For a number of reasons, coming into 2018 I have decided to throw my hat back into the ring in the area of blogging. My goal is to post original content at least once per week as well as my sermon notes from whenever I speak. I will see how things develop from there. This month I’m going to start with a focus on ‘getting the most out of 2018’. If you would like to have new posts delivered directly to your e-mail please click on the folder icon in the menu bar and enter your e-mail address to subscribe.
One of my personal disciplines at the start of each year is that I take a fresh look at my goals using something I call the ‘F8 Life Goals’. Basically, F8 Life Goals gives you a lens to look at your life through and identify goals, priorities and areas of focus. I have found it helpful to use it as a framework to make sure I’m looking at my life holistically and planning for personal growth. (Please note: the way I’m wired it works for me to have several goals in each of the eight areas. If that is too much for you feel free to pick one goal in each of the areas or even pick several of the areas to focus on for the coming year) Hope this is helpful.
F8 Life Goals Worksheet
There are many good ways to approach setting goals for your life. At Toronto City Church we have learned/developed an approach we call F8 Life Goals. In this approach, you look at your life through the lens of eight different categories and set goals for each area. The categories are:
- Faith – refers to your personal relationship with God (your ‘faith). In this area, you can set goals for your devotional/prayer life, Bible study, fasting, and spiritual growth.
- Family – refers to your relationship with your family – spouse, children, extended family etc. In this area, you can set goals for investment in your marriage, children, your relationship with parents/siblings and others in your family.
- Fruit – is connected to your faith but focuses particularly on winning and disicipling. How many people do you want to see make commitments to Jesus?
- Field – refers to your education and/or career. What do you want to see happen in your job this year? Are you in school? What do you want to accomplish there? Are there things you can do this year to further your career or education (going to a course, reading a book)?
- Finances – refers to your personal finances. What is your personal budget? What changes would you like to see this year?
- Fitness – refers to your personal health. What are your goals regarding exercise, rest and healthy eating this year?
- Friendships – refers to your relationships with those close to you who are not family. What do you want these to look like this year? How are you going to invest in them?
- Fun – refers to your personal time of rest and relaxation. Do you have hobbies? What do you do to relax and disconnect? How will you focus on these things this year?
Practical Tips for Setting Goals
Once we have spent some time thinking about what we want in these different areas of our lives it is important that we set S.M.A.R.T. goals so we can actually do it. S.M.A.R.T. stands for:
- Specific – our goals need to be specific. “I want to be healthy” is not specific enough – what does that really mean? “I want to stop eating fast food, get 8 hours of sleep each night and exercise 4 times per week” is much more specific. Make sure your goals are not general but really outline what you want to achieve.
- Measurable – we need to actually be able to measure our goals so we know if we achieved them. “I want to have a great relationship with my wife” is nice but not measurable. “I want to have a date night each week with my wife” is measurable because you can look back and see if you actually did it.
- Attainable – we need to make sure that our goals are actually something we can attain or else there is no point in setting them. You need to make sure it is actually possible to attain the goal you are setting out to obtain. Is it legal? Is it physically possible?
- Realistic – we need to make sure our goals are grounded in realism. If we set goals that are not realistic we will soon become frustrated and lose the power of setting goals in the first place. It is not realistic to set a goal of being the CEO of a company this year that you’ve been working at for two weeks. It may be realistic to set that goal for 20 years but not this year (Note: this point is superseded by the times we receive a Word from God that we are to believe for something that is not ‘naturally realistic’)
- Time-Sensitive – we need to make sure our goals have specific timelines and dates attached to them or else they can very quickly lose their effectiveness. We might have a goal to start saving for a house but we need to decide when will we start, how often we are putting money away, at what point we will stop etc. or else there is no personal accountability.
Some other important notes:
- Make sure that your goals specifically include what you want to accomplish but also your action plan to get there. A good goal may be to lose 25 pounds but how are you going to do it? You need to set out something like that you are going to cut out all junk/fast food, get a gym pass and work out 4 days a week.
- If this is your first attempt to set goals don’t be intimidated – maybe take each F8 area and pick one thing that you want to focus on. Master that, and then you can add a couple more. Sometimes we make this great list of 52 goals and then get quickly discouraged when we start missing a bunch of them.
- It is important that husbands and wives develop personal goals but share them, make sure they are harmonized and develop some corporate goals for their marriage.
- Learning to think/live this way is not easy at first – if you find it stretching don’t worry, just keep working at it and you will find it gets easier and easier.
- Make sure that you show your goals to someone and that you are accountable to them to keep up with them.
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Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash