A Goal Needs a Plan, Otherwise You Have No Goal

A goal without a plan is just a wish. — Antoine de Saint-Exupery

I like to set goals and achieve them.

Yet, many of the goals I set, I don’t achieve.

Why? I am a better goal-setter than I am a planner. I’ve learned that if I have a goal and no plan to achieve that goal, I really have no goal. 

Setting a goal is great. Setting a goal without the plan to achieve that goal will only bring you frustration.

Remember, a goal is nothing more than a desired outcome. To get that required outcome requires a very specific plan. 

For example,  I have wanted to replace all of the closet doors in the bedrooms of my house for several years. This is the goal. I have failed to achieve the goal because I have no plan to achieve the goal. (Sad, but true.)

So most days I try to use one of those doors and remember I have a goal to fix them. (Frustration). Yet, unfixed they will go until I create a plan.

Here’s what that might look like.



  1. Watch a Youtube video on how to fix a closet doors.
  2. Buy or borrow the necessary tools to fix the doors.
  3. Set aside an afternoon to fix the doors.
  4. Fix the doors.
  5. Dispose of the old doors.
  6. Celebrate the achievement of a goal!

Ready to achieve more of your goals? Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • What is my SPECIFIC  desired OUTCOME? This is my GOAL. (Write it down.)
  • What is my VERY SPECIFIC PLAN to achieve this goal? (Write it down.)

Now, you might be asking yourself: well this is all very simple and obvious.

Well then, you should start achieving more of your goals.  You’re welcome.  🙂

I ran 1,596 miles in 2016! This is how I did it!

I am not trying to boast here so stick with me. I learned a ton from running all of these miles that I want to pass it on to you.

But it’s true, I ran 1596.82 miles in 2016. I could have run from Chicago to Las Vegas. Those are Forrest Gump miles!

Thanks to my trusty Garmin 15 I know I ran for 231.05 hours and burned 193,967 calories. I ran 199 of the 365 days of the year.

I am utterly shocked by all of this. I don’t check my miles everyday. Usually I run for a week or so before I sync my watching with my computer. My plan was simply to ‘run’ in 2016 because I love to run. I signed up for one marathon so I knew I would need to train for that. I certainly had no plan to run 1600 miles!

Here’s how I accumulated all of these miles…

Continue reading “I ran 1,596 miles in 2016! This is how I did it!”

The Difference Between Strategy and Tactics

Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory, tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” —Sun Tsu, Ancient Chinese Military strategist

It is helpful for church planters to understand the difference between strategy and tactics.

They are often confused.

I am a military history buff and after serving in the regular Army I have learned the difference between strategy and tactics.

(And please note, I am not an advocate of militaristic language when it comes to Kingdom work. I simply want to illustrate this point because I think it can help you plant reproducing churches.)strategy_tactics

• Strategy is how you’re going to win the war. It involves all of the plans, operational maneuvering, activities, and objectives you need to win the war.
• Tactics are how you’re going to win the battle that will win the war.

Battles win wars.

But fighting a battle without a strategy will just lead to carnage. You might win a battle or two, but you will lose the war.

You need both. You cannot have one without the other.

Understanding the difference should help you achieve your goals.

I hope this helps.

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And thanks for reading.

Another Look

When was the last time you took another look at what you were doing? 
When was the last time you asked yourself if what you were doing is worth it?
When was the last time you asked if what you were doing was going to get you to where you wanted to be?

I spent several hours going through my blog the other day.I wanted to understand what I’d written.  I also wanted to determine if anything I’d written had made a difference? I wanted to know that all of that time and energy was worth it.I haven’t blogged in several months. Several writing projects have stalled on me…again.So I decided to schedule some time on my calendar to simply have another look at my blog to determine what I should do with it.Three hours later, I am not sure I have any clear answers.

What did strike me were the comments.

Good people have commented on my blog and it was those comments that I found inspiring. I mean, I hope what I have to say helps church planters. But what I also want to do is simply encourage people to do what God has called them to do. It seems I may have done that on one or two posts.

See, I’ve been writing on and off for years. It started with journaling in college. That led to short stories, some attempts and novels.

Eventually I started a blog. That was right about the time we were considering moving to Kansas City to plant churches.

I started blogging again after my brother died. I can’t tell you why exactly. I just felt like I had something to say. Not about him or his death per se. But about church planting. I wanted to be sure that I was helping people anyway I could and that happened to be church planters.

If what I write helps anyone, then it seems worth it.

The older I get the more I realize that my life is about helping people bridge the gap between where they are and where God is calling them to be.

All I am saying is that stopping; taking a break and having a look around is a good thing. Without it, we can find ourselves lost or overwhelmed.

It helped me.

I don’t know what you’re working on in life. I don’t know how you’re spending your time.

What I am saying is that it’s worth it to pause and have another look to ensure it’s all worth it.

The Most Important Question of the Day

Think of all of the things you want to do today as a leader. MostImportantQuestion

Perhaps it’s…

  • Arrive to your first meeting on time
  • Work on an important project
  • Set an agenda for your next meeting
  • Make some calls
  • Return emails
  • Send some emails
  • Follow-up with people

There are literally thousands of things you could be doing today. And all of them, to one degree or another, are important.

But maybe, the most important things aren’t always the most important things.

Perhaps wanting to get stuff done isn’t good enough?

What about the things you really want to accomplish as a leader? When are you going to get to those?


Maybe it’s…

  • Starting a new and better project?
  • Writing a book?
  • Stoping that thing you should have never started?
  • Finish something you should have finished?
  • Reorganize your team
  • Get the training you need

Leaders must push-through all the stuff that needs to be done (or even must be done) and instead focus on what they really are called to accomplish. 

To do this, leaders must make a habit of asking themselves the most important question: “Given what I truly what I want to accomplish today, what will be the best use of my time right now?”

All we have is the present. Yesterday is gone and tomorrow isn’t guaranteed. We all know this, but do we bother doing anything about it?

There are plenty of things we leaders need to do and yes, some we must do.

But until we start asking the question: what is the best use of my time right now, we run the risk of wasting hours and days accomplishing very little.

What about you? Given what you truly want to accomplish today, what will be the best use of your time right now?”

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And thanks for reading–I really appreciate it.