Church & Culture
Want To Accomplish Your Goals? Dream Bigger – And More Long-Term
While it may seem counterintuitive, thinking bigger and on a longer timeline is often a better way to get things done.

But if I'm on a five year plan with larger goals, I can slow down and do it right.

I can set intermediate goals that aren't just easier to do, but are better for long-term success.

Instead of deciding to hit the gym five days a week while changing all my eating habits (a surefire recipe for failure) what if the first goal for the five year plan was to spend a month or two experimenting with various eating plans until I found one that’s actually sustainable in the long term? And what if I did that while taking the stairs instead of the elevator?

After setting up a doable, long-term eating plan, the next step might be to check out all the gyms in town, or play various sports until I find one I like.

By tackling each of these significant life changes one at a time instead of all at once, I increase the likelihood that I will stick with it, and I can connect them together into a healthier lifestyle that is much more likely to become a permanent part of my life.

The Long Game

This works in all areas of life. Physical, emotional, spiritual and more.

Setting bigger goals over longer timelines is more likely to be met with success than setting moderate goals over shorter time spans.

Especially for self-motivated people, setting bigger goals over longer timelines is more likely to be met with success than setting moderate goals over shorter time spans.

As a pastor, for instance, this has worked for our church.

If I had set out to turn our church around in a year, I'd have either given up in frustration very quickly while settling in to business-as-usual, or hopped from church to church, year after year in constant frustration.

Instead, we determined to play the long game. We looked ahead five years or so, saw where we wanted to be, then started the piece-by-piece process of getting there.

By doing that, our process was healthier, setbacks weren’t devastating, and our end goal was not just met, but exceeded many times over.

The Longest Term Goal Of All

As Christians, our goals aren’t annual or quinquennial (every five years – I Googled it), they’re the longest-term goals of all. They’re eternal.

So, while it’s important, even essential to break down such long-term goals into short-term pieces, it’s critical that we not lose sight of the ultimate eternal goals when we do so.

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The views of the blogger do not necessarily reflect those of Christianity Today.

January 01, 2019 at 1:00 AM

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