A new year brings renewed energy and the drive to accomplish big dreams. That's great and we should capitalize on that momentum. Unfortunately, momentum and excitement alone won't finish the plans for that new marriage conference or reorganizing your staff structure. To go from goal to reality, we have some work to do. So, how do you make progress and accomplish your goals? Here are a few tips to get you going:
Tip #1: Set realistic deadlines
Maybe you were feeling overly ambitious when you set your goals and thought you could plan five large-scale events, implement new church management software, and reorganize your staffall by Easter. Let's revisit that idea. Review your goals and consider the effort required to complete them while you're maintaining the regular service schedule. Who can work on each effort? How much of their time can they dedicate to a new project? Talk with your team and set realistic deadlines.
Tip #2: Hold your team accountable for meeting deadlines
Once you've received their input and set the deadlines, you need to hold them (and yourself) accountable. Ask for updates each week and have your team inform you immediately if they think a deadline is in jeopardy (and why). Work together to overcome obstacles.
Tip #3: Reiterate the vision
Chipping away at tasks in an effort to meet a goal can be exhausting. It's easy to get discouraged when you're working hard but not seeing tangible progress yet. That's why you must remind your team of why they're pushing towards their deadlines. They need inspiration and encouragement along the way.
Tip #4: Adjust plans as needed
Life happens and plans aren't etched in stone. Something (or many things) may come up that require your immediate attention, diverting you from working on your goals. Deal with the issue, then come back and adjust your plan. Don't let a minor setback keep you from getting back on track as soon as possible.
Tip #5: Celebrate incremental victories
This goes back to motivation and inspiration. When you're working on a larger project, take time to celebrate meeting key deadlines. Don't wait until the end to encourage your team. Pause for a moment to celebrate the small wins and make sure your team knows how much you appreciate their dedication.
Motivation tends to wane as we go from vision to implementation. Set realistic deadlines, keep your team on-track and throw a big celebration, as you look back on 2015 amazed at what you achieved together.