99 goals for 2011 – a planning exercise

Richard asked me about my 99 goals for 2011.

I told him that my friend Marc has talked about an annual goal-setting exercise, one that starts by making a list of 100 goals for the year.

I struggle with goals. I’m a second chair person. I help other people get their goals done. I used to have three words for a year. This year I could only do one. But for some reason, I decided to try the exercise.

I started listing things that I wanted to do. Not a bucket list kind of “before I die” list, but a list of things that I knew needed to get done in 2011.

  • The first one was done as soon as I picked my word for the year: 1. Pick one word: Disciple.
  • Some of them are for home: 23. Get the basement carpet cleaned.
  • Some of them are for work: 18. Create a new video for Easter.
  • Some of them are simple: 59. tell ___ about ___.
  • Some of them are not even goals but are more like notes to myself: 3. My job is not ‘to write’. It’s to help people understand. Writing is one way that happens.
  • Some will be done at the end of the year: 40. Write 300 for another year.
  • Some of them will never be finished: 4. Decide what the single most important thing to do is, and do it.

So I wrote out 99 goals. I left the last one blank because I knew that my year would grow and change. And so it has.

By the end of February, 16% of the year was done. 15% of the list was done.

I find myself regularly going back to the list. It’s a way to organize my attention.

I know this isn’t very spiritual. I know this doesn’t look much like following Jesus.

But it is. Every day. Every step.

10 thoughts on “99 goals for 2011 – a planning exercise

  1. Diane Brogan

    I am reading your interesting post and I get to the line: “I know this isn’t very spiritual.” and I start sending you messages. Jon, this really is spiritual! You are showing others a way to live life to the fullest and be helpful to others.

    Then I see the final line.

    Thank you.


  2. Frank Reed

    Based on who I know you to be I am going to assume that there was some prayer involved in making that list. I’ll take a flyer and say that that is spiritual :-).

    Faith in Christ and walking with him happens in every step, every day like you said. We often confuse spiritual with spectacular. Let’s face it most of life isn’t spectacular, it’s ordinary. He wants us to let Him in for every normal second.

    Thanks, Jon. You’ve made me think this morning!


  3. Rich Dixon

    “This isn’t very spiritual.” Interesting that the first two comments zeroed in on that line as well. It makes me wonder what “spiritual” means.

    Your list certainly isn’t religious–no rituals or fancy words or doctrine.

    It might be interesting for each of us to define what we mean when we say something is, or isn’t, spiritual.


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