For some readers I’m sure you’ll be wondering why I’m talking about the New Year mid-December. For many people this will be too soon to think about next year (after all there’s all the Christmas events to get done!) but for a few others, this will already be too late.
Some may even wonder why they should bother planning their year at all. The truth is, if you don’t set a goal then you have no way to know how you are doing. You have no direction to go in (except whatever way the wind takes you this day) and you can both view everything you do as a success and nothing as a success, sometimes at the same time. After all, you’ve got no reference point.
[clickToTweet tweet=”If you don’t set a goal, then you have no way to know how you are doing. via @ChurchMag” quote=”“…if you don’t set a goal then you have no way to know how you are doing.””]
A final reason you need to plan your year is to make sure you aren’t taking on too much at the wrong time or too little. After all, imagine if everyone “knew” that you were doing a weekend away on the same weekend as always because…well you always do. Except it turns out that the pastor had already agreed to speak at a special event out of town. Now you’ve got a problem.
Planning for the New Year right starts with setting good priorities and one question above all others will help you get your priorities in order for the rest of the year. This simple question will cut through all your good intentions and plans and reveal where your heart is and what you should focus on for the next year.
What one thing will make me most disappointed if I don’t do/achieve it next year?
The power in this question is it cuts through all the things you “could” do or would be “good” to do and bring up what your deep desire is. It can help you to put aside other “good” ideas and help you to focus on. It has certainly helped me to focus on what I really need to.
For a long time I’ve wanted to make an Android app, I’ve even got a pretty good idea (well I think so) with some sketches and I’ve gone through making some very basic apps. But I know that if I finish next year and I haven’t done it, I won’t be disappointed. Don’t get me wrong, it would be cool and even nice to do it, but I won’t be upset if I don’t.
Contrast that with a couple of my other goals, If they don’t come around I will be disappointed.
This statement works for groups as well as individuals, though with the variety of decision makers involved in a group you shouldn’t expect the answer to be as clear. Still it’s a great discussion starter.
So I can’t do anything else?
I’m not saying that having other goals for the New Year isn’t okay, in fact it can be very good to have little minor goals to give a sense of progress and achieve for little side goals. However, if these side goals conflict with that central goal (or goals) then you have to cut them out. I’m not saying it will be easy to cut activities or goals out but when you return to your top priority and frame other activities as distractions, it becomes easier (still not easy) to cut them.
With these priorities in place you can start constructing your plan for the year and work out how to set and achieve those goals. But that’s a post for another day.