Redeeming Productivity

How to Choose a Goal

Published about 1 month ago • 4 min read

Issue #160

Your weekly roundup of insights and resources to help you get more done for the glory of God.

Read on the Web

In Today’s Issue:

  • A Clarifying Question
  • Am I Abusing Caffeine?
  • The Problem with Seeking Meaning from Work
  • How to Create a Distraction-Free Phone
  • Quote: Faithful Christianity Isn't Accidental

Dear steward,

Setting goals is not just a strategy; it's a necessity for growth. Whether it's spiritual growth, physical health, relationships, or vocation, we rarely grow by accident.

Setting a goal is simply acknowledging the gap between where you are and where you want to be and creating a plan to close that gap. For the believer, this process begins with the premise that the goal of all goals is the glory of God. I want to grow because I want to be a good steward of this life.

But how do we choose which goal to focus on?

This hurdle comes up every quarter in the Academy when we do our quarterly goal-setting challenge. I'm convinced many of us fail to faithfully pursue our goals not because of a lack of goals but because we have too many goals! We don't know where to focus our energies, so we end up doing nothing at all.

There are many ways to clarify which goal you might choose to focus on. But this week, I stumbled across this 2-minute video of Brian Tracy, author of Eat the Frog, that presented a simple clarifying exercise I thought was interesting.

Here's how Tracy recommends determining which goal to focus on:

  1. Write down ten potential goals you'd like to accomplish in the next 12 months.
  2. Then, ask this clarifying question, "If I could only accomplish one goal on this list, but I could accomplish it within 24 hours, which one goal would have the greatest positive impact on my life?" (We might modify this slightly and ask, "Which would most glorify God," or something similar).
  3. Next, flip the paper over and write the one goal that jumped out at you. Set a deadline, and write down everything you might do to reach it.
  4. Finally, commit to doing something daily that moves you one step toward that goal.

That 24-hour part is the key to the whole thing. It's hard to picture goals that are far off. But dragging our plans closer to the present, even if it's just in our imagination, can help us clarify what's really most important in this season.

Imagine where you'd be in your walk with the Lord, career, health, and relationships if you committed to this simple exercise a few times a year.

Incidentally, this is precisely what we help believers do in Redeeming Productivity Academy. Our Q2 Goal Challenge just kicked off this month. There's still time to join us to get accountability to help you reach one big, God-glorifying goal over the next 13 weeks. You can learn more here.



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The best links I found this week

Am I Abusing Caffeine? (7 mins)

John Piper / Desiring God

It’s been a year since I wrote about my decision to quit drinking coffee daily and be more sparing and strategic in my consumption.

But I recently realized I’ve once again become more dependent on bean juice than I would prefer. So, Piper's questions were very timely for me, and I think they are worth considering for every believer.

  1. “Energy drinks are lawful for me, but are they helpful to my real advantage?”
  2. “Energy drinks are lawful for me, but do they dominate (or master or enslave) me?”
  3. “Energy drinks are lawful for me, but does my drinking of them build up? Does it build up my faith? And particularly, does it build up the faith of others?”

Worth reading or listening to the whole thing.

A Frequent Mistake: Seeking Meaning From Work (4 mins)

Dr. Renita Reed-Thompson / Institute for Faith, Work & Economics

I made the mistake of trying to derive meaning FROM my work instead of bringing meaning TO my work. I thought that if I would just get the right job, somehow it would fulfill me. Instead, I have learned that God uses our work to do his work in us.

This is a crucial distinction.

How to Create a Distraction-Free Phone (57 mins)

Jake Knapp & Brett McKay / The Art of Manliness Podcast

This interview with Jake Knapp explores some of the strategies he's employed over the past 12 years to create a phone that serves him without being a distraction.

Here are a few of my favorite ideas from the episode:

  • Even when you aren't on your phone, there's always that tug to check it. And it's worth it to take steps to remove that tug.
  • Using Screen Time or getting a dumbphone aren't always the best solutions
  • You can temporarily install apps, like email while traveling, then delete the app after that trip.
  • Which apps to keep: Music, podcasts, maps, camera, password manager (interesting that it's mostly the default apps)



Quote of the Week

"A true and faithful Christian does not make holy living an accidental thing. It is his great concern. As the business of the soldier is to fight, so the business of the Christian is to be like Christ."

Jonathan Edwards


The Christian Productivity Planner

I announced the launch of our new Notion template last week, and your interest in it has blown me away.

If you're looking for a tool to help you organize your life more for God's glory, check out the Christian Productivity Planner for Notion.

Thanks for reading! I'll see you next week.

Reagan Rose

I talk about personal productivity from a Christian perspective. Creator of ​Redeeming Productivity​.

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