Goals: Identify, Magnify and Clarify

chalkboardNew Year’s Resolutions are typical this time of year. But regardless of the calendar date, setting goals is an important step to take in order to achieve the success you’re targeting.

There are three things you need to keep in mind as you’re formulating your list of goals: Identify, Magnify and Clarify.

First of all: Identify…

Identifying your goals means that you’re being specific about what you want to accomplish and you’re writing them down (see Prov 21:5).  Michael Hyatt has written a great article about this. The bottom line is that by documenting your goals, you’re compelled to specifically identify what you want to do. Also, by writing them down, you establish a form of accountability. You’ve got something to look at – to remind you of what you’re attempting to accomplish. It’s not just some whimsical notion, it’s a formally declared destination that curtails the inclination to wander mentally. You’re moving forward with purpose towards a defined objective.

Secondly: Magnify…

Once you’ve identified your goal, you now want to put it under a magnifying glass and consider who besides yourself is going to benefit should you accomplish your goal. This is an important step (see Phil 2:3). Here’s why:

Consider the way in which the typical fitness facility is packed the first couple weeks of the New Year. Thousands of well intentioned individuals line up to work out, determined that this is the year they’re going to get in shape.

But by the beginning of February, a great number of those same individuals are nowhere to be seen, having slipped back into old habits and lackadaisical attitudes.

The reason a lot of them fall short is because their impetus for getting in shape wasn’t intentionally defined beyond the way in which it would benefit themselves.

Think about it. When asked, most will say “I want to feel better, I want to look better and I want to perform better.”  None of those responses are wrong or overly self absorbed, but if you’ve not reinforced your resolve beyond a desire to gratify yourself, when confronted with the sacrifice and inconvenience you’re obligated to endure, the inclination to make concessions will be overwhelming. Reason being that, apart from having included the way in which others will benefit by the realization of your goal, your brain will subconsciously calculate the  shortest distance between you and immediate gratification is to forgo the necessary sacrifices which, in this case means that you’re going to sleep in rather than get up and go exercise. Before you know it, you’re not getting up at all and your goal of becoming fit is put off yet again.

You see how that works?

The way in which you overcome that trap is to craft your goals with others in mind so when you’re confronted with a desire to concede or surrender, you’re able to remember that it’s not just about you and you’re more likely to persevere and accomplish what you’ve set out to do.

In the example of fitness, being fit means that you’ve got more energy to interact with and serve those you love and those who depend on you. It’s not just about your reflection in the mirror.

So “magnify” your goals by reinforcing your motive with the way in which it will assist and improve the lives of those you care about.

Finally: Clarify…

Clarify how you’re going to achieve your goal (see Prov 24:3Jas 1:5). You want to break things down in a way where you’ve got measurable and achievable steps that, over a period of time, propel you in the direction you want to go.

Lofty goals are fine. Og Mandino wrote a book called “The Greatest Salesman on Earth.” It’s a phenomenal read that will put a fresh breeze in your sails.  There are ten laws that he expounds on and one of them talks about how you’re doing well to set ambitous goals. He says “Never will I be of concern that my goals are too high for is it not better to aim my spear at the moon and strike only an eagle than to aim my spear at the eagle and strike only a rock?”

But you have to clarify the way in which you’re going to pursue said goal. And the higher the goal, the more important is to clarify the way in which you will achieve it.

Determine what it is that you can be doing on a daily basis – however incremental it may be – so that in the course of a week, a month and a year, you can track your progress and ultimately the acquisition of your prize.


Setting goals is not just for your type a personality, it’s a healthy step for anyone wanting to avoid a listless existence. We’re here to make a difference and not just an appearance.

Let’s get ‘r done!


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