In my life, unrealistic goal setting goes well beyond what happens in the early days of every year. Unbridled enthusiasm for one idea or another often leads me to set goals without foundations. Expectations and pressures from any one of a wide range of constituents provide an excuse for embracing the easy solution with ignorant goals. My blindness to the touch of time give me an excuse to set goals that are beyond my reach, even if I was thirty years younger. As I look forward, there are principles that can help me and perhaps you as well.
First, understand the present. Struggle to remove one's blinders and filters. The process provides an opportunity to establish a framework with an ability to build.
Second, set goals in context of present. Not knowing or accepting the present often sets the stage for goals that one can never reach.
Third, once one has a grasp on reality and the goal, act!
I find myself mixing the steps up. I want to move quickly, so action often starts before I understand where I am or where I want to go. It can be infuriating to take the time to reflect, understand, and dream. A gentle reminder; history confirms this is an approach that works. Even as one family was starving, they explored the rumors. Finally, “having confirmed the report, they went back to Egypt a second time to get food.” (Acts 7.13)
Today will come with a crisis du jour. It may be big or small, painful or merely inconvenient. Whatever it is, I know I will feel the call to respond. The pressure to analyze, plan, and act will be great. It will be easy to lose focus and stumble out, willing myself to act. Even with the light spilling over the hills, I can hear God's quiet voice calling you and I to a different response. “Rest in me, for I will give you peace. Accept what I have given you; it will change your perspective on all that follows. Now, let us reach for the impossible.”
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