“When we are motivated by goals that have deep meaning, by dreams that need completion, by pure love that needs expressing, then we truly live life.”
“Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goals.”
“If you’re bored with life — you don’t get up every morning with a burning desire to do things — you don’t have enough goals.”
As I’m writing this morning, I’m reminded of an idea I had a couple of years ago. I called it the Top 100. In it, I wrote down 100 tasks I would like to accomplish in a day or a week. The tasks ranged from the mundane, ironing my shirts, to the meaningful, writing in my journal. I never got all 100 done, but I did accomplish a lot. Although it created some stress, it also kept me motivated. Motivation is sometimes a problem for me. It’s hard to stay motivated, but I found if I had a lot of objectives that day, I got a lot more done.
In the next few days I have a lot of work to do and I really need to use my time well. Tomorrow I return to work. I’m glad, but at the same time I wish I had more time off to do the things I want to do. Most of the things I want to do revolve around writing. I want to do more writing and studying. I want to do more radio shows. I really wanted to get one e-book published and the other one done. I need to use my time better. I feel a little stressed right now so I’d better write my daily and weekly tasks.
(Brief pause. Please enjoy the music.)
Okay, I’ve done that. I’ve written out my tasks and looking at my list makes it all seem less intimidating. Now I just need to get them done. It really helped me to write them down. I didn’t write 100, but I wrote enough to keep me focused, busy and present and I may look at the list again to see if I can add more.
I also need to write out my goals. The goals are actually more important than the tasks. Although I’ve written my goals several times before, here they are again:
· My children are spiritually and emotionally healthy.
· I bless as many people as possible with my writing, speaking and teaching.
· I am peaceful and joyful as long as and as often as possible.
· I have a healthy relationship with God.
· All of my relationships are healthy and mutually loving.
· I study and learn in order to grow intellectually, emotionally, spiritually, financially and professionally.
· I make enough money to provide for my children and grandchildren.
Those are my goals, written on my laminated 3x5 cards, the ones I carry with me. These are the things I want for my life. These are the thoughts I have to keep at the forefront of my mind every moment. When I do this, everything else seems easier, or at least simpler. I can relax because I know that whatever I’m doing is the right thing to do and I don’t have to wish that I were somewhere else or doing something else. If two of my life goals seem to conflict with one another, that’s okay. I know that either choice will be the right one.
Most of all, it keeps me present in each moment. And though I’ve also mentioned being present many, many times, I can’t state it enough. Being present to what God is providing in each moment is crucial to my happiness, my productivity, my relationships and my future.
I know I’ve said all this before. So why am I saying it again? I have a few reasons:
First, “repetition is the mother of learning.” The more exposure I have to the right ideas and practices, the more likely I am to follow them.
Second, I have a goal of reaching 175 blogs by the end of this month. So at this point I’m writing simply to reach that goal. Honestly, at this moment, I don’t feel like I have any new or earth-shattering ideas, just the same ones that will work for the rest of my life if I keep applying them. In other words, I just need to get this done. Perhaps my next blog will be brilliant. Or perhaps it won’t. But it will get done and I will reach my goal.
Sometimes perseverance and determination are the most important things. Obviously, I want to do always do my best work, but sometimes my best is different at different times. Still, I like what I’m writing now and honestly, though it may seem immodest, I like all my writing.
And maybe that’s the most important reason to write – because I enjoy it. In fact, there are few things I enjoy more than writing. My biggest stress in writing is when I am not actually doing the writing, when I am doing something else when I want to be writing. I can’t really enjoy anything else when I am not writing and I want to be. This is why determination and perseverance are so rewarding. They are guiding me to do the things I really want to be doing, the things I should be doing. I define the word “should” not as obligation, but as a life-giving imperative. I must write. If I want a fuller, happier more meaningful life, I must write and I must be actively pursuing all the goals on my 3x5 cards.
I’ve used the word “Purpose” so many times, but it also cannot be understated. My goals are my reason for living, the reason I was born, the reason God put me on this earth. No one else can achieve my goals, nor can I achieve anyone else’s. All any of us need to do is to Get Started and Keep Going. And I need to do this now, because I have 100 things to do.