With each new year, people make resolutions and plans for the future, but visionary leaders go beyond wishful thinking and set SMART goals. While many people set goals in January after the new year, visionary leaders take it one step further, planning before the “old year” is over. Though it’s October and we are two months away from the fireworks and best wishes, let's get a head start on planning 2017. Are you ready?
TEN QUESTIONS EVERY LEADER SHOULD ASK
Setting goals works best when we take time to look back on the past, assess the present, and envision the future God wants for us. Ask yourself the following ten questions to focus your priorities and direct your resources in a way that glorifies God and gives the best results.
LEARN FROM THE PAST
Evaluate the year honestly and objectively, but don’t be too critical of yourself. It is important to find sources of encouragement to motivate us and push us forward.
1. What were your greatest achievements this year?
2. What were your failures? Think about what you missed and mistakes that were made.
3. What lessons have you learned?
ASSESS THE PRESENT
Make an honest assessment of where you are now, the resources you have, and those you lack.
4. Who can you count on to help pursue your goals? (Your team, peers, superiors, coaches, mentors, etc.)
5. What are ongoing projects you are working on? Are they priorities? Are they sustainable?
6. What are the greatest opportunities you have for growth?
7. What are the greatest obstacles you are facing?
ENVISION THE FUTURE
Now is the time to dream the things you sense Holy Spirit leading you to in the next year.
8. What do you need to do to move you closer to your vision?
9. What do you want to accomplish next year (for God, for your family, for yourself)?
10. What is your “Pareto?” What are priority tasks, goals, and projects that will bring you the greatest results?
WRITE IT DOWN
Goalsetting only works when we take time to write down our goals in an articulate and intelligent way. Until you commit your goals to paper, they are only wishful thinking. So, grab a pen and paper, dream big, and plan hard!
What additional questions do you need to ask to help you set goals?
*This post is part of a series to help you set goals. Check out our previous Goalsetting Posts to stay on track and plan the future God has for you!
Slip Sliding Away – The difference between reactive and proactive people
Goalsetting Retreat – One of Fortune Magazine’s 20 greatest business decisions of all time