The problem with most of us is not that we don’t dream big enough, it’s that our dreams and goals get lost in the shuffle each working day.
The biggest casualty of the daily grind, surprisingly, is not your inboxes (they eventually get emptied), your meeting schedule (you make your meetings) or the urgent things that have to get done.
The casualty is the important things. The things that will drive your life and organization forward. The thing that will fuel your mission, move you to another level and the thing that will inevitably give you the deepest satisfaction.
The problem is you never get to those things.
Last year, I tried something different. I decided to spend a chunk of my time and energy every month working on one big thing. Something so big it was literally a goal that would take a full year to implement. It became the one big thing I was working on.
Last year it was a financial goal: to help hundreds of families find financial margin in their lives, to help them live on mission financially and create a stronger future for us together as a church. I did a few things to help me accomplish this goal. A few of the things I did include:
- setting time aside every week to work on this one big thing.
- engaging our whole team on this one big thing.
- enlisting Casey Graham and Giving Rocket to help us (I’m not being paid to give this endorsement, but seriously, ministry leaders you should join Giving Rocket).
- deciding to make a full year commitment to the project, and an ongoing commitment to make it part of our DNA.
- being willing to measure results annually, not just weekly or monthly.
The results surprised even me. We surpassed every target we set. The only difference this year is this single subject had far more of my attention and the attention of our team. Sure, we prayed and God was very gracious. But God wasn’t any less gracious on the years we failed to meet our hopes and dreams. He’s always been in favour of generosity.
It made me realize the difference the focus on the leader can have. And with so many things competing for it, it’s our responsibility to choose our focus carefully and strategically.
This year, my focus is going to be on leadership development. 12 months of committed focus to helping raise up more leaders. This has always been important. It just hasn’t had my full attention. But this year it will.
So what about you? What’s your one big thing you need to get done but never find time for? Here are some questions to help you discover it
- What would on things would most benefit the mission you’re trying to accomplish?
- What do you hope to accomplish more than anything else over the next twelve months?
- What would make the organization you help lead significantly better twelve months from now if you were to accomplish it?
We tend to overestimate what we can accomplish by focusing on something for a week, and underestimate what can be accomplished if we focus on something for a year. Take it a step further: after having focused on ten things over a decade, can you imagine how different your world could be?
What have you learned about setting one big goal? How has it helped channel your energy and attention?