I have a confession to make: I’ve never been a huge goal setter.

The importance of goal setting was espoused to me since first grade, but I never felt the urgency to actually do so. Putting my entire self into what’s at hand seemed to work well in my education and personal life. Part of the reason this worked was the structure that formal education provides. A lot of friction and decision making is abstracted away by the standardized way to do things.

Post-graduation, I’ve started to recognize more and more how important goal-setting and progress tracking is. As a trivial example, this blog would have languished into nothingness if a coworker hadn’t commented on reading it. With no set goal and tracking to write, there is no more scheduled cadence of “1A, 1B, 2A, …” that can act as a forcing function.

Setting goals helps take inventory of all the areas of life and roles we play, and what is important to us in each of these areas. Evaluating progress helps us be honest with ourselves regarding how we actually live our lives in light of these priorities.

At work, formal structures still exist to help facilitate this, in the form of quarterly “OKRs” (Objective Key Results) and performance evaluations. But even within these structures, personal daily, weekly, and yearly “OKRs” can make a huge difference in both my self-perceived and actual productivity.

An area in which this is even more crucial is personal life. Entropy is real – it is easy to run on autopilot, but much harder yet more valuable to live intentionally. More deeply, we are created and saved not to be slaves to our situations, but rather to be free to serve our living God in every area of our lives.

I’ve taken the first step and written up my 2020 OKRs, out of which an action plan will form. What will you do?