conversation is an engine

A lot can happen in a conversation

A better way to set goals

with 4 comments

1000 words: from goal to discipline


Revisit and add detail as you go forward

Mrs. Kirkistan and I talked up goal-setting with our good friends over New Year’s Eve. Goals get a bad rap these days and I know why.

Looking back at my 2013 goals, I see they were too ambitious and without proper milestones. Even so, they served as directionals that propelled me forward as I revisited them over the course of the year. Mrs. Kirkistan and I will take an hour or so and talk through and pray through our goals before the weekend. Then I’ll post them on the back of the door into Suite 102 of the Livingston Communication Tower (high over Saint Paul).

As I labor to expand and then trim back my personal, business and spiritual goals, I realize more than ever this is not a static process. Much like the sketch above, I’m sort of blocking out broader desires and expectations while adding in definite dates and details for only a select few. But some of these goals fit better as disciplines than goals with timelines attached. For instance, the discipline of writing 1000 words a day has served me well over the past few years (thank goodness I never stipulated they had to “good” words—that kind of pressure would gum the works). That goal has turned to a discipline, which is great—the day feels wasted if I’ve not written 1000.

I have a goal of publishing ListenTalk: Conversation is an Engine early this year (that’s right, Juxtapose: How to Build a Church that Counters Culture is back to the original title, for those who follow such things), and I have a few milestones with dates attached to help make that happen. Last year’s goal helped me finish the book and get it to and back from an editor, though I severely underestimated how much time it would all take.

But some things just work better as disciplines, like ongoing exercise and the daily ground-breaking conversations with colleagues and potential collaborators.

How does goal-setting work for you? Rather than give up on goals because they are too hard, is there some useful piece you can take and make work for you?

By The Way: Check out this meditation on goals from The Pietist Schoolman: I like his challenge to focus out, rather than just in, on personal goals.


Image credit: via 2headedsnake

Written by kirkistan

January 1, 2014 at 2:49 pm

4 Responses

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  1. It’s taken me a while to figure out that my goals need to be set small and measurable. I love using technology, like smartphone apps, to help me along the way.


    January 1, 2014 at 5:11 pm

    • Excellent.And smart! Can you recommend any Android apps for such a task?


      January 1, 2014 at 5:12 pm

      • It’s great for us visually minded people! We’re Android users too. My Hubby uses Habit Streak every day to track his goals and progress. I use MyFitnessPal to track my calories and workouts for the week.


        January 1, 2014 at 5:15 pm

      • Thanks. I use MyFitnessPal as well, though I’ve not logged in much through this vacation. I’ll look into Habit Streak.


        January 1, 2014 at 5:19 pm

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