Sport Principle 38: Get a clear game plan – have a goal to aim for

About the Sport Principle

Michael Jordan, arguably the world’s greatest ever basketball player, said: ‘You will always miss 100% of the shots you don’t take’. If you don’t have a target to aim at, you will always miss. The world’s top athletes in all sports have their targets clearly written down for them on all kinds of documentation by their coaching staff. They have to. Often their funding depends on it. If you are going to be a world-beating podium performance athlete, you can’t just drift through the season hoping for the best.

Application to Life

You need a dream and a plan! Martin Luther King famously had a dream, but he also had a detailed plan about how to achieve it. It’s no good having a head full of dreams about your future without a definite action plan about how to get yourself there.

I have always felt a little uncomfortable at work with the notion, often spoken about at appraisal time, of a 5-year plan. Over the years, I have often been asked what my 5-year plan is, and I’m never quite sure how to answer, but until recently I’ve never really known why. I don’t really have a 5-year plan, I never have, and perhaps the reason is that as a Jesus-follower, I’m much more interested in where I and my colleagues and those I care for will be in 5,000 years rather than 5 years. We have a Heavenly Father with an eternal plan for our lives. Keeping an eye on that eternal perspective can really help us stay focused on what counts in this life and this moment. We need to make every moment count in fulfilment of that eternal plan and purpose.

Having said that, we need to avoid becoming living embodiments of that old adage: “too heavenly minded to be of any earthly use.” Perhaps we need to form a practical plan to fulfil our dreams from a heavenly perspective. Let’s commit to cultivating one today. Your thoughts have a helpful habit of disentangling themselves when they pass from your head, down through your arm and out through your fingertips through a pen or a keyboard. You have not really got a plan until you write it down. People sometimes talk about SMART targets, with the word ‘smart’ acting as an acronym for ‘specific’, ‘measurable’, ‘achievable’, ‘realistic’ and ‘time-related.’ Perhaps thinking of these five ways of writing targets will be helpful to you? Spend a few moments now getting yourself a clear game plan to fulfil your dreams and God’s purposes.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

Image credit: Markus Spiske via Unsplash