Set the Goal

May 4, 2011

Today's post is part of my blog series of sharing chapter four of my book, A Day of Hope: Leading Volunteers to Make a Difference in Your Community. I hope you find reading the book over the next couple weeks to be enjoyable and beneficial to you as a leader.

Today's post is about setting a goal. Setting a goal for this section of my book is specific to A Day of Hope, but can be applied to all areas of life. I firmly believe that the most important part of goal setting is to review your goals regularly. It is easy to set a goal, put it aside, and forget about it. If you set goals, be sure to review them regularly and work towards them daily.

Enjoy today's post about setting a goal!


When preparing, I believe it’s important to first decide how many people you want to serve.  Right out of the gates go ahead and set your goal.  That goal will be where you do much of your work from.  It will be what you tell people you’re going to do and will be the leverage to have them support you. 

In Claude M. Bristol’s book, The Magic of Believing, he states, “Man can bring into materialization anything that he can conceive mentally, and the millions of[i] things we use and enjoy today prove it.”  In 2005, I set a goal for us to deliver baskets of food to 30 families in Turlock for Thanksgiving.  That first year we ended up feeding 48 families, and the number of families we’ve been able to serve has grown since then. 

As Claude Bristol stated, I believe the work of A Day of Hope is evidence that anyone can create and make something happen.  A Day of Hope started as an idea in my head of a creative way to serve people in need.  Since that first year, we have fed 1,081 families resulting in 4,865 people having received a Thanksgiving meal. 

When setting the goal, just let your mind run wild.  Don’t think of if it’s realistic or not.  If you feel like you can feed 10 families and that will be a stretch, then set the goal and do it.  If you feel like you can find a way to feed 1,000 families, then set the goal and let the chips fall where they may.

The goal is extremely important because it’s the target you’ll be shooting for.  Every time you talk with someone and share the vision for your project, you’ll want to share your goal.  I’ve found that when you set a goal and start passionately working towards it, people will rally around you and help you make it happen.

Here are what our goals have been over the past five years and what we’ve actually achieved. 

Year                            Goal                            Accomplishment

2005                            30                                48

2006                            150                              211

2007                            750                              146

2008                            250                              292

2009                            350                              384

As you can see, every year we’ve been fortunate to grow and serve more people except for 2007 when we experienced some set backs.

The goal you set for your project will be vital to your success.  The goal will give you something to aim at every day as you work towards it.

Question: What is your process for setting and working towards goals?

[i] Claude M. Bristol, The Magic of Believing (New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, Inc., 1969), 112

Christopher L. Scott

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Christopher Scott is Small Groups Pastor at Rocky Hilly Community Church in Exeter, CA. He has more than ten years of experience leading volunteers, running nonprofit programs, and teaching the Bible in small group settings. He holds a bachelor's degree from Fresno Pacific University and master's degree from Dallas Theological Seminary.

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