Putting a (S.M.A.R.T.) Stake in the Ground:  

                                           Setting Goals and Priorities for Life


The most important principle I learned about starting an intentional faith journey was setting priorities! 

I wanted this new chapter of life to have an order to it and so I worked with a 'life coach' for 5 weeks.  Mr. Hansen was a former pastor that had taken on a new advisory position to consult and help Christian's take greater strides towards spiritual growth, hence the title life coach. (It was his vision and desire to see people succeed in their walk of faith).  It was an eye-opening and life changing experience; I saw biblical principles and scriptures come to life in a very practical way.

Objectives were set in the 5 areas of life: spirit, soul, body, social and finances with the end goal becoming a better Christian, parent, leader, etc. 

(Spoiler Alert: this article serves only as a brief overview.)

Rather than meandering through life full of coincidences and happenstance, I chose a structured program, S.M.A.R.T. Goals, to ascribe to a life of attaining measurable and effective milestones.


A brief overview includes these S.M.A.R.T. steps:

Specific:  What do you want to accomplish? Be clear and well defined in answering questions of what, how, why, when, etc. 


Measurable:  Provide precise amounts and/or dates (i.e. a healthier you  in 3 months= Eat 2 more servings of vegetables daily, 1 hour on treadmill, with a measurable weight loss of 5 lbs. etc.)


Attainable:  Do you have the time, resources, training to attain the goal (i.e. acquire a higher paying job= more education needed) with a realistic perception as to how and what it involves 


Relevant:  What is your motivation behind this goal; how does this relate to your life, are there any limitations or conditions to consider


Timely:  Be realistic and flexible with deadlines and daily disciplines necessary


Less than 8% of the population ever reach a goal because they are not INTENTIONAL in 'setting the vision' to achieve them. In fact the Bible points us in the right direction in Habakkuk 2:2; "write the vision plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it". 


First things first however!!

I would be remiss in my counsel if I did not emphasize taking time to pray and seek His direction for setting your goals as the all-important initial step!


After receiving guidance in prayer...put your goals in writing. It will help create focus and determination and increase your success exponentially!  Post or place 3 x 5 cards around your home or office with the individual steps or scriptures you have selected to encourage completion of the goal.

'See' yourself accomplishing the vision/goal, and as a reminder periodically set up a review of your goals.


No matter our age we should be striving to steward our remaining days to the best of our ability. We all have a finite amount of days on this earth to accomplish the Lord's Will and Purpose for our lives.  With prayer, motivation, and vision we are all well able to do exactly that!


If you need help in setting objectives and seeking the subsequent strategy to attain your goals, please feel free to stop by or call the church office.


Blessings on you as you take this time to 'jumpstart' a successful new year!!   ~~ Pam Hardie

First Congregational United Church of Christ

PO Box 111 - 121 1st Ave SE Watertown, SD 57201


ucc1wtn@midco.net - Office Email

uccwatertownpastor@midco.net - Pastor's Email

Office Hours M-F 8am - Noon

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