to be a projected state of affair that a person or a system plans or intends to achieve within a finite time. A goal ceases to be one if it is not set with an aim (A = I x M: A- Achievement is equal to I- Intelligence and Interest multiplied by M – Motivation). In our text above, the sole aim of building the ark was to save the lives of men and animals during the time of the earth’s flood. If the goal must be achieved, there must be some interest in that direction and some amount of intelligence as well. Also there must be some form of motivation, internal, external, personal or otherwise. If “Intelligence” is 100% and the motivation is zero (0) then achievement becomes zero (0). The percentage of Intelligence and motivation determine the level of achievement. That is why we are considering goal-setting today and the corresponding action to it.
We shall be looking at this topic under three sub-topics, namely, (1) Goal-setting ascertainment; (2) Goal-setting arrangement; (3) Goal-setting attainment.
1. GOAL-SETTING ASCERTAINMENT
Goal-setting ascertainment is all about knowing what goal-setting is. Our text above reveals an intention, the ability to sit down to plan and check for possible materials or resources to finish or carry out set goals. In a nutshell, goal-setting is the process of deciding on something you want, planning how to get it, and then working towards it.
Goal-setting helps you to make the goal clearer and the achievement better. Goal-setting is usually accompanied by specific objectives. Objectives are like smaller goals which actually lead one to the main goal. Therefore the various objectives that accompany a set goal must be S-M-A-R-T: Straightforward; Measurable; Attainable; Realistic and Time-framed (Adams and Grieder 2005). Brainstorming is a technique you can use to discover a number of different possible objectives for each goal.
Goals and objective setting are activities that sound deceptively simple when in actual fact they are tasks that can be quite difficult. They require a great deal of sincerity and honesty with oneself during the process. This is because pride and indiscipline can prevent you from choosing an attainable goal or working within the time-frame. “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1).
Generally, as a believer, goal-setting is like an activity which MUST BE planned, written down, checked and adhered to by the leading of the Spirit of God for maximum achievement.
2. GOAL-SETTING ARRANGEMENT.
Luke 14:28; Acts 6:2-4
Why set goals or make arrangement for it? The Scriptures tell us in Proverbs 29:18 “Where there is no vision, the people perish but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” If there is no plan or purpose when getting things done, then there will be frustration and failure. But a plan kept and followed will make one happy. Knowing (ascertaining) about goal-setting is good, but preparations (arrangement) should be made to achieve (attain) it. Since Goal-setting is a set activity, there must be an arrangement for it. It needs to be searched out, sincerely organized, success oriented and softly obeyed.
“Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business” (Acts 6:3). In this passage, we could see the plan or arrangement the Apostles made to search out men, sincerely organized them (no hidden agenda), and focused on success by their criteria. They also planned to appoint such over the work (immediate objective). With this, their primary aim – prayer, and the ministry of the word; will not be disturbed.
Before one can set desired goals, the following arrangements need to be made: 1. Be sure to get good knowledge about the goals and how to set them. 2. Think deeply about the knowledge got, the resources available to you, your ability and how it will both affect your present and future dreams (Proverbs 13:16). 3. Get godly counsels to help you in setting such goals (Proverbs 15:22). 4. Be sure to follow through diligently and patiently; not in haste but work with time. Try not to rush over goal setting because it will lead to failure at last (Proverbs 21:5). 5. God should be included in our goal setting with all submission and reverence (James 4:15). 6. You will need to write down a list of ideas, plans and possible suggestions which will form the basis for a well-written objective and corresponding action plan.
We shouldn’t set goals that can destroy our spiritual or physical wellbeing.
3. GOAL-SETTING ATTAINMENT.
Setting goals is one thing, attaining them is another. To attain set goals there must be corresponding action. A corresponding action is something that must be done in line with the well-written goals and objectives.
As said earlier, goal-setting is like an activity. Invariably, there should be activities that need to be performed to carry out set goals. When establishing a plan of action with respect to goal-setting, the following suggestions can be helpful:
• With the Major goal in mind and the various well-written objectives to support it, make a list of the activities that need to be performed to attain it.
• Seek godly counsels while making the list of activities that will help you attain the set goal.
• Select the activities that are most reasonable and write them down in a way that is well understood by you.
• You will now need to test each activity in line with the objective and the time (time of commencement and duration) set.
• Review the list of activities, and then choose the ones that suit you most. It must correspond with your ability, resources, time and major goal.
• Plan the actual activities to be undertaken to complete the action.
• Write them down. Try not to be rigid but be discipline. As one progresses, there will be need to change some activities, time and resources to meet the major goal.
• You may want to also score yourself on what you’ve done. Give yourself a gift or deny yourself of something for not successfully attaining an objective. That is part of motivation.
Once a goal and corresponding actions are set, they need to be monitored and progress needs to be evaluated on a regular basis so that changes can be made when appropriate. “Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing” (Philippians 3:16).