So how do you determine your win? How is a goal conceived? While this can happen in all kinds of ways, it often happens when a pain point bubbles to the surface in your life. For an example, I’ll share how one of my goals was born.
I have six kids. That’s half a dozen. An entire starting hockey team. How many geese there were a-laying. A Brady Bunch. A lot of kids.
I also have a church I pastor. A staff of hundreds I lead. Books I write. A podcast I produce. Conferences I speak at. Like you, my schedule stays pretty dang busy.
Defining your win is how you begin.
Over the years, my kids would sometimes ask me to do something. I would apologetically say no. I loved spending time with them but felt like I was just too busy. Something on my agenda seemed too pressing. My kids were getting older and my time with them shorter, but I still often felt forced to say no to time together.
One day, I was reading a book by Chip Heath and Dan Heath called The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact. Their words hit me like a Mike Tyson punch to the throat. I was reading the book for my job, trying to figure out how I could create amazing moments at church. But I should have been reading the book for my family. I needed to create amazing moments with my children.
I realized my church can find another pastor. Someone else can do a leadership podcast. (And there are many who do). But my kids will never have another dad. I needed to get better at prioritizing them.
Instantly, I defined a new win: to create moments of extraordinary impact with my kids. I didn’t want to miss any more opportunities with them, so I decided:
If they initiated, I would say yes and do what they wanted to do for as long as they wanted to do it.
I would initiate a meaningful conversation with them daily. (Not necessarily all of them every day. I mean, there are six!)
I would initiate an activity they love weekly.
I was excited.
I should have been excited and apprehensive. I had no idea saying yes would lead to having my fingernails painted or to a bunch of teenage girls doing my hair. I could not have predicted the number of hours I would spend learning TikTok dances or playing pickleball. We also climbed a giant cross. We found our way onto the roof and catwalk of our church. I cannot count how many late-night fast-food and ice-cream runs we have made. None of that fits with the rhythm of how I prefer to do life. I committed to doing what they wanted for as long as they wanted. I did not realize my son Stephen would want to play catch from now until Easter. Of 2029!
Defining and working toward my new win didn’t take shape the way I had imagined. It has taken far more time than I expected. Yet I have loved every minute. I had no idea that quality time with my kids would lead to unbelievably great conversations. I never anticipated my son would tell his friends, “My dad is my best friend.” Wow.
I started by defining my win: to create moments of extraordinary impact with my kids.
Have you defined your win? This step is so vital to creating real change. Defining your win is how you begin.
But spoiler alert: defining the win is not—I repeat not—how you win. We will get to that. Defining the win is not how you win but how you begin. You create a goal, and goals are great.
Why? Because goals give you direction.
Groeschel, Craig. 2023. The Power to Change: Mastering the Habits That Matter Most. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
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