With a new year upon us, many people view this time of year as a clean slate, and chance to start over. And while I believe we have the chance to start over 365 days a year and that any day is a good day to set a new goal; I still think that the beginning of a new year is a great time to reflect on where we are at and set some goals for the coming year.
We were not created to be stagnant; people naturally want to improve the quality of their life, relationships, and health because it’s the way God designed us. And goal setting is an excellent tool to use in our quest of improvement.
Setting a goal though is so much more than just stating, I’m setting x goal. A true goal is always accompanied by a plan… without one, it’s just words and wishful thinking. You need to have determination, focus, and a willingness to sacrifice in order to achieve most goals. But even after all of that, there are still some secrets to successfully setting and reaching goals, that I’ve found to be very helpful and practical, and that anyone can put into practice.
1. Write your goals down. There is something about getting them out of your head and into a physical format you can put in front of you that solidifies them more… plus it clears head space. I learned this one from my parents who were teaching me through example about goal setting long before I was ever setting goals myself.
2. Break each bigger goal, down into smaller short term goals. Figure out what you need to do, and in what order, to reach the bigger goal.
3. Make a timeline. Put realistic dates on when you want to have certain goals accomplished by that will challenge and motivate you to get it done.
4. Categorize your goals by type. I like to keep a list of spiritual, physical, educational, ministry, work, and recreation/pleasure goals.
5. Categorize your goals according to life season. There are certain goals that are better accomplished at certain seasons of life. For instance, I knew that reaching my black belt was a goal I wanted to accomplish while single because I knew that as hard as it already was going to be to reach, it would be even harder to reach if I was married and/or had children.
6. Keep your goals list in an easily accessible place, and regularly go over them to evaluate your progress. I like to make a yearly goal list, as well as monthly ones, and review my lists each month. Or you could do it by quarter – whatever works for you! The point is to keep yourself reminded of them so you can evaluate progress.
7. Have an accountability person/mentor that will check in on you and your progress. If it’s someone who has knowledge or expertise in the area you’ve set your goal for, then all the better.
8. Persevere! Don’t let setbacks discourage you and prevent you from continuing forward. Realize that just because you got off track or didn’t succeed the first time, doesn’t mean you have to throw in the towel.
9. Pray about your goals. Pray for God’s guidance in setting goals. Pray for endurance to reach your goals.
10. Stay flexible. Sometimes God changes our direction in life and our accompanying goals. It’s good to stay open to the possibility of your goals and focus changing.
What about you, do you have any secret tips to add to this list?
Do you set yearly goals?