The Goal-Setting Tip that Changed My Life
Time is a precious commodity.
And, regardless of your life station, time is the great equalizer.
Whether you’re a billionaire or a college kid scraping to get by, we all have the same number of hours, minutes, and seconds of a day.
When we waste time, we can never get it back.
When you really think about it, time is our most precious commodity.
There are a plethora of resources available to help plan your day. Some even go so far as to help you set goals. So what’s missing?
We’re missing the forest for the trees. We’ve got it all backward. We seem to focus on so heavily on our day that we miss our lives.
While it’s great to have goals and plans, we have to be cautious.
“Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit’— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.’” James 4:13-15
We can have the best-laid plans, but ultimately God decides.
Am I advocating we plan nothing? Of course not. I just think we need a different approach.
So what is the goal-setting tip that changed my life?
Creating legacy goals
Rather than planning my day and setting a few arbitrary goals, I spent time figuring out what really matters to me.
We’ve been doing it backwards…. planning our day, reaching a short term goal, and maybe reaching a long term goal. And if we really thought about it, we’d realize what we’ve been doing doesn’t even matter in the grander scheme of life.
Think of it this way, if you knew you only had a week to live, would you change how you’ve been spending your time?
I’m not being morbid. We act as though we’ll live forever. We buy into the lie that we have more time. The fact is we are all dying every day. Even if we live to be a 100, there’s still a finite amount of time we’re given here on earth. I want to make the most of it.
So teach us to consider our mortality, so that we might live wisely. Psalm 90:12
Okay, so legacy goals. First, we have to define legacy?
What’s a legacy goal?
Dictionary.com defines legacy as “anything handed down from the past, as from an ancestor or predecessor.”
When we look at the biblical application of our legacy we see that how we live our lives impacts not only us but others as well. And that matters. As Christians, it is our privilege to serve others.
I spent time praying about my legacy goals. What would it mean to have a “successful” life?
Using Philippians 2: 3-4 as my guide, I came up with my legacy goals:
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”
Success for me is living a godly life leaving a positive impact on the world around me. My life verse is “Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. And love your neighbor as yourself.” Luke 10:27
I had an epiphany one day…. It’s the minutes of our lives that make up our legacy. And I’ve been wasting too many minutes.
My Legacy Goals:
Be a kingdom builder
Have a strong marriage
Share our mountain
Focus on good health
Develop and grow Rockenbaugh Mountain Revival
Obviously, my goals will differ from your goals. That’s the beauty of the body of Christ. It takes our differences to make it all work. We can’t all be an arm if you know what I mean.
So what does this have to do with you?
Why should you create legacy goals?
I’m glad you asked.
You pinpoint your focus
When you sit down and think through what you want to leave behind, you clarify what you value. Once you pinpoint what you value, how you plan your day changes. You create your to-do list based on what will ultimately lead you back to what matters the most.
You find meaning in the mundane because there is a bigger purpose.
You have the freedom to say no
As women we have a hard time saying no. Maybe because we don’t want to let other people down? But what usually happens? When we say yes to others, it causes us to have to say (a silent no) to our spouses, family, etc because there are only so many hours in the day.
Once you’ve prioritized what’s truly important, if what people are asking of you take away from the most important, you can have a guilt free spirit when you say no.
You also have the freedom to say yes when the need arises. Because you’ve taken care of the most important, you have the time to say yes as well. And you can feel good about it.
You add value to the mundane tasks of life
You may notice changes not only in how you spend your time, but changes in your attitude doing some of the same activities you’ve been doing.
What do I mean by this?
So, I’m not a fan of cleaning. And the kitchen is my least favorite task while also being one of my most frequent tasks. How did creating legacy goals change my attitude about cleaning the kitchen?
After creating my legacy goals, now when I clean the kitchen, I realize I’m meeting the goal of sharing the mountain. I know myself well enough to know I’m not going to invite people over if my kitchen is a wreck. There is bigger reason every time I unload the dishwasher.
"Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men," Colossians 3:23 ESV
What I used to dread because of the mundaneness of kitchen work, I now see with value. There is a bigger purpose to the things I have to do.
The same goes for all the various cleaning tasks in my home. I’m not just doing endless loads of laundry, I’m making my mountain shareable. I’m also strengthening my marriage because my husband appreciates having clean clothes to wear. It’s a double win.
See how it works? It’s life-changing.
You spend your time on things that truly matter
Speaking of having a strong marriage. Have you ever stopped whatever it is you’re doing and watched the game on tv with your husband? That’s not wasted time. Regardless of the number of tasks you aren’t doing, spending time with your spouse is never wasted. Time together keeps you connected. The key here though is your attitude. You have to do it with a good heart.
When we waste time glorifying “busy”, we miss opportunities to further our legacy.
You are a better steward with your time
Sometimes life moves at such warp speed it feels as though you’re drowning to stay afloat. Time is your enemy rather than something to be enjoyed.
What’s that saying? When you fail to plan, you plan to fail?
Obviously there will be unexpected changes in scheduling, but by focusing on the most important priorities, you will do a far better job of achieving your legacy goals even when the unexpected arises.
Also, when you're not saying yes to everything that comes your way, you create breathing room in your schedule. Rather than running from can to can't, you have time for what matters.
You honor God
You leave a legacy that you can be proud of because God is at the center.
You have time to be in the Word. You better know what God is calling you to do because you have time to listen.
Jesus serves as the perfect example of this. Even when people were clamoring for his attention with their legitimate need, he always took time to seek the will of the father.
When it was evening, after sunset, they brought to him all who were sick and demon-possessed. The whole town gathered by the door. So he healed many who were sick with various diseases and drove out many demons. But he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him. Then Jesus got up early in the morning when it was still very dark, departed, and went out to a deserted place, and there he spent time in prayer. Simon and his companions searched for him. When they found him, they said, “Everyone is looking for you.” He replied, “Let us go elsewhere, into the surrounding villages, so that I can preach there too. For that is what I came out here to do.” So he went into all of Galilee preaching in their synagogues and casting out demons. Mark 1:32-39
Legacy is important to me. What will I leave behind? How will my life have counted?
Ready to figure out your legacy goals? Grab a free workbook to help you get started.
What’s your legacy? What do you want to leave behind? How will your life have counted?