What Will You Sacrifice to Achieve Your Goals?
One of the benefits of being new to this position is the opportunity to meet the inspiring people at our CHHSM agencies and partners, and at the United Church of Christ. In one of these recent meetings, a new mentor and friend shared with me an observation that has rattled in my brain ever since. She took me back to 1999 and said, “Remember how so many people, churches and organizations talked about how things would be different in the year 2000, that the new millennium offered the opportunity to do things differently in the new era?” I said, “I do remember the hope, optimism, and excitement around Y2K and all the ways we talked about how things would be different.”
Well, that optimistic reflection soon faded because, she then noted, in a few years it will be 2025 and a quarter of this “new” century will have already passed. She asked point blank, “What is different? What has really changed in the ways we think and relate to each other in this century over the last?”
Sure, things like the global pandemic forced some changes, but what intentional growth has occurred that has made our churches, our communities, and even our individual lives better? As I reflected on the promises I made to myself back then, these questions weighed heavy in my soul. Sure, I set goals for myself — lose weight, learn to play the piano, spend more time with family — but somehow I settled into old patterns, and things remained the same. Now 22 years later, I want to lose even more weight and my keyboard is covered in dust.
I asked my mentor why it is that so many goals we make don’t seem to take root. At that point she asked me some important questions about goal setting:
- What are your goals?
- Why are those goals important to you?
- What will need to be acquired to achieve those goals?
- What will need to be sacrificed to achieve those goals?
That last question that stopped me in my tracks: “What will need to be sacrificed to achieve those goals?” At that moment, I realized that most times when we set goals — personal or organizational — we spend time getting clear on the first three questions, the what, the why, and the resources needed (such as new skills and knowledge, additional funding and personnel, etc.). But how often do we consider what we’ll need to sacrifice to achieve new goals? What are we willing to let go of to make room for new opportunities? 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” There is a sacrifice in the passing away of the old life, the old way of doing things to create room for new things to grow. However, we often create so many sacred cows in our lives and in our organizations that there’s no room for our present goals to flourish. It’s hard, but we must be willing to prune away the things that no longer fit the current vision, or risk our goals withering on the vine next to those sacred cows, deprived of the space needed to blossom. So I ask you the same question my mentor ask me: As we approach the end of year number 22 in this new century, what are you willing to sacrifice to allow for your goals flourish and for a new vision to thrive?
Join Our Mailing LIst