I’ve spent the last several weeks talking about vision (your WHY), mission (your WHAT) and your HOW (your CORE VALUES), and your WHO (WHO are YOU serving?). Today, I want to touch on making your strategic thinking into actionable goals.
Most business owners understand the concept of SMART Goals. Just in case you don’t, standard SMART Goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound. While this model is well known, it lacks the faith-based component. Here’s a faith-based SMART Goal process that allows you to put the focus back on God:
Specific. Specifically, ask God for direction when you’re in prayer.
For goals to be successfully set, they need to be distinct and well defined. Praying can help you define your path. Generalized, vague goals aren’t effective because they lack sufficient direction. Keep in mind that goals are designed to help show you the way, especially with God’s guidance. It’s nice to know that we’re not alone in the process. As Christians, we are blessed with access to the guidance and support of the greatest power in the universe.
Meaningful instead of Measurable.
When it comes to meaningful goal setting, praying is the best way to jump-start the process. By setting SMART goals in the context of prayer, there’s a much greater likelihood that they will be meaningful and glorify God as well. If not, they’re probably not goals worth setting. Take some time to pray to God about your heart and ask him to help you set meaningful goals to accomplish His purpose.
Attainable instead of Achievable.
Has God provided resources that you need to get started (even if he hasn’t provided everything you need to finish)? Resources don’t have to be money. They can include time, people, materials and more. Take the time to consider the God-given resources around you. You’ll find that you have all the resources you need to get started. Trust that God will provide what is needed in His perfect timing. If you’re anything like me, you want a perfect plan with infinite resources and a schedule that is right on track. Ha! I make plans, but God makes better ones (even if I don’t see it right away).
Relevant instead of Realistic.
How is the goal relevant to the purpose and gifts God has blessed you with? You’ll end up frittering your time (and your life) away if you set inconsistent, widely scattered, goals that aren’t relevant to the gifts and purpose God has graced you with. Setting relevant goals that have purpose will help you develop the focus necessary to achieve your SMART goals.
Timely. Is this God’s will and time frame?
Continue taking action, but realize that your timetable is not God’s. Submit to His will and time frame. He may want things done earlier or later than you planned. Be patient and have faith that if it is truly meant to happen, it will when the time is right.
I hope this version of SMART Goals gives you a new and refreshing perspective to focus goal setting on Jesus. God wants us to have goals, but He wants to be in the center of those goals, so we can learn to live, love and lead like Jesus at home AND work!