In 2018, Let's Count on Getting the Job Done

In 2018, Let\

One of my favorite YouTube sensations is Gerry Brooks, an elementary school principal from Lexington, Kentucky. When I last checked, he had more than 500,000 followers, people like me who love his humor and his ability to use laughter; either for laughter’s sake or to send a powerful message.

One of Gerry’s latest missives is his Educator Resolutions 2018, where he introduces 28 “Reducate 2018” flash cards to “help you have a great 2018.” Simple enough, right? 

Yes, until we read them and get the point. Here’s one resolutions for today’s educators: “I will create ‘I Can’ statements and targets that are so broad I only have to change them once a year.”

As an example, Gerry says, “Maybe for math you could write, ‘I can add some numbers,’ or for reading, ‘I can read some things!’” He explains, “You don’t have to change those targets and objectives every day; that’s just a pain.”

Or, “Here’s one that will save you some time. ‘I will change my contact within 24 hours policy to a contact sometime this month policy.’”

Gerry’s “resolutions” are focused on educators, but let’s be real; they target me (many of us?), too. 

Gerry Brooks’ resolutions are intentionally vague, leading to complacency. If I’m not careful, mine can be the same.

It’s a challenge for all of us in pregnancy help ministry. 

While it is true that we must leave results of our work to the Lord, we can also become complacent by setting such vague targets as, “We want to see more clients in 2018,” or, “We want to trust God more this year.”

Neither of these desires is wrong, by any stretch. But if we wish to see our client load increase, is “more” defined as 1? 10? 100? And if this is our desire, what—exactly—are we doing to reach this goal? Are we marketing more effectively because we’ve done research on what works, or are we “trying something new,” and throwing it up against the wall to see if it sticks?

One of the sayings I try to live by is, “What you measure, improves.” This makes sense because I’ve seen it work too often and in so many areas of life. 

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For instance, I began “measuring” my steps with a Fitbit several years ago, setting reachable but measurable goals. Since beginning the measuring process, my step count improved each year even though—believe it or not—I’m getting older.

As an example, it’s likely true that in our ministries we would like to see more two-parent families created. For starters, while not every single mom should place her child for adoption, our current adoption numbers are so small, it’s safe to say there is room for more.

And though not every couple facing an unplanned pregnancy should consider marriage; it too, is often an overlooked option.

On the surface then, I’m willing to wager every one of our ministries would like to see more children born through our ministries begin their lives in a two-parent home. Every situation of course, is different; we’re not talking about all, just more.

Now, let’s look at our client statistics from last year. We likely have a line item for “Babies Born.” Do we have a line item for “Babies Born Into 2-Parent Families?”

If we measure, we’re more likely to set a goal, such as, “Let’s raise our number of babies born to 2-parent families—through adoption or marriage—by 20 percent this year.”

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If we set a goal, we are more likely to take proactive steps to achieve the goal (“Let’s retrain our staff on how to present adoption effectively and in a non-confrontational fashion.”).

If we take proactive steps, we are more likely to see our numbers—in any area—improve.

Gerry Brooks is worth following on Facebook and Twitter. He makes me laugh and our family often gathers around a smart phone or laptop to see his videos.

But Gerry makes me think, too. This year, let’s set more measurable goals. We will count more if we do. And if we count more, we might come to December 31, 2018 and say, “We changed the world more than we thought imaginable.”

In 2018, there’s a lot to do. Count on it.

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