The well known Zig Ziglar quote, ‘if you aim at nothing you will be sure to hit it every time’ speaks to the importance of setting measureable goals.
Goals that can’t be measured are of little value if you desire to know whether or not you are hitting the mark.
Regretfully, most people who do set goals, do so incorrectly which is why over half of people who make New Year’s Resolutions abandon them after three months.
One of the biggest problems for people in the goal setting process is that they fail to set measurable goals. Take for example the following list of some of the most popular goals set by ministers.
Spend more time with family
Get in shape
Proper Goal Setting Requires Goals to be Measurable
These are all worthy pursuits but they are not goals.
Think about when you go into the church gym and start shooting the basketball. Slowly more and more people make their way over to the court and join you in your shoot around.
After a period of time, just shooting the basketball gets boring and inevitably someone says, “let’s play a game.”
Suddenly the atmosphere changes. Now you have people blocking shots, positioning becomes important, people start diving for loose balls, arguing about fouls and become willing to present yours and their bodies as a “living sacrifice.”
What changed to make people behave differently?
The ball is the same, the court is the same and even the people are the same.
What changed was the fact that now you are measuring by keeping score. At the end of the game there will be a winner and a loser.
The principle is true for all areas of life.
Application: If You Want to Change Something You Must Measure It
Let’s take a look again at the goals listed above.
We need to ask ourselves how we are going to measure them. How will we know when we have been successful?
Here is how they might be reframed to become measureable:
Start each day with 30 minutes of prayer at 6:00 A.M.
Have a date night with my wife each week.
Walk for 45 minutes after dinner 5 days of the week.
Now I have something I can measure. At the end of a few months I can even give you a percentage or number of times I met my goals.
If I can show myself and others that I can accomplish these goals 80% of the time, I will probably feel successful.
The secret is to make your goals measurable otherwise they are not really goals at all but rather merely good intentions.
Action: This is the first of several blog posts on goals. Don’t miss out, subscribe to SacredStructures.org by clicking here.
Posted on May 27, 2014