“The best way to make employees happy is to set realistic goals and achieve them. The big job is to make sure those small steps are pointing us in the right direction and demonstrate at the end of the year that they all add up to something pretty great.”
~ Leila Janah
We recently began a New Year. Many people, at the beginning of a New Year, make resolutions for themselves that are quickly abandoned. Most often, the reason for the abandonment is that the resolutions were never realistic and attainable in the first place. For example, there is a huge difference between saying “I will lose some weight” versus “I will lose 100 pounds.” While the ultimate goal might be the fact that someone needs to lose 100 pounds, setting that as the immediate goal is going to feel daunting and, therefore, will probably be ignored.
We often do that with our spiritual lives as well. People might say that they are going to volunteer in all sorts of areas; i.e., become a Eucharistic Minister, become a lector, become a cantor, sing in the choir, work at the homeless shelter, and help St. Vincent de Paul. Then, when they look at the huge time commitment that would have to happen for all of the above, they fail to volunteer for anything. If, instead, they would involve themselves in one ministry, one opportunity, they would be able to do it. They would find the time much easier than attempting to do everything at once.
I know that these examples might sound absurd. However, I think that both you and I know that there are those who have attempted to do things like that. For them, it appeared to have been the philosophy of “all or nothing.” When they found that they could not do all, they ended up doing nothing.
If someone volunteers for everything, that person is more than likely going to feel frustrated in short order. They are going to feel stressed and not have the energy — emotional or spiritual — to accomplish what is necessary. The whole moral of this lesson is quite simple: start small.
I have said on many occasions that God does not look for quantity. He looks for quality. He doesn’t expect us to do everything; but, He does expect us to do something. Therefore, we need to look at our lives and at the opportunities available to us and choose to do something about our faith. We need to set goals for ourselves: small, realistic goals. In doing so, we will find that we are able to achieve what we began. That will give us the impetus to set even more goals, perhaps even larger goals. However, while larger, they will still be realistic and attainable.
If we can set goals for our faith lives and accomplish them, we will find a sense of peace and joy in the doing.
FAITH ACTION: Make sure that the faith goals you set for yourself this day are realistic so that you will accomplish them.