Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. (1 Tim. 6:17-18)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

4 Steps To Move From Intention To Accomplishment

Photo by Calsidyrose
Direction not intention determines our destination - Andy Stanley

Intention Is Easy

I don't know about you, but I intend to do a lot of stuff. I'm forever making to-do lists. I'm just the type of guy that likes to get things done, especially easy items that I can quickly check off my list and move on.

There are other items that cannot be so quickly dismissed. For example, let's say I need to lose 30 pounds. I could attempt to work out all day, lose the weight, cross it off my list, and then move on to my next to-do item. No, you and I both know it doesn't exactly work that way. The process of losing 30 pounds takes daily actions and discipline in order to accomplish this goal over time. It's not a "one and done" type of activity.

Or, take another example. Let's say I have the intention of raising Godly kids. I can't have just one round of good night prayers and call it good. I can't pray the sinner's prayer with my daughters when they're six years old and say "mission accomplished." Again, it's a series of daily discussions and spiritual activities that prayerfully will lead to my raising a family that loves the Lord.

Intending to accomplish big goals and dreams such as these are great things, don't get me wrong. You can intend to do these all day long. But, unless you set up your life, your thoughts, your activities, and your daily habits to lead you in the direction of your intentions, then the intentions are pointless. You probably know the old proverb, "The road to hell is paved with good intentions!"

4 Steps To Accomplish Your Intentions

So, if you don't want to live a life of unfulfilled intentions, what do you need to do? Here are my thoughts on four ways to accomplish your intentions:
  1. Establish The Vision. In order to know what you desire to accomplish, you need to establish the vision. Perhaps, you have a vision of being debt free. Maybe, you have a vision of a family that is sold out to the Lord. Or, you want to live to age 100. Whatever visions or dreams you may have for yourself, your family, your business, or your church, get those clear in your mind and write them down.
  2. Take Action. Okay, so once you have a vision for what you desire, then you must take action. Write down a list of "baby steps" that you can take to get to your ultimate destination. For example, let's say you have a vision for a family that is sold out for the Lord. What small, regular steps can you take to help you reach that destination? Perhaps, those steps might be: attending church each Sunday as a family, having a devotional and prayer time before bed each night, modeling Godly behavior before your kids, and taking opportunities to talk about spiritual truths at every life opportunity.
  3. Evaluate Your Action. Once you have an action plan and you're following through with those small actions, then you need to occasionally stop and review those actions. Are these actions actually moving you to your intended destination or not? 
  4. Change Action As Needed. So, if after evaluating your current actions you are not moving in the direction of accomplishing your intentions, then it's time to stop and change your action plan. Seek out some counsel and guidance on the matter. Find somebody who has accomplished your intended vision. Pick their brain for a better action plan, then move back to #2, and start again.
What Direction Are You Headed?

After reading this post, where are you headed? Do you have a bunch of intentions, but no clear direction to get you down the path of those intentions? Or, do you have a direction that you're heading, but it doesn't seem to really be accomplishing your intended vision?

Take some time today to evaluate your current intentions and direction. Then, follow these steps and get after it!

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