from our partnerLightWorkers Guest
written byJordan Lee Dooley
I’ve observed something over the last few years of working online: people today seem to spend more time commenting “goals” on social media posts that seem to embody the ideal than they do setting goals to get to where they want to go. Perhaps we need a strategy for setting goals that is truly effective in everyday life. Before I dive into that, I think it’s important that I put this out there: my goal is not merely to have a happy life. My goal is to live a meaningful life. That kind of life requires that I go through some seasons that don’t feel so happy. Of course, I want to experience happiness as well as success, but I do not want to be too focused on some made-up ideal. More than anything, I want to be intentional.
I don’t know about you, but I refuse to live my life based on certain conditions or outcomes (and I hope you do too). Unfortunately, far too many girls believe that until they get a certain job or unless they do any number of other things, they’ll miss out on their purpose.
My goal is not merely to have a happy life. My goal is to live a meaningful life. That kind of life requires that I go through some seasons that don’t feel so happy.
Do you know what living with that mindset is? It is living a life driven by pressure, not by purpose. If you live like that, you’ll be more unsuccessful than if you never got that job or that guy or whatever else it is you think your dreams depend on.
Sister, please redefine how you look at success.
What if you stopped looking at it as this big jackpot you have to win and instead saw it as little wins that happen when you focus on being who God made you to be? Instead of defining success only as something based on your future, your career or your accomplishments, consider how you might be able to succeed every single day if you simplify how you define it.
If you created micro-success factors, or doable daily goals, you’d be equipped to succeed at life every day (which, I believe, would be motivation to continue improving and growing!). For example, micro-success factors for me include these daily goals:
- I will be off my phone and will spend quality time with my husband by 6:00 p.m.
- I will move my body for thirty minutes.
- I will talk to God.
- I will write one thousand words.
What if we simplified how we viewed success so that every day felt not like a waiting game but instead like an intentional day on the path to walking out the life we’re made for?
My challenge to you is to take your eyes off all the success and status symbols online and consider what success looks like in your personal life. Define it on both a macro and micro level.
First, go big. What has God put on your heart to do in a big way? What fires you up? What dream or idea seems totally crazy in the very best way? Write those big ideas and goals down.
Then, go small. Focus on the ways you can find success every day. What micro-success factors, or daily goals, would make each day feel like an achievement, propelling you closer to those bigger goals? In addition to writing down the big stuff, write down your micro-success factors and stick them on your mirror or set them as a wallpaper on your phone.
Having faith and following through on these simple disciplines can be critical to bringing the bigger goals to fruition. These micro-success factors not only will help you live a more intentional life each day but also will serve as the action plan to get you from point A to point B when it comes to those bigger dreams. You can’t have one without the other.
Micro-success factors and daily disciplines matter because they add up. If you can go to bed every single night and see the day as a success, you’re going to be less bogged down by the pressure to prove and more able to make progress toward what you’re made to do.
As founder of the SoulScripts shop, host of the SHE podcast, author of OWN YOUR EVERYDAY and someone widely recognized for her tagline, “Your Brokenness is Welcome Here,” Jordan Lee Dooley has become a go-to source that thousands of women around the world look to for daily inspiration in their faith, work, relationships and everyday life. Embracing her Indiana roots, Jordan shares a simple life with her husband, Matt, and their dog, Hoosier. Get to know her at JordanLeeDooley.com
Adapted from Own Your Everyday: Overcome the Pressure to Prove and Show Up for What You Were Made to Do. Copyright © 2019 by Jordan Lee Dooley. To be published by WaterBrook, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC, on May 14.