How to set goals even if you are not the final authority.

Written by
Written by

Deolu Akinyemi

This topic applies to you if you work in a company but are not the CEO of the company. It applies to you if you are married and are not the head of your family. It applies to you if you are a church worker but not the pastor or visionary behind the ministry. This applies to over 99% of the world, as even if you are a final authority in some areas of life, there are areas where you are not the final authority. Lastly, this applies to you if you are a follower of Jesus, no matter where you are CEO, you are still not the final authority.

Here are the things to do if you find yourself in this position:

  1. Align goals with the overall mission and vision of the organization you represent. This will ensure that your efforts are contributing to the bigger picture. Everyone who has a boss must seek alignment or they may set goals they will not have support to accomplish. As a follower of Jesus, prayer is an essential part of your goal-setting process. You need to understand what God wants to do and make sure that whatever goals you set align with accomplishing His goals.
  2. Make sure goals are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant, and Time-bound. The idea behind this is to ensure that your goals can be accountable and reviewed. What’s the point of setting goals every year if you won’t learn something from the previous year by reviewing it? Making your goals SMART will help you understand what is expected of you and how to track progress. Many people don’t want to set goals as there is no way to fail without something you are working towards. Unfortunately, those who are hopeless cannot be disappointed.
  3. Set goals that require you to stretch out of your comfort zone to achieve them. Set goals that require the leverage of others’ wisdom, time, and resources. Set goals that require faith in God to accomplish them. This is important because if your goals do not consume you, distractions will fill the remaining spaces and gradually take over your time. Set goals that will inspire and motivate you. Goals that will keep you awake and lure you into adventures beyond your comfort zone.
  4. Be a model and example. One of the best tools for personal development is having other people that you are mentoring. We would often fail if it was left to only us, but when others are involved, we go the extra mile. Many believers form the habit of not meddling with sin, motivated by how someone can be highly placed like me and be involved with something so low. One of the few times peer or protege pressure pay is knowing that your staying disciplined also empowers others. Communicate your goals and aspirations to the people you are leading, let them learn from you, and be inspired by your commitment, then go ahead and make sure you don’t let them down.
  5. Take your time to listen to your boss often. If your boss is God, regular prayer is non-negotiable. You can’t get the picture from God in January again and trust that you will remember that all year round, we need to maintain a consistent communication flow. Don’t be satisfied with yesterday’s word, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God ever so often.
  6. Be flexible and open to adjusting goals as needed. This will help to ensure that goals remain relevant and realistic. Use the perspective from James, don’t say we will do this tomorrow and then do that, predicate every bold visionary statement with “If God allows.” We need to be flexible to know that God sometimes can change our plans.
  7. Lastly, regularly evaluate and adjust goals as needed, don’t wait till the end of the year to align what you are gunning for, or to evaluate how you are doing. Set milestones that are weekly, monthly, and quarterly to review, reassess, and reconnect to understand where you are, and what you need to change.

    It’s that time of the year when everyone wants to get it right. Leverage the energy of the moment to craft out your big inspiring and uncomfortable goals. Align them with your boss, and let’s go. It is only those who are willing to lose sight of their current shores can discover new territory.

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