The post-it note could possibly be the best invention ever. I have multiple lists on sticky notes at home and at work which detail all of the tasks that I intend to get done. The key point here is that post-it notes help give direction.
Lucius Seneca once said, “If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable.” Isn’t the same true in our Christian walk? If we do not have goals for our personal growth, and ministries, then we will squander meaningful time and meaningful encounters away.
I spent the majority of my holiday break finishing a book by Mark Batterson. The Circle Maker is an awesome book about the importance and power of prayer. At the end, Batterson takes some time to talk about the importance of setting life goals.
Our brain is a goal seeking organism. When we set goals, it creates something within our minds that desires to hold ourselves accountable. If you do not set goals, you will remain where you are. However, goals are only one part of the equation. Goals without deadlines are often meaningless. If we don’t set deadlines, we will procrastinate, and ultimately fail to achieve our well-intentioned goals.
Lastly, it is important to write your goals down. Much like a prayer journal, it is important to write down your goals so that you can record when you achieve them. There is also an added level of accountability associated with writing down your goals. Batterson’s work has inspired me to create a Life Goal List. These are the things that I want to accomplish before I die. This list will remain fluid, but it will help me work towards achieving these goals.
1) Celebrate 50 years of marriage
2) Celebrate an anniversary in Ireland
3) Take our kids on a mission trip
4) Leave an inheritance
5) See my children accept Christ as their Lord
6) Pray with my wife and family daily
1) Publish a book
2) Speak at a high school / college graduation
3) Lead a well-functioning small group
4) Teach a college course
5) Baptize 50 people
6) Get a Doctoral Degree (preferably honorary)
7) Start a coffee shop
1) See a Broadway show
2) Visit every MLB Stadium
3) Go Parasailing
4) Learn to surf
5) Go deep sea fishing
6) Read the Bible from cover to cover in 3 translations
7) Visit every state
8) Go to a Packer’s game at Lambeau
9) Hike the Appalachian Trail
10) Go to the Holy Land
11) See the aurora borealis
12) Spend time searching for Bigfoot
13) Go white water rafting
14) Go to the 7 wonders of the world
1) Run a 10k
2) Run a marathon
3) Do an obstacle course race (like tough mudder)
4) Play in a competitive racquetball tournament
5) Hit a homerun in softball
1) Pay off the house
2) Be debt free and stay that way
3) Be able to give away a million dollars
We tend to overestimate what we can do in a year but underestimate what God can do in ten years.
This is not yet an all-inclusive list. Some of these items I’ve already achieved, and some I am still working towards. But, I have goals, I have timelines, and I have purpose.
Circle these goals in prayer. The more that you achieve, the bigger the goals you will set. It is amazing how the Lord desires to shatter our expectations.
Make lists. A goal is simply a dream with a deadline. In the words of Mark Batterson, “Dream big. Pray hard. Think long.”