Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Question of the Week #1

Welcome to the first edition of "Question of the Week"...please answer in the comments OR write a blog post of your own and leave me a link to your answers! Feel free to borrow the graphic as well.

Are you a goal setter? Do you set goals for yourself? How often? Yearly? Monthly? Weekly? Daily? If you don't meet your goals, do you beat yourself up about it? How do you stay motivated and on task? Do you have goals about your Bible reading? Why or why not?

My answers:

Are you a goal setter?

Only when it comes to reading and blogging. Goals about cleaning my room? cleaning my desk? cleaning my closet? not so much!

Do you set goals for yourself? How often? Yearly? Monthly? Weekly? Daily?

Yes and no. If by 'setting' goals you mean that I always write out the goals, then only sometimes. I blog my goals sometimes. Other times my goals are all in my head. I have an idea, a plan, in my mind of what I want to get accomplished--on that day, over the weekend, during the week, during the month, etc.

I do think it's important to think about choices, to realize that choosing one thing means you're aware that you're not choosing a dozen other things. If I sit and watch three hours of TV, then I won't get this book read and I won't have a book to review tomorrow. So it's good to try to know what's really important to you overall and in that specific moment as well.

If you don't meet your goals, do you beat yourself up about it?

I find myself feeling guilt and shame over many things--some needless, or all mostly needless. If it's been taken to God in prayer, I need to let it go and not worry about it. Not use it as weapon. Not use it as an excuse. Not use it to numb myself. But not meeting goals for the sake of 'meeting goals' is nothing for me to worry over.

One of my big goals is reading the Bible. There are several responses that I've felt to not meeting that goal through the years. I think the most dangerous--for me--is numbness, indifference, just not caring, growing very hardened. If I don't spend time with God in prayer or in the Word (and hopefully in both) then I should feel something. It's important to feel. I should have a relationship with God that I miss--actively miss--on days when I don't find (or make) time for Him. I should so hunger and thirst for God that nothing else will satisfy me but Him. And if I'm not in a place where that is true, then something needs to change, I need to be changed. So guilt in and of itself isn't a good thing. But feeling something is better than feeling nothing.

Bible reading shouldn't be a duty. Shouldn't be a chore. Shouldn't be unpleasant drudgery. And it's okay to pray for change in this area. To pray to God, to cry out that you want to love reading the Bible, to experience the delight and joy of reading His Word, to change your appetite so that spiritual things are more satisfying to you than other things, more worldly things.

I've gone through times where I just loved reading the Bible, but I've also gone through times where I've wanted to do anything but read the Bible. There are time I seek it out, and times where I avoid it. Times where I'm ashamed of my lack of wanting to read the Bible. I've gone to both extremes. And back. And forth.

How do you stay motivated and on task?

Good question! I'd love to hear how YOU stay motivated. My motivation can disappear overnight on some goals. Projects that I was so passionately excited about just a month or two ago, can become drudgery. I can burn out on projects before they're completed. I can get overwhelmed. Easily. I try to remember why I wanted to do it in the first place. I try to see from different angles. See if there are small things I can change or modify to make me excited again. Little things that will give me new energy.

Do you have goals about your Bible reading? Why or why not?

My goal is to always read the Bible each day. But I don't usually set plans as to what books, chapters, and verse. Just some here, some there. I might make a goal to read in a certain Bible--a particular study bible, a particular translation. I try to aim for a middle goal--not too broad, but not too narrow. (For example, read the book of Matthew this week...not read Matthew 1-4 on Mon, Matthew 5-7 on Tuesday, etc.)

I like having spontaneity in my Bible reading. But I think it is important to always have a goal that you will read the Bible...even if that goal isn't always specific.


Soozie4Him said...

I don't have a blog, so I'll reply here. Yes, I'm a goal-setter, esp around New Year's! This year, my goals are to get healthier - lose 50 pounds (though I'd be thrilled with 20 to start with!) and exercise some, and to read the Bible through this year. This year I'm using the ESV Study Bible (instead of my usual NIV Study Bible) and I'm using a Chronological Reading Plan. My problem with this goal is that I'm always involved in at least two other Bible Studies, and I find it hard to keep up with the one-year plan AND my Bible Studies! For example, I have a whole week's worth of homework to do for a Beth Moore study by Thursday night! And I have a novel I'm reading for MidDay Connection's Book Club (Moody Radio) and the discussion is on Thursday and I'm not half done yet! Then MidDay is starting another Bible Study based on "Rewriting your Emotional Script" by Becky Harling and I ordered that book! Then I signed up on Beth Moore's website for a Scripture Memoziation challenge - two scriptures per month.

I'm a piano teacher - I have 30 students ranging in age from 5 to 55. I'm not teaching this week because I've been sick and I still don't have much of a voice. Right now I'm just working on getting all my reading and studies in (plus making a healthy dinner!) - hope I can keep all this up when the kids come back next week!

As far as feeling guilty if I don't meet my goals, well I guess I don't really feel guilty. I tend to think that time just got away from me! I do feel disappointed if there are days that go by when I'm not reading the Bible at all, but if I'm not doing my "reading plan" because I'm working hard on another Bible Study, then I figure at least I'm in God's Word!

