The Need for Systems
A system is a practical way of breaking down how to think practically about goals. As I’ve talked about before in the podcast and blog the Christian life like many other things is made up of one big goal that can be broken down into smaller goals. A system is just takes that method and gives processes that help to regularly do what it takes to make smaller goals and accomplish them. Often, we have many goals so simply trying to attack them, one at a time will eventually cause burn out and stagnation. There needs to be some consistent way we deal with the challenge of goals.
Decide what Needs Systems
In Life Coaching it is a common theme to break up one’s life into accounts or main areas based on priority. We want to start by determining what sort of things are most important to us. This step is fairly simple think if I were to die 5 years from now, what would I want people to remember about me. Or what would I want to have accomplished, what would I have wanted to maintain. In the Book Living Forward the authors encourage imagining your funeral, what kind of Eulogy would you want told about you? Write these out…
Here are some accounts in my own life for an example of accounts:
Make the Big Goals into Small Goals
So, the next step is making smaller more manageable goals. What are the main areas that go into having a good marriage? As a Christian a great way to discover this is to do a topical study on the subject and then to see what the Biblical important things are in this area. You can do this by using a website/app like https://www.blueletterbible.org/ and looking up the thing you want to study. If I was studying marriage, I would look up words like marriage, love, spouse, husband, wife etc. Take 10-15 of the best verses type or write them out and ask yourself what is important according to God about marriage? Another method is to read some good books on the topic.
Here is an example (just an example my own account has more to it..) of smaller goals:
- Wheel Life (for a refresher on the wheel https://www.navigators.org/resource/the-wheel-illustration)
- Physical Fitness
- Quality Time
- Guys to disciple
- Major areas of current job
- Key Skills
Next you need to think about time. Manageable goals have a time limit that is timebound. So if your goal is for instance having a good marriage, then what is a timebound goal associated with that? Well say I know that spending time together is important for a marriage then I can come up with a timebound goal like “go on a date with my wife next Friday”. The key is beginning to make a habit of breaking down these bigger goals into smaller goals (logically) then breaking those down into time-bound steps that can be taken.
Now, for a System
Two great books on systems are Getting Things Done and Doing More Better. In these books the authors talk about how to do break out these areas like we’ve just gone over and then how to systematize them by doing things like arranging a day for regular review, utilizing tools like a simple calendar, task managing system etc. The important point is you want to keep putting manageable tasks in front of yourself.
So there you go! This is a simple break down to give you the idea, but I would encourage you to go on and read the referenced books to learn more and more importantly get started! It is not about getting it 100% perfect from the go it is about TAKING ACTION, because a journey is never accomplished if one never takes the first step. Alternatively, many small steps can often produce great results if we commit our actions to the Lord.
Let’s join Paul and “press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 3:14) in every area of our lives.