Smart Goals 101: The Right Goal at the Right Time

Welcome back! This is part five of our six part series on Smart Goals. If you’re just tuning in, be sure to check out the prior posts (one, two, three, & four).

We live about ten minutes away from Disney World. Minus the constant influx of tourists it’s a pretty cool place to live. I can usually tell what time it is based on when I hear the fireworks at night.

Anyways, at the beginning of the year I set a goal to run the Tower of Terror 10 Miler. It’s an almost half-marathon through Hollywood Studios…at night. Way cool. For years I have wanted to be able to say that I’ve run a marathon, and I saw this as a step towards that.

Who’s Goal Is It?

I don’t hate running, I just don’t like it…at all…ever. One morning in February, while I was diligently forcing myself to run I had a revelation: This isn’t my goal.

I wasn’t training for a marathon because I wanted to run a marathon. I was doing it because I felt like I should do it. Several of the guys at my church that I highly respect have run marathons. Two of my best friends have run marathons. This wasn’t peer pressure…it was just a goal that I gave myself simply because the people I respect have done it, and I wanted to be able to say I had done it as well. In high school you go to parties to fit in…I guess when you get older you have to run marathons.

Once I realized this wasn’t my goal, I stopped pursuing it. I let it go. I still exercise, in fact, Beth and I did a 5k in May, but that was my goal (and much more attainable I might add).

Relevant = the Right Goal at the Right Time

The Right Goal: For a goal to be right, it has to be your goal. It can’t be someone else’s goal for you, not even your spouse’s. For a goal to be relevant means that it connects to YOUR heart. Setting personal goals based on the expectations of others is a recipe for failure.

The Right Time: Never set a goal that isn’t directly related to your purpose for this season of your life (don’t miss that – it’s powerful). Having a goal that’s relevant doesn’t just mean that it’s your goal, but that it’s the right goal for this season of your life. The question here is, “is this the most important goal for me right now?”

A Personal Note About Purpose & Seasons

If I had to say what the one question of my heart has been for the past 20 years, it would be “what is my purpose?” It’s funny…I’ve never been given the answer. At least not in full. But I do get pieces of it, hints here and there. Purpose is like a puzzle. Some people get to see the picture on the front of the box. Others, like me, just get the next piece of the puzzle, along with the promise that God will direct my steps.

Here’s the biggest lesson I’ve had to learn about purpose. You can’t let your lack of understanding the big picture keep you from acting on the pieces of the puzzle that you do have. Like driving a car at night…even though you can’t see the final destination, you turn on the headlights and simply drive as far as you can see. Jesus calls this being faithful in the small things.

If your goal is not relevant to your purpose, whether that is your life purpose, or just the purpose for this season, it is a distraction. That last sentence is worth re-reading, or putting on your wall somewhere. If your goal is not relevant to your purpose it is a distraction.

Comments & Questions

We’re here to help! As you’re working through this series, let us know if you get stuck on figuring out how to make one of your goals a Smart goal. Leave a comment or question below – we respond to 100% of our comments. And remember…if it’s not a Smart goal it’s not a goal.

Committed to your success,



2 Responses to “Smart Goals 101: The Right Goal at the Right Time”

  1. Cassi Says:

    I really want to run a marathon one day. Sadly, I can’t right now because of I foot injury I received in an accident, but maybe in a few years if my foot is healed. I’ve had this goal since before my accident, so at the time, it was the right time. Now it, along with my dance class, just make me sad when I realize that I can’t walk, let alone dance or run. I have been forced to dance and run in the pool now, where my foot doesn’t have as much pressure on it. I call it, creative goals.


  2. Paul Jolicoeur Says:

    Great stuff! I am a big fan of goal setting. I set goals in my life because I want to grow intentionally and no by accident. I know in a year from now, I can be better at something. Setting goals let me decide what that something is.


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