I came across a little quote recently from a fellow named James Friel who is a high end internet marketer and consultant. He gets a lot done; a very productive person. But he made the following observation. “For a long time I heard that we should all shoot for the moon and have big, hairy, audacious goals. Goals that make people laugh at us. I subscribed to this train of thought for a long time until I heard about research that clearly states that in timeframes of less than three years, if your goals feel scary or possibly unattainable, it will actually be counter productive.” Interesting thought.
You know, there’s this principle that you can get far less done in a year than you think, but far more in a decade than you can imagine. We get momentum in our day to day and week-to-week life from actually finishing things. Not just working on things, but actually finishing things. That’s why the Pomodoro Technique of time management is effective.
I personally use this technique, which means I work for 25 minutes and take up to a five minute break. With this technique you have focus and urgency and you’re knocking things off. Some tasks take two or three tomatoes, I call them, or two or three pomos, while some might take one.
That’s also why 90 days goals work. Ninety day goal setting is just the highest leverage goal setting, in my mind, because you can get a lot done in 90 days, but it’s a short enough time span to really keep the pressure on.
Now, in a ministry situation where so much is really out of our control, we can work hard, but the results, especially the eternal results, are actually in God’s hands. Our day to day results and church function is in the hands of the larger team and even in the hands of the congregation. One person in the congregation tied to your church can do something stupid and it can sideline a lot of your work. Or somebody can do something amazing and can accelerate all your work.
And so the idea here is this: if you feel stuck, maybe it’s because you’re overwhelmed. Maybe you’re shooting for the moon. Maybe your church has the mission of trying to reach the world for Jesus. Well, your church isn’t going to reach the world for Jesus. Your church can do some amazing things, but there is a lot of other churches. There’s the universal Church that will reach those who are going to be reached.
But your church has a neighborhood and a community and a parish, if you want to use that word, and that’s really where the task is. So much is out of our control, and if we feel stuck, we need to make sure that we’re shooting for something that is actually conceive of attaining.
So if you feel stuck, what’s something you can get done today that you know if you put your head down and work at it, you’ll get it done. Just getting something done can give you momentum. What’s something you can get done this week that is measurable, that moves you towards that great purpose, mission, vision, annual goals? And then what’s something this quarter?
I believe that our long term goals can and should be absolutely amazing. They should be a little bit scary. And by long term, I’m talking five years or ten year goals, or lifetime goals. They should be huge because you can get a lot done in a decade. You can get a lot done in a lifetime when you’re moving in the same direction. But the bite sized pieces along the way should be doable.
Yes, they should be a stretch and make us a little uncomfortable, but they should be doable, because when they’re doable, we will do them. They will get checked off and we’ll be taking another step towards those big ones that are unattainable except one bite at a time.
So wisdom to you as you move forward doing what matters. Don’t be overwhelmed. Yes, in the grand scheme of things, it’s overwhelming, but there’s someone who’s got our back. He’s got it all in hand. So let’s walk in the right direction, knocking off those things we can do today, tomorrow, and the next 90 days; keeping an eye on the big picture.
Have an outstanding day. Press on.