smart goals for a smart start

by Pastor Mark Jordan

This past Sunday, in what was unofficially our first worship celebration as Trinity at The Well, I taught about setting goals for the New Year. I want you to think about goals differently from resolutions, because chances are some of those have already been broken. Goals are different, and if approached in the right way, can help you make a smart start to the new year.

There is an oft-used acrostic for the word, S.M.A.R.T., as it pertains to goal setting. Goals should be…

  1. Specific
  2. Measurable
  3. Attainable
  4. Relevant
  5. Time-bound

This helps you see that goals can be kept in front of you in a way that resolutions might not. Let’s take for example, a very common one: weight loss. A resolution might be to lose weight in 2019, whereas a goal is different. Experts say a healthy rate of weight loss is 1-2 pounds per week, so you figure out how much you want/need to lose, calculate it on the calendar, take account special events or celebrations, factor in a cheat day here and there to keep you motivated, and then you can set a goal. You can track this goal with weekly weigh-ins, support groups, etc. so you lose X amount of weight by such-and-such date.

Weight loss is an example (and a common one for me since I developed my “dad bod”), but I’m aiming for something higher. I want to be more like Jesus this year. And how do I need it! I venture a guess that you do, too. Setting goals to be more like Jesus makes them all-encompassing, working on you inside and out.

Luke 2:52 tells us that “Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man” (NIV). I think this one simple verse can help us set some goals for growing with Jesus in 2019; therefore, I want you to use this verse as a model for the kind of goals you will set for yourself to make this your best year yet. Here is the breakdown…

  1. Set an intellectual goal — maybe read a book a week or take a class
  2. Set a physical goal — exercise a certain number of days per week and follow an eating plan
  3. Set a relational goal — join a Sunday School class, Life Group, mentor someone, or take on a mentor
  4. Set a spiritual goal — read the Bible, attend worship, engage in generous giving

When you set goals, remember to be S.M.A.R.T. and intentional. Keep your goals in front of you…on your fridge, mirror, dashboard, etc….and at the heart of it, set godly goals so you can be more like Jesus. Do this now. You need smart goals for a smart start. We all do!

Prayer: Dear Lord, I want to be more like Jesus this year. I pray for your wisdom and help so I can set smart goals for a smart start to 2019. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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