The Anatomy of an Effective Goal – Inspirational Reads Chapter 7

When it comes to taking back our time, setting goals is an essential ingredient. Goals provide direction, give purpose to the things we say yes to and the things we say no to, and they also ensure that we are working within the parameters of our mission statement. But, are all goals created equal? I propose that they are not.

Setting effective goals is actually a learned skill, which means that it is something that takes practice and something that we can get increasingly better at over time.

I also propose that goals are not something to just jump into. Ideally, goals are an end result to a well thought out plan.

It is with this in mind that I feel there are five parts to the anatomy of creating an effective goal.

effective goal

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Determine your three to five non-negotiable things first

We all have non negotiable in our lives. These are the responsibilities, roles, and parts of our lives that are relatively constant. These are the things that you need to have has a part of your regular lifestyle no matter what about your life changes.

For example, three non-negotiable in my life will always be my relationship with God, my responsibilities to my family, and self care in both a physical and emotional way. No matter where else life wants to pull me, these are the three non-negotiable that will always be a priority in my life.

Create goals with a beginning and an end

Goals that have no clear line drawn as to when they will start and end are goals that will most likely never come to fruition. Of course these parameters can change, but when it comes to the anatomy of creating an effective goal they simply must have a beginning and an end.

Goals must be both inspiring and realistic

I might even go so far as to say that the inspiring part should take up more real estate than the realistic part in your life. Don’t sell yourself short, don’t be too easy on yourself, and don’t let fear dictate the goals you set for yourself. Dream big while being realistic to take your season and your calling into account.

Write your goals in pencil

This means that an effective goal is one that is fluid and can change with the ebb and flow of daily life. As much as we would all love to have everything go as planned, we also know that life is all about having to go with the flow. By writing goals in pencil I do not mean that they need to be subject to being erased, although there are a few times when this may be necessary, but I mean that they must be tweaked as we go.

Effective goals recognize that goals and grace go hand in hand

If you are one to create goals and then beat yourself up when they don’t go as you had thought, then I’m guessing you’re pretty burned out on setting goals. Even as a perfectionist by nature I know that there is always grace to be found in everything.

Just this week I have really had to let a lot of things go. A lot of really big things related to a really big project that has been months in the making and is just about finished. My goal was to have this project completed by yesterday, May 1st. However, I have had to cover myself in grace knowing that I have spent the majority of the week fighting a nasty virus.

While you could see this as an excuse, the reality is that I was simply not physically able to meet the deadline for this goal that I created months ago.

However, I feel no guilt, shame, or disappointment in the fact that I didn’t meet my deadline. That is because in this case, I have covered this goal in grace. Lest you think I always get this right, I can assure you that I don’t. I am often my own worse critic when it comes to missing a deadline on a goal, especially a big one.

What about you? How are you at setting goals? If you have never incorporated these pieces into setting goals, they may be just the ingredients you’ve been looking for when it comes to creating goals that are not only present, but effective as well.

Looking for more on goals? Try What’s the Point of Setting Goals Anyway, So, You’ve Set Some Goals, Now What? and Do Your Goals Spell Success?

This post is reflection of the book we are reading as a book club community. This is the book we are reading.

Breaking Busy

Here is a bit more about our book club…

inspirational reads

This book club is a way of encouraging others to carve out the time to read at a pace of just two chapters a week because I’ve learned that finding time to read never just happens on its own.

Generally, every Monday and Thursday there will be blog posts here with Monday’s Inspirational Reads somewhere in the title with my reaction to each of the two chapters for the week.

All you have to do is grab your book above, and you’re good to go! We’d love to have you join it, otherwise, grab your own copy and read any of the posts with Monday’s Inspirational Reads in the title and you can join in on your own time!

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