So I'm trying to juggle all this! Comments welcome!!

moot96 AT aol DOT com

Anonymous said...

Hi all- My blog is acting up so I will share here.

Are you a goal setter?

In some areas. Most often I set goals too high and then don't achieve them. I am slowly learning to aim lower and follow through.

Do you set goals for yourself?

I do like to set goals but I like to keep them flexible. I tend to get irritated if they are too restrictive.

How often? Yearly? Monthly? Weekly? Daily?

All of the above.

If you don't meet your goals, do you beat yourself up about it?

Not so much anymore.

How do you stay motivated and on task?

That's still a problem for me.I guess find others who are similar to me and encourage each other.

Do you have goals about your Bible reading? Why or why not?

Yes, I want to read daily and complete the Bible in a year's time. I am currently following the M'Cheyne Bible reading plan located at ESV.org. If I don't follow a plan then I know I will let it fall by the wayside.

I fell behind immediately so I decided to listen to an audio book online to get caught up. That was a helpful change of pace and is good to fall back on.

Sandra said...

Thank you for inviting me to join Question of the Week Becky.

Goals are important in both secular and spiritual matters as humans are creatures of habit and time slips by quickly with all the easy distractions there are available in today's world. But goals have to be reasonable and reachable so as not to discourage us from trying. And reassessment of our goals from time to time is important because circumstances,obligations, or health can and do change. If we've taken on too much or set goals too high, adjustments may have to be made for the sake on balance in our lives.
My ultimate goal in Bible reading would be to read the Bible every year. I know it can be dome by reading 6 or 7 chapters a day. I got to Isaiah in six months of reading that much nightly, but was waylaid by hospitalization and health problems. I use the Bible regularly in studies, two meetings a week, personal study in preparation for those meetings, and a daily Bible text. So I don't beat myself up that a year has passed since I got into the nightly habit of Bible reading.
But I was delighted to find your challenge as it helps to have a reminder of this goal. And it's always a joy to find others who appreciate the value of God's Word as much as we do. The motivation to read it of course is to draw strength from his Holy Spirit which inspired the writing, feed ourselves spiritually, and improve our personal relationship with God.
At the end of the day the burden of problems we each face is lightened by knowing he cares and blesses us for our efforts. That feeling alone for me is worth setting aside a few minutes each day to read and meditate on his Word.
About motivation when we don't feel a longing for his Word, the answer is not an easy one but it is as true as when we don't feel like praying. That's when we need to do it most. So should we make ourselves do our Bible reading? Yes, because doing it is the best way of overcoming those very feelings. Trying a different translation often can put some excitement into our reading. There are several good modern translations.
My personal goal this year has to be different from what others will probably do with this challenge. I am going to start in Isaiah, chaper 7, where I left off last year and finish to Revelation this year. Chronic illness and disabilties will interfere, they always do, and I know I would be very disappointed with myself to not finish if I set my goal to read it from the beginning. I also know that reading the entire Bible through, finally, will be very satisfying and will motivate me to continue the habit. I think that's reasonable and reachable for me.
I look forward to reading others comments about their own goals.

hopeinbrazil said...

I agree with Sandra that goals have to be reachable. My daily goals are simple: get up before my kids so I can have undisturbed Bible reading time. After breakfast I wash up the dishes, put in a load of laundry and try to put in an hour of personal reading before I hit office work (I work at home). From there my day sort of takes on a life of its own!

Since I learned to study the Bible inductively it takes a lot longer to get through specific books so I no longer try to get through the Bible in one year (or even two or even three!) But I'm enjoying the rich treasures I'm digging up by spending more time in each book.

Tiffers said...

I am a goal setter. I may be a little OCD about it. I set goals for myself daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly. Depending on the goal determines whether I beat myself up about it. I keep a To Do list on my fridge at all times. It is broken up into days, weeks, months, and seasonal. I know, I said I was OCD about it. I set the goal to follow the plan I printed out and read the Bible daily. I have yet to stick to that plan. I've forgotten, doubled up on a couple of days, and here it is...midnight, and didn't read today. It frustrates me because I really do want to get into the habit (after time it will become second nature) of reading the Bible daily. I think I have missed out on some serious meditation time with the Lord because of it.

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

Am I a goal setter?

Yep. At work we have a lot going on so I have to keep multiple projects proceeding somehow.

At home, not so much. Its more in the line of to do lists.

I don't beat myself up about not making goals.

I agree that Bible reading should not be a chore. I'm trying to read it as I would any other book and look for the stories. The stories are great.

The way I keep myself motivated is two things. One I've learned that sometimes when you don't feel like doing anything, just go with it. The feeling never lasts for long. Two, I have to change things every now and then. If I cannot change what I'm doing then I change the way I'm doing what I'm doing.

sally906 said...

My answer is up on my:
Christian Blog

Hope I have done the html right :)

Sherrylinn said...

Hi Becky, thanks for starting this!

I'm a week behind, but will catch up soon.

I answered here: