With the long days of summer approaching, many people are making “to do” lists of projects around the house that they plan to accomplish, such as painting, building a new patio or cleaning windows.  Many of these projects will be delayed or abandoned because of a lack of planning.

Without a plan or timeline, the goals we set rarely get done. This is especially true with regard to our personal goals.  Like the adage says, “a goal without a plan is just a wish.” For measurable personal growth, you have to be clear about your goals and realistic about the steps necessary to achieve them.  I tend to agree with those who believe that there is no single guiding principle that will enable you to achieve all of your goals.

However, you should begin each day with prayer for whatever goals you have set; otherwise the steps you take to accomplish them may be in the wrong direction. I like to say that with prayer, you can be sure that the ladder you are climbing is leaning against the right wall.

In addition to prayer, take a pencil and paper and write down your goals.  Writing out your goals gives them a sense of permanency and this will energize you to think about what all it will take to reach each goal.

I can’t say enough about the importance of establishing a timeline with a completion date. Upon graduation from high school, my goal was to attend college and obtain a degree. I purchased a car to get me to and from work so I could earn money for tuition.   However, come payday, I’d use my earnings to spiff up my car to improve its looks and impress the girls. When summer was over, I had a pretty car and a pretty girlfriend, but my savings for college fell short of the goal.  Don’t laugh, many of you have done something similar at some point in your life.

Without a definite beginning and ending, it is easy to procrastinate and get nowhere. As you list the steps you need to take to reach your goal, be sure to prioritize each step in order of importance. What do you need to do first and what can you do later?

Having set your goals in life, live not unwise to impress but as a wise person making the most of every opportunity. And Never Give Up! Never Give Up! Never Give Up!

 

By Chaplain Ghosten
chaplain@lhp.net