Back to Blog Home

Setting Goals that Stick

(coach) shawn lovejoy video Mar 22, 2022

Everyone sets goals, but few follow through on them. Here are five ways you can begin setting goals that actually get done. 



#1 Consistently work ON it rather than working IN it

Take a morning or afternoon once a week, month, or quarter to evaluate and reflect. I like to take early Saturday mornings too work ON it, not just IN it and ask questions like:

Where do I / we need to go?

What do I / we need to be doing to get there?

How does my schedule and structure need to be adjusted?

These goals can and should be very comprehensive in nature. As I go, so goes the organization or team that I lead, so answer these questions applied to four primary areas:

  • Spiritual
  • Relational
  • Physical
  • Professional


#2 = Set “scoreboard” goals for each area that defines the win

Make sure these are SMART goals.

  • S = Specific 
  • M = Measurable 
  • A = Attainable 
  • R = Relevant 
  • T = Time-bound 

This format enables us to look and actually see how we’re doing.

Nothing is more demoralizing than always wondering, “How am I actually doing?”

You need to be able to know if and when you are winning!

Make sure your goals are specific and measurable:

For instance-- 

  • A bad goal would be: Write a book.
  • A good goal sounds more like: Write a book proposal on (subject) by (date).


  • Another bad goal: Lose weight.
  • That transformed into a good goal = Lose 10 pounds over
  • An even better goal would sound like: Lose 10 lbs by _______.

And, make sure the goals matter to your life (they’re relevant). 


#3 = Set process-oriented goals for each scoreboard goal 

Process-oriented goals are all about HABITS. If we are committed to the process, the scoreboard will take care of itself. Success (or the lack thereof) will largely be due to our habits.

For example-- 

  • Scoreboard goal: Lose 10 lbs by Jan 1.
  • Process-oriented goal: Eliminate all cokes and desserts. Exercise for thirty minutes 4 times/week for the next sixty days (and I will probably lose 10 lbs)!


  • Scoreboard goal: Write a book proposal.
  • Process-oriented goal: A good book should take 100+ hrs to put together, so I will calendar three hours every week to write, for one year. I will complete the outline and summary for one chapter by the end of each month.


#4 = Ask for accountablity  

Accountability puts real teeth into the process.

If we want to really be held accountable, ask for help from those closest to us. This is yet another reason why I believe so much in Coaching.

Why do we put so much time into this?

Because Accountability is the #1 Missing Ingredient in Leadership.


#5 = Tweak, but don’t retreat

If you were too aggressive or something fell through the cracks, that’s ok!

Adjust. Tweak the goal.

Focus on progress not perfection.

Failure is an event not a person.

The only way you fail is to quit. Don’t give up!

Goals are not about how good you are right now, they are about how much better you can be.

Set your goals…

Commit to the process…




This video comes from lesson 7 of The Church Catapult.

Don't miss a post!

We'll update you each time a new pastor-specific blog post or podcast publishes from Courageous Pastors!

We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.