What is the best way to secure goal success?

January 4, 2018

Do you love setting goals but despise making New Years Resolutions? If so you are not alone, and it is okay. However, if you skip it all together, you might be missing an excellent opportunity for growth. So it got me wondering, what is the best way to secure our goal success?

Do you love setting goals but despise making New Year’s Resolutions? If so, you are not alone. However, if you skip goal setting altogether, you might be missing an excellent opportunity for growth. So it got me wondering, what is the best way to secure our goal success?

First Confession Time

As I sat down to write this post something embarrassing happened. I hadn’t a clue what my New Year’s resolutions were for 2017 or if had accomplished them. Frantically I began looking through all kinds of notes, but they were nowhere to be found. Had I failed? Could I even write about this topic and have it not be a lie?  It didn’t make sense because I love setting goals and do it all of the time.

Then it dawned on me to start from the end in mind. When I do secure goal success what is the essential part?  It was easy for me – It is GOD.

Sure enough, I went straight to my journal of letters to God for January 2017 and there it was, my goal for 2017. One might assume I had failed because my year-end goal had been tucked away and forgotten. I admit I wore “New Year Resolution Failure” for a few days until I came to my senses and realized I had not failed at all.

God is where I  need to start, and then add a  few other vital steps to secure successful goals.

Steps You Don’t Want to Miss in Setting Goals

1. God First

Be in prayer, and know what God wants for you. How many of you have jumped ahead of God by setting lofty goals without even a small discussion with him?  Then we turn around and ask him to put his stamp of approval on it. We think if it is a worthy goal indeed God will be pleased.

My educated guess from personal experience is the chance of success and gratification will only go up if it falls into God’s will for your life. Choose God’s goal.

2. Timing

Do you pressure yourself into making New Year’s Resolutions because that is what you are “supposed” to do? When goal making is done in a rush or under stress, they tend to be lofty and quickly disbanded. In my opinion, the timing between Christmas and New Years couldn’t be worse. Most of us quite honestly are exhausted. Some of us have entertained a little family drama and are emotionally worn down. To take inventory or set goals based on December will most likely give you a skewed perspective.

3. Set an Annual Spiritual Goal

All goals are good but starting with a spiritual one is paramount in the life of a Christian. Becoming more Christ-like is a lifetime process that takes small steps to move in that direction.

It is not a quick and easy goal to set. One has to take some time contemplating with God where he wants to grow you. His answer might surprise you. Next week we will concentrate how not to fail at the most important goal – A Spiritual Goal. Click here to take you to the post.

4. Be in Continuous Prayer

God might change his mind, and unless you’re talking to him, you won’t know it.

5. Ponder the Past

One must look back at the previous year to see where we have been, what we did well, and where life kicked us in the butt. Keep in mind this can be done at any time of the year it doesn’t have to be on Dec. 31st.

I encourage you to grab a pencil and some paper and take the time to ask yourself about your year in review.

My Year in Review
  • What went well over the last year? Why?
  • What were my most significant accomplishments?
  • What didn’t go so well? Why?
  • What was missing from my year?
  • Where was my “yes” the correct answer and when should I have said “no”?
  • Is my faith stronger and more vital than it was a year ago?

6. Know Where You Want to Go

A new start can be exhilarating. It is fun to revamp, reorganize, and consider what the new year can bring. Allow yourself to dream a little bit. But remember one must know where they want to go to figure out how to get there.

We must never solely look at where we are today but must consider where we have been and where we want to go.

7. Keep it Simple

Choose one word or a mantra for a New Years resolution. One word can permeate all categories of life where change is wanted. It is simple to remember which makes it easier to apply. Click here to take you to a fun quiz to determine your word for the year.

If you are an overachiever or a planner, this may sound ludicrous. I fought back on the one-word idea as it seemed it lacked structure. Let me tell you it was magically successful and an unexpected victory.

8. Write down Your Goal

A goal written down ups the chances of success and creates a way to track it.

9. Do What Works for You

There are so many methods of goal setting you must find one that works for you. For some, one word will be enough to bring about the changes God see’s possible in you. For others, you will want to take your “One Word” and set specific goals and steps in all areas of life.

You see I thrive on creating goals, setting action steps, and finding new ways to do it.

10. Include Others

When we verbalize our goals to others, it bumps up the rate of success. We were never meant to do life alone.

