At the end of today there will be 77 days left in 2013. I wrote recently about the days that were left in this year (read that here) and how they were challenging me to make the most of what was left. I wrote down some very practical objectives from a personal, family, and ministry perspective. I keep them easily accessible (thank you technology) so that I can read back over them and determine where I'm at in my progress. I'll check back on that list periodically, add an item or two, and even add more detail to existing desires. It's a system of self-accountability and refocusing myself on the things I have decided are important to me.
I don't always like the level of progress that I see and will find that sometimes I am forging powerfully ahead while at other times I am spinning in place without a lot of headway. It's almost easier to write down a lofty list of ideals and never check back on your progress. The truth is that when you take the time to determine your growth, you won't always be pleased with the results. The problem is that if you aren't willing to measure what you're doing, then it doesn't really matter whether you set goals or not.