Sustainable, Lasting, and Life-Giving Goals Are:
- Rooted in your core calling
- Organically growing out of your context
- Outlined for clarity
- Tailored to your lifestyle
- Etched into your memory
- Developed by Providence
Other goal setting systems start by asking what you want for your life. This system starts by asking how you’re uniquely called as a disciple of Jesus to show up in the spaces of the world where He has placed you. What is your core calling?
I have to admit—as thrilling as the idea of a core calling is, it’s also pretty intimidating. But tapping into your core calling is an essential part of creating goals that fully resonate, that compel you to follow-through in the execution of them, and that produce a lot of satisfying fruit along the way.
So let’s begin uncovering your core calling—the soil for every sustainable and healthy goal you’ll ever set.
How to Uncover Your Core Calling
Very few people actually know from a young age exactly what they’re uniquely called to do. And even fewer have a really fleshed-out understanding of what their calling entails. If you’re overwhelmed by this stage—don’t be. You don’t have to get it all right immediately. But, you can start uncovering insight into the unique way God has positioned you to contribute by paying attention to the overlap of your responsibilities and affinities.
On the responsibility side, you have family relationships, financial responsibilities, a local community, etc. God ordained that these things would impact, limit, and shape your productivity.
On the affinity side, you have natural giftings and talents. And, honestly, some activities simply fill your cup more than others! It's important to admit and understand that affinities are normal and valid.
Amazing things happen when we can leverage our strengths and affections to fulfill our responsibilities.
You can begin to find this sweet spot by asking yourself the following questions:
- What is life-giving to you?
- How do you serve others?
- How do you steward resources?
- What are you really good at?
After journaling through these questions, take two and put them together.
- How can you make your service to others more life-giving for yourself?
- How can you leverage your skills to better steward resources?
- What are you really good at that is also life-giving to you?
- How can you better steward resources by serving others?
Pay attention to opportunities at the intersection of that which is life-giving to you, that which deeply serves others, that which stewards resources, and that which leverages your skills—because the opportunities with the overlap those four qualities are strong clues to your core calling. But even if you don't find the precise thing that checks all four boxes, you will begin to see core themes that overlap in tightening circles—themes that serve as major hints into your core calling.
You can begin to nurture the soil of your core calling (even if you don’t precisely know what it is) by taking time to evaluate these key areas every few months. This will help you begin to hone in on the unique ways God is equipping you for the unique role He has for you in his Kingdom.
Identifying your core calling is a life-long process, but the more work you do in this area, the more you will intuitively know when something doesn't align with your core calling. With practiced, repeated focus on your core calling, you'll find that FOMO and shiny-object-syndrome are more consistently conquered, and new opportunities that are not in alignment with how you were uniquely created to contribute will become easier and easier to leave to others.
But oh, the joy that comes when you have increasing clarity about your core calling, and your intuition sharpens about the things you're uniquely called to pursue! In time, as opportunities come your way and you've disciplined yourself to let the majority of the lesser ones pass, there will be a wide open space for those essential few to stir up the powers of your imagination and to ignite a roaring fire of intrinsic motivation.
And that wide open space will change your life.