So you may still be wondering how I could consider my “New Years Resolutions” for 2017 a success when I couldn’t even remember it. Well, as  I began to ponder and look through my notes to God I realized he had prompted me to change it from “Honor God” to “Be Still” and through being still I had honored him. This year has been a year full of all kinds of losses for our family and those which are dear to us.  It became evident during the year through prayer I needed to revisit my life verse and be still with God, in my relationships, writing,  and in every walk of life. I didn’t do it perfectly, but I moved in the right direction.

Click the picture to take you to the series on “Being Still.”
Remember the best way to secure our goal success is to start with God in mind. It is not too late to revisit your New Year’s Resolutions. We are not striving for perfection just growth and moving to be a little more Christ-like as we go.

Happy New Year!

What goals have you set for 2018? Did you choose one word? Be sure to join us next week as we concentrate on how not to fail at the most important goal – A Spiritual Goal. Click here to take you to the post.


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  1. Reply


    I really love your thoughts here! I especially like the encouragement to ponder the past! We do want to move forward in grace but we need to remember so we can learn!

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Absolutely! I know when I don’t ponder the past I do not learn from it and tend to repeat the things I wish I wouldn’t. So glad you stopped by. Maree

  2. Reply

    Char G.

    Hi Maree! It’s so important to start at the throne – as you said! And remember it’s not about perfection but becoming more Christlike as we go. My one word…1st time ever…. is Stop. Stop: trying to figure everything out, controlling, playing God, Stop and dwell, see God in everything. Blessings & hugs!

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Char, Wow, I love your word. I hope to hear how it goes throughout your year. Maree

  3. Reply

    nicki schroeder

    It’s always interesting to read other’s viewpoints on goal setting and resolutions! I love that you have made putting God first at the top of your list. Amen!

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Nicki, I too love reading different ideas on goal setting. Thank you for stopping by. Maree

  4. Reply


    These are great! I must admit, I would forget from year to year too. I love the new year and thinking of ways to be better but just do my best. Getting caught up in perfection and then not being perfect leads to failure!

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Sarah, I agree getting caught up in perfection does lead to failure. So glad you stopped by and added your wised words. Maree

  5. Reply

    Allison - All Things Allison Marie

    I love all of these steps! Pinned to Pinterest!

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Thank you for sharing my post. I am so glad you like it. Maree

  6. Reply

    How to Grow Closer in the Most Important Relationship | Embracing the Unexpected

    […] week we talked about, “The Best Way to Secure Goal Success” by making sure you don’t skip the ten steps. Click here to read. As I stated all goals are […]

  7. Reply


    Thanks for sharing your wisdom here, Maree! I totally agree, we should be open to setting goals at any time, not just feel like we have to because it’s a new year. This is my third year having a word for the year and I have found that much more effective than resolutions. This year it is “focus” and I have some goals regarding things I want to focus on, but I’m planning to review each month whether to keep the same goals or to change anything.

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Lesley, Thank you for sharing your goal. “Focus” is a great word. I haven’t quite figured mine out yet, but I know it has something to do with “joy” and having a little bit more fun. Blessings, Maree

  8. Reply

    Meg Weyerbacher

    Great points here, Maree. I found these out for myself too, and the keeping it simple and including people were probably my biggest aha’s.

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Meg, Glad to know I am not alone. The one step I tend to skip is including other people. I know the accountability helps. Thank you for sharing. Maree

  9. Reply

    Mary Geisen

    Thank you for these ideas. I have not made resolutions in quite a few years but I do make goals. This year as I was writing my goals I thought about body, mind and spirit. As I work on my wholeness in Christ, I know that I need to focus on the spiritual, physical and mental. It’s going to be a good year.

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Mary, I love your attitude, “It’s going to be a good year.” I think that is half the battle. Maree

  10. Reply

    Amy Hagerup (@amyhagerup)

    I love these suggestions. I do a lot of these already, but I still think this is one of the best posts I’ve read and agreed with on goal setting for the new year. Love this.

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Amy – You are so sweet. You made my night. Thank you for your kind words. Maree

  11. Reply

    Lyli Dunbar

    Love the wisdom you shared here, Maree. Very practical as we step into 2018!

    HUGS and Happy New Year to you. 🙂

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Lyli, Thank you!!! Happy New Year to you! Maree

  12. Reply

    Amy Jung

    These are great tips! I used most of them in my own way and I feel they’ve had a huge impact on