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"Many times they afflicted me from my youth, yet they have not prevailed against me" (Ps 129:2).
Today is all about S.M.A.R.T. goal setting and how it shakes out in practical abidance in Christ. You can double back to re-read Part 1 by scrolling down. It's listed just below this blog.
First, a little background information you may or may not find interesting. S.M.A.R.T. goal setting first appeared in the November 1981 issue of Management Review. "There's a S.M.A.R.T. way to write management goals and objectives." was the title and it was written by George Doran, Arthur Miller, and James Cunningham. www.smart-goals-guide.com/smart-goal.html
What does any of this have to do with you? A lot if you desire to abide in Christ in a way that brings lasting and longed for change. Think of it this way. God may be Boss, but you are still called to manage your own life. When life is unmanageable, you have to start somewhere. And that somewhere begins with an honest inventory of where you are now and where you aspire to be later.
Because you cannot overcome what you deny.
Need a job?
Your S.M.A.R.T. goal setting might begin like this:
S-specific [What is your skill-set. This will help determine what types of jobs to apply for.]
M- measurable [How many applications do you intend to fill out daily or weekly?]
A - achievable [Is this achievable? Do you have access to a computer? If not, can you get to a public library or apply on site at a company computer?]
R- realistic [If you're in counseling or just started medication for anxiety, A high-pressure, quick-paced job is not realistic for you at this time.]
T- time-bound [Ex. I intend to be gainfully employed 45 days from today's date.]
Alternatively, let's say "where you are" is emotionally unstable due to an abusive relationship.
S- specific [I need outside intervention/help to leave an abusive relationship]
M- measurable [What organizations in my area offer help to abused women? How can I access them or implore the help of a friend or church to make contact on my behalf?]
A- achievable [Can you get there? Do you meet the criteria if say, they offer transitional housing?]
R- realistic [If you are too overwhelmed to make contacts, be realistic, ask someone to come alongside you in the process. You'll be less likely to give up.]
T- time-bound [What actual date are you leaving.]
The thought of goal setting can be overwhelming. I know. But the odd thing is, once you get it out on paper, you won't feel so powerless. You'll begin to see more clearly.
Next, add supporting scriptures to your smart goals. Know that every baby step you take you do not take alone.
- "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you or forsake you." (Deuteronomy 31: 6)
- "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." (Philippians 4:13)
- "Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction." (Mark 5:34)
- "If God is for us, who can be against us?" (Romans 8:31a)
- "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in your weakness." (2 Corinthians 12:9)
See what I mean? I don't have a thing against a "princess mindset." Yes, in Christ you are a princess. But if you want to see lasting change it's going to take more than a pink bumper sticker, a plastic tiara, and your favorite bible verse in whimsical font hanging over your bed.
If you do the math. You won't regret it!
We get better together,
Published on Tuesday, February 7, 2017 @ 4:30 PM CDT
Golly! It's a little late in the new year to say Happy New Year! So let's go with, "Happy goal setting in the new year." Most of you already know this, but if your'e new to my website, blogging is not a steady gig for me. If when I fade from the scene, it translates to: there's a lot going on behind the scenes. To date, I'm in the thick of book proposal updates for my non-fiction project, How to Forgive What You'll Never Forget. (In case you forgot.) Lol!
Something for YOU . . .
A support-group attendee asked, "What does it mean to abide in Christ?"
Several of the women shared their points of view, but the general consensus was: To read the Bible and pray everyday. On the surface, it sounds right, right? In-arguably, it's truth. It reflects what they've been taught to believe. But is it the whole truth?
Jesus Himself said, "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free" (John 8: 31b and 32:a NKJV).
But what is abidance?
In Greek, abide translates as a primary verb; to stay, dwell, continue, to remain or stand, endure, be present. (ref. Strong's Exhaustive Concordance.)
Merriam-Webster defines abide as a transitive verb: to bear patiently, to endure without yielding
What does goal-setting have to do with abidance in the Word?
It's simple, really. Daily affirmation does not equal action. You can read the Bible everyday. You can display Scripture that speaks of your true identity in Christ, but if you are not walking HIS talk, you will remain in bondage or risk its return.
I get it, some of us have never been told we're beautiful or princesses. And we need to hear these sweet, true words. Last week, a friend told me someone commented that I'm beautiful. My heart needed to hear it. But past the words read by me or spoken by others, there comes a point when I must roll up my sleeves and make this discovery for myself. At the end of the day it boils down to a verb. The choices I make and the relationships I choose express what I believe about myself.
If I'm in a relationship with someone (romantic or otherwise) who clearly does not honor me, but I refuse to end the relationship because I want the company, then I must acknowledge my co-authorship in a story that minimizes my value. Make sense?
No one wants to hear this. It's so much easier to blame "him" or "them" or "her" and then slap an "I'm a princess in Christ" bumper sticker on my car. But what if it's not about blaming or bumper stickers? What if it's about a tangible claiming or re-claiming of self-worth that is affirmed in every choice I make and every step I take?
This leads us to goal-setting and how it should always reconcile with The Word. The mark of true abidance in Christ. Read your Bible everyday? Great! You're further along than you might think. Don't own a Bible? Buy one. Don't have the dough to buy one? Borrow one. Can't borrow one? Steal one and then ask God to forgive ya. (I'm kidding; mostly.)
Today I'm sharing the model I find most practical for personal goal setting and abidance in Christ. Bonus, it translates well in times of crisis. The times when a girl feels too overwhelmed to take a single step in any direction and collapsing in a heap on the floor makes the most sense.
The acronym is S.M.A.R.T. And it shakes out like this:
S - specific
M - measurable/meaningful
A - agreed upon/attainable
T - time-based/trackable
Stay tuned for Part 2, scheduled to post Tuesday, February 7, 2017. The unpacking of S.M.A.R.T. coupled with John 8:31-32. Meanwhile, take a week to think about what you've read today. At a glance, what does S.M.A.R.T mean to you? What areas/relationships leave you feeling defeated? What would you like to see change and remain changed?
Pray. Journal your thoughts and questions to God along with what He whispers to your heart. It's the whole truth that sets us free. By the way, I have "stuff" too. So lets roll up our sleeves and bow our knees--together.
May 2017 be the year we walk in humble fervor in abidance in Him. And we shall know the truth, and the truth shall make us free!
Published on Sunday, January 29, 2017 @ 12:18 PM CDT