This graphic showed up in my in-box this morning just as I was starting to give some serious thought to the week ahead. It is easy to confuse wishes and goals, since both focus on some unrealized future event or accomplishment. The key is the existence of a plan to achieve that thing. If you don’t have a plan it is sort of like buying a Lotto ticket to secure your future – total happenstance, with terrible odds of success. A journey without any commitment to a final destination (the goal) is called “wandering”, and wandering aimlessly through life is not very satisfying.
If you have a goal, you should be able to identify where you are on the journey to achieving that goal and have a good idea what your next steps need to be. The reason that you are able to identify those things is that you have spent time breaking down the journey into logical, achievable steps or tasks that you know need to be accomplished – you have a plan. That is the difference between saying, “I wish I could find a new job” and “I’m going to find a new job”.
As you sit at the Monday morning breakfast table, take stock of the wishes and goals that might be swimming around in your head. Separate them out and focus upon the goals. Spend a little time on each goal to assess where you are on the journey to reach that goal and think about what steps you might be able to take this week to further that journey along. You rarely will have the time to multi-task at several goals at once (and still do your job at work), so prioritize which to work on as you find the time.
Look at the next step in your plan and break it down to smaller, more achievable steps if necessary. Take the time to congratulate yourself for getting this far on the journey and rededicate yourself to achieving some progress this week, no matter how small it may seem. I like this quote by Ernie J Zelinski –
“Imagination allows you to think of the journey worth making. Motivation gets you started. But, it’s patience and perseverance that get you there.”
A lack of patience and perseverance are the greatest separators between success and failure to achieve one’s goals.
Sometimes it helps to also pause and remember that you ae not alone on this journey to your goal. God is always there with you. So, as you plan for this week’s steps towards those goals, make sure that you touch base with God and ask for his help. Don’t ask him to make things happen for you; that’s not how it works. Instead, pray for God to give you the strength and resolve to persevere and the patience to see things through.
Armed with a renewed commitment to your goals and with strengthened patience and perseverance you are ready for the week ahead.
Go for it!