Accomplishing something great is not so easy when you do not actually know what the final results look like. Further, long term projects, like creating a mental health team over a year or building a church tech ministry from scratch for your mobile church can feel overwhelming to say the least.
The concern here is, you miss your goal because you have been chasing a dream. What’s the difference? A goal is something you can achieve; a dream is some “thing” off in the distance you want to chase.
My personal dream is to be a great father. But what does it mean to be a great father? Your version of it is going to be different than mine, which is going to be different than my own father’s understanding. Even further, my understanding of what it means to be a great father is different now as to before I had three children. Goals are much more defined and concrete. It’s more black and white thinking.
Why Is This Important?
On Day 1 of this eBook, I talked about how you need to eat the elephant one bite at a time. This chapter is the practical implication of that statement. In regards to motivation, it gives you the ability to measure success. With dreams, the elephant is this one big task you either did or did not do. With S.M.A.R.T. goals, you have measureable progress and know why you did or did not succeed. (And do not forget the actions steps!)
Developing sound goals is critical to managing your own performance. Below are the steps to help you come up with effective goals to help you keep on track and measure your success.
Specific – A goal should be simplistically written and clearly defined. You want to use social media, but why? What is the purpose, hope, and expectation? A great goal is boiled down into quickly answering what, how, and why.
Measureable – A goal with measurability gives a numeric value to the goal reader. This value then is the finish line that can help you measure where you are at. Adjectives like “better,” “more,” “improved,” etc. are actually not measureable. If my goal is to be a better blogger and I wrote one blog post this year more than last, I technically am better, but that’s probably not what I meant.
Achievable – Goals should be something that are challenging, but not impossible. Wanting to develop a team that will allow time off for volunteers on Sunday morning services and develop an “oops, I’m out sick” coverage plan is great. Asking for one volunteer to take one more day a year is too easy. Hoping that you increase your ministry by 200% might be asking for too much. Find the balance.
Results-Focused – Goals should be based on the outcomes themselves, not on the activities which create the outcomes. I previously wrote about being a better blogger by writing more. Unfortunately, the act of writing is an activity, but the outcome of having more articles to share is an outcome. Too many times we measure the wrong things.
Time-Bound – All goals need to have a due-date. When you say you want to do more video production, give it specificity and measurability, that’s great. When is this all going to happen by? Timeframes give a practical (achievable) sense of urgency and, with regards to motivation, a sense of tension to get things done. Always give your goals proper margin. Do not say you need the worship slides by 8am Sunday morning. Ask for them by Friday 8am instead.
How can you reshape all the projects you have into proper S.M.A.R.T. goals?