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goal-setting-feature

Note: I’m late posting this article from Christmas Eve, but the message remains the same. I hope it helps you.

It’s Christmas Eve, 2017. Do you know what that means? It means that it’s almost January first!

I’m not a proponent of New Year’s Resolutions; not at all. Resolutions rarely work. I won’t bore you with all the scientific details, but there are actually physiological reasons for the failure of resolutions.

Resolutions rarely work because we stand up tall, square our shoulders, and declare to ourselves that we resolve that next year will be different because we resolve to accomplish something; and it’s usually the same something we declared last year. Then something happens. It’s called life. As life happens, those spoken resolutions fade into the blur of a fast-moving calendar and everything that comes with it. But for the most part, those resolutions are forgotten until December 31 of the next year.

I am a believer in having goals and that leading up to January is a good time to review, renew, and establish goals. What’s the difference? Honestly, I’m not totally sure; but hang in here with me.

I believe in establishing goals. Goals are life targets. However, there are problems with goals, too. Goals can be forgotten. I have an application on my devices called Evernote. The cool thing about Evernote is that you never lose anything you put into it. Word recognition makes it almost if not entirely impossible for anything to be lost. Scan a document in and it will recognize the words in that document. Simply type some words into the search bar and every note and document you have that includes that word will appear.

Recently in Evernote I typed “goals” into the search bar. Goals that I had typed into Evernote as far back as 2012 came to the surface. With those goals came some disappointment. I had typed them into a note and forgotten them. Why would I forget an important goal? Because life happened and, well, I forgot.

Why is it so easy to forget? Life! Looking back at my goals from 2012, I found one of my goals that I didn’t totally achieve but I didn’t forget it, either. I set a goal in 2012 to read fifty-two books. I do believe in reading, but fifty-two books is not a goal that I necessarily recommend. I didn’t forget that goal to read all of those books because it was always in front of me. Every day, my current book was there for me to pick up. On my desk there were always three or four books that were in the bullpen just waiting for their turn. As I started reading one book, I ordered another. I didn’t read fifty-two books in 2012, but I did read thirty-four, which is pretty good and most importantly, I never forgot the goal because it was in front of me.

Lately I’ve been thinking again about my goals and that 2012 goal to read fifty-two books. So, I’m approaching the year with a new, untested goal- tracking system. I bought myself a cheap journal. It’s one of the spiral bound type that almost looks like your typical high school composition book.

Here is the untested system.

First, I wrote my goals on the first two pages of the journal. Remember, some scientists say that the action of writing makes the information more concrete, mentally. Now every morning as I have my quiet time, I read from the Bible, pray, listen to a podcast, read a few pages from my current read, and I re-write my goals. That’s right! The plan is that everyday of this next year, I will rewrite my goals. I will also add notes such as, “goal completed” and “goal dropped”; or I may write a note to explain what I will do on that day to help myself achieve that goal. We’ll see how it goes.

W Clemet Stone said, “No matter how carefully you plan your goals, they will never be more than pipe dreams unless you pursue them with gusto.”

Finally, here are a few goal-setting pointers:
1. Write you goals down.
2. Read or rewrite your goals daily.
3. Be willing to edit your goal list. You may find that your priorities will change as the year goes by.
4. Act! Do something to make your goals a reality.

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This post is based solely on my observation and one quote. There are not statistics or hard evidence, just my personal concern.

My generation, the baby boomers are getting old. As a matter of fact I am on the tail end of that generation and I’m 52.

As a father, pastor and observer I’ve noticed what seems to be a trend among what are now young adults. For the sake of this post young adults are anyone who is old enough to be out of undergrad school and younger than 35.

My observation is that there are a lot of these young adults who are not adults at all. They refuse to grow up.

I’m blessed with three grown children. The oldest is my son Adam. Adam is thirty years old and is a challenged young man. He still lives with his mother and I because of his challenges. Despite his challenges Adam is heavily involved in our church, helps his mother keep the house clean, does the kitchen every night and volunteers at our local hospital.

My daughters are twenty-five and twenty-one. The oldest, is a college graduate, married, has a child, is a schoolteacher, and is involved in leadership at our church. The youngest is a graduate of a medical institute. She has a job as a medical assistant, has her own car, which she purchased and is paying for. She is engaged to be married (3 more weeks), and is involved in leadership at our church.

I am extremely proud of my children. They are mature, responsible ADULTS.

I know others who are. At our church there are many young adults who have worked hard to get educations or just went into the work forces and are working hard. I’m proud of them.

Then there are those who seem to be unable to grow up. I’ve know thirty year old men (boys) who are not challenged yet they still live with parents, don’t work or work just enough to support their McDonalds habit. They don’t contribute to society but they do know how to achieve at the latest video games. Instead of being responsible, going to bed at a decent hour and then rising in the morning to go to a job, they play video games or watch television until the wee hours of the morning. They then sleep the best part of the day away. When I see some of these young adults and ask how they are, their response is always, TIRED. Tired? How can you be twenty something, live with parents, have little responsibility and be tired?

I thought I was a slow starter but by the age of twenty-five I was married, had a child, had attended college to prepare for ministry and was the senior pastor of my first church.

I’m concerned about these young adults.

I’ve just started reading a new book.  The title is WRECKED- When A Broken World Slams into Your Comfortable Life by Jeff Goins. I haven’t gotten very far but this morning I read a paragraph in this book that talks about this very subject.

Goins says; “Words like “initiation” and “rite of passage” and “pilgrimage” tend to ring more true to our postmodern ears. But what is our pilgrimage? We have no great war, no epic struggle to embrace, no cause to call out the best in us.

So what do we do instead? Did you know the average age of a gamer is thirty-two? Now, I don’t see anything inherently wrong with diversion and games, but that is certainly telling about our culture, isn’t it? Instead of raising families or creating culture, we are sitting in our living rooms with our eyes glued to the television, simulating life. We are escapists, cowards, and thieves. We hid, occasionally stealing crumbs from the table of those living the good life. We are avoiding the truth that screams at us from the stillness: “There is more. You are more than this.” So we anesthetize the truth with busyness (or laziness, my addition) maybe if we just do more, this feeling of emptiness will go away. And we won’t actually have to do any real work.” [End Quote] Again that quote is from the book Wrecked by Jeff Goins.

I would be interested to know what you think. Click on the comment ballon at the top of this post and leave your input. Also if you like any post you see at JeffScurlock.com you can share them on your social media networks by using the buttons below. THANKS!

Follow this link to Jeff Goins Book WRECKED.

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