Goals only Matter when they Honor Your Values

Have you ever accomplished something awesome and then thought:  "okay, that doesn't make me feel like I thought it would?"  The truth is: many people pursue goals and achievements they THINK will bring them joy, but the costs are just too high and the payoff is unrewarding.  Sometimes the goal even gets abandoned along the way, because it just doesn't feel important anymore. If you have experienced any of that, this week's ESM Episode and Thursday Blog is for you!

Man holding Core Values message on book and keyboard

Stay True To Yourself. This is the part that may be missing.  If your goals and efforts aren't true representations of who you are, or what matters most to you, then those pursuits will not bless your life. I watched a Valedictorian speech from 2019 where the young man talked about all the work he put in to be on top. When awards were handed down, he felt amazing... "for fifteen seconds."  After that, in that sixteenth second, he felt nothing.  Well, maybe not nothing.  He started thinking about all the relationships he had to put on the back burner, and it made him sad.  He went on to say that it was a life lesson.  Some things may seem great.  But if you won't be celebrating it after the first fifteen seconds, it might not be consistent with your core values.


Firstly, what are your Core Values?  If you were asked to write three sentences, written out in order of importance.  And they represented the things or people that mattered most to you in this entire world; could you do it?  I highly recommend you do that. As you look at that list, you ought to be thinking:  I will never plan for anything that robs me of my attention that first thing.  And I will never do anything below that second thing that dilutes it.  Finally, I if a goal or pursuit or passion in my life is not related to this list, I will reevaluate it and reconsider its importance.


Secondly, how do this year's Goals fit into that list? If you follow the Excel Still More program, and you've listened to all three episodes this season, you ought to be set upon a journey to some new level, if not several.  Now it's time to justify those goals.  If you met every single one of them, how would they serve the Core Values you listed?  If you can see a connection, then your passion will not falter and your discipline will carry great reward.  If not, there is a good chance the ladder building will be tedious, difficult and stressful, since it isn't really that important if you reach the next level or not!


Thirdly, will you cut out some things that just don't serve your purpose?  It may not be goals exactly, but are there things or people in your life you are devoting lot so time to, who actually don't in any way link to your life purpose? People talk about how they don't have time to get things done.  The truth is, we are all doing lots of things. It's just that most of them don't matter, or at least, ultimately will not matter to us. What needs to be cut out to make room for pursuits that align with your value system?


Lastly, are you ready to do hard things that feel easy because they matter? Let me explain that one a bit.  In our episode, I told you about Hal Elrod and his struggles. He first decided to Know Himself (make the list of values). Then he chose to Love Himself (make those needed cuts).  Finally, he was liberated by the willingness to Be Himself (pursue hard things that feel right because they match who he has chosen to be).  Are you ready for that?  Set goals that get you out of your comfort zone.  Pursue change that is hard.  Strive for things that will take all year to reach.  But experience these hard things with a peaceful mind, a willing spirit, and joyful discipline, as you know that these things make you more like Jesus, and that you'll still be smiling, even in the sixteenth second.


Lord willing, in next week's episodes, we will talk about Seeking Wise Counsel. We really want all of this to come together.  We want to know ourselves, love ourselves and be ourselves.  But some lack the wisdom to really fit all of that together and choose the right pathway and pursue it with diligence.  Let's see what the Bible has to say about that, and I will give you practical steps to seeking counsel and help you access the help you need to excel in 2020!


Thank you for supporting our program.  If you believe this blog can help someone you care about, be sure and click the link to share it on social media or via email. Have an amazing weekend! And always remember: whatever you choose to do today in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, excel still more. 


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