I believe we all have set goals in our lives…
For example, let’s say you want to retire by a certain age. You know you need some money to live on in retirement. However, here are some parameters you need to understand about retirement at some future age.
- What standard of living do I expect to exist on?
- What will that standard cost in 10, 20, 30 or 40 years?
- How much money do I need to have for that future time?
- How much do I need to put away and invest for that future time?
- What are my measuring tools to check the status on these funds?
- What do I do when there are obstacles?
- What will I do with my time when I retire?
Yet, this is only a partial list! There are so many more things to think about in order to meet my future goal of retirement!
Consider two thoughts about goals.
We easily set these broad, overarching goals that document some future time, Then, like a submarine, we submerge into life and periodically surface to check on the status. Some of these goals require detailed arrangements and tweaking, while others can be massaged so infrequently that we almost forget them (…and maybe until it’s too late!).
Other goals are dealing with short term and immediate recognized end points. We know the ending event or date (like planning a wedding) and we plan to the N-th degree, setting milestones along the way to determine the success of meeting the goal. These milestones can be numbered, measured, and tweaked with new measurements as time progresses.
Regardless of which goal style is our primary focus, we can easily crowd life with so much “stuff” that the management of goals become twisted.
Priorities, and managing these priorities, are necessary for any goal to be successful.
You may be good at setting a goal, and putting in measurable milestones, but unless you put a priority on managing goals then your success ratio may be like calling heads and tails on a flipped coin – sometimes you win, sometimes you don’t.
Setting good goals is important. Managing for the goals is equally important. Managing your priorities is most important.
Life is not made up of a single goal. Rather, it is like the complicated layout of the multiple pyramids at Giza. There are multiple goals, in various stages, and each requires varied focus of priorities.
Your focus needs to broaden to consider other facets of your life!
But wait! Consider that each pyramid has 4 or more sides. Multiply that by the number of 4 sided pyramids, and the complexity of your life seems to have bloomed.
Each side can be a totally separate goal that may or may not interact with the goals on the opposite side of the pyramid.
Listen. Life is complex. Goals can be very complex. Managing goals requires a great management of self.
Over the past few years of blogging I know I have mentioned many goals of my life. Some are coming to completion, others are newly started. Some are maturing. Others are just getting planted. Some are managed well and others are struggling.
How do you manage your life so that goals are successful? What are your priorities today, and how different are they from yesterday, and what will the be like tomorrow? What do your milestones look like? How complex is your life today?
What do you do?
Do not act like Chicken Little, running wildly around crying out, “The sky is falling. The sky is falling.” Nor do you act like an ostrich and poke your head into the sand. Especially, you do not throw your hands up in despair and head off into the wilderness!
Okay? Do not over react. Take a breath. Step back for a moment. Now take another breath. Pull out a sheet of paper. Grab a pen. It’s time to organize your life!
I understand this because it happens to me often enough that I have become somewhat of a Pro when it comes to organizing and ordering my life. Over and over again!
My paper gets filled with columns of categories: Home, Work, Church, Finances, Health, etc.. Under each category, list your goals, and if you have some milestones then put them under the goals.
By the time you do this, either two things will happen. Calm will settle over you (you now have everything identified), or terror will set in as you see the scope of your life!
What do you do when things are going well? Some hog the success and like the parable of Jesus:And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.” (Luke 12:16-21 ESV)
If you are interested, you will read the next few verses where Jesus tells us to not stress or worry.
My next blog will talk about managing priorities because this is an important aspect of everything we do. Tune in!