My Thoughts on Goals and Comparison

What exactly are "goals?"

If I were Websters Dictionary, I would define them very simply:  "Something I want to do or accomplish."  (I like things short and sweet don't you?)

I've been pretty slow in sharing my goals for 2012 and there's a reason for that.  It's so easy to look around me and say "Ooo...I want to do that...and that....oh and this would be a great idea too!!"  I get ahead of myself when I plop down and make an arbitrary list on a whim.  It lacks focus and I just set myself up for failure.

What I've learned over the years is that before setting your goals in stone, evaluation is an absolute necessity!  Write down all those great ideas and then go through them one by one and evaluate them. 

But how do we evaluate them?  Here's a few simple filters to run your goals through:

Gods Word and Prayer. Are my goals lining up with scripture?  Are they self-centered?  Worldly?  What is my motivation for this certain goal?  Have I actually prayed about this?

Family Values.  As in, what is important to your family?  Forget about the "Jones's!" Will this thing I want to accomplish benefit my family as a whole?

Season. You need to consider your current life situation.  Where are you at?  Single?  Newlyweds? Married but with no kids? Homeschooling Momma of many? Empty nesters?  Does what I desire really fit with the season of life I'm currently in?

{:Clearing throat:} 

Attention: I am now going to step up on my soapbox.  I can do that since I'm a pastor's wife, right?? =)

Lately, many people have been publishing what their goals are for this year.  I read two lists and I wanted to curl up in the fetal position in the corner of my bedroom and weep over my apparent failure.  I started thinking, "Why can't I do all those things?  What is wrong with me???  I am such a LOSER!"  

I'm always continually amazed at how true Scripture is!  The Bible says comparing ourselves among ourselves is not wise. (2 Corinthians 10:12)  And I am one gal that is great at comparing! (Raise your hand if you are one of those!)  I can be like that first grader who says, "Oh yeah, well my dad is stronger than your dad!!"  Except it's the other way around.  It's more like, "Wow, her blog header is so much prettier than mine." ....."Her photography makes mine look like a first graders."  Or, "Look at her outfit...I look so frumpy!", or "Why can't my home look like a magazine cover like hers does??"

Sound familiar?  

Comparison is a slippery slope. Comparison leads to discontentment.  Discontentment leads to discouragement.  Discouragement leads to depression.  We operate as joyless, depressed women because we are so busy taking of note of how different we are from everybody else!

And that's just it.  I'm not you.  You are not me.  (Yes, I'm stating the obvious, but I'm trying to get you to see something.)  Nothing about you is the same as anybody else.  God created you as a unique individual and gave you a set of life circumstances that is different from the rest of the world.  Therefore, your expectations and goals should be different from others!  

Your personal goals are just that: your goals.  If you make your goals based on what everybody else does, it's foolish and you may just fall flat on your face.  It is entirely possible that you will accomplish some of them, but you will be joyless and defeated all because you want to be like "so and so!"  

Friends, don't get caught up in the hype.  Stop the "comparison" game.  Be yourself.  Set goals relevant for you and your family.  Enjoy the year, accomplishing all that God has for YOU.

{:Stepping off soapbox:}  =)

Are you like me?  Do you struggle with goal setting because of the "comparison game?"  

Linking up to Serenity Now


  1. OUCH! My toes hurt! :) I raised my hand at the invitation, too. ;) Thanks for the great reminder, Laine! It takes those heart to heart, packed-with-wisdom talks to keep me on track. : )


  2. A thought provoking post, Laine. I'm usually a goal setter and list maker, but this year...nothing yet, other than planning a family vacation and losing the last 10 pounds. I've been praying about where the Lord wants me in this new season of life. One of my girls has flown the coop, with another one not far behind, so there's no demand on my time (job or kids), other than taking care of my husband and home. We've become marriage mentors in our church's marriage ministry and have time to serve in other areas, as well. I'm enjoying this time of not being busy and being available for whatever needs come up.

  3. Thank you for this great post. Your idea on "filters" is such great advice. And the rest about comparing is very timely for me today. What a beautiful heart you have. Thank you.

  4. Thank you for this great reminder, Laine! It's just what I needed! =)

  5. Thank you for posting this! It was just what I needed to hear. I need to stop comparing what I have or don't have to others, I am as exactly what God created me to be like and who am I to argue with him about how I want to be like her or that girl or this woman? He knows what he's doing :)

  6. Thank you Laine. Last year I felt many times like I wasn't being a good wife, mother, pastors wife, and friend because I was reading about everyone else that was doing so much more then I was. I compare SO much!!! You are right, I am not others and I need to focus on what God wants for my life. That is one reason why I started a blog then took a break from it. It was not what was right for my family. It was all the wrong timing too. I was doing it more because 'everyone else was and I wanted to be cool too!' Thank you for this gentle reminder. And I do want to restart my blog this year, but I have a few things that I need to accomplish first. All in God's timing in my life!

  7. A very worthy soapbox. VERY good reminder!

  8. Such good thoughts for all of us. So hard in the blogging world not to be envious of what another's life APPEARS to be since most of the time as positive people we choose to share mostly the Good stuff.
    Helps to remember that no one's life is perfect and we ALL have much to be thankful for!
    Thanks for sharing!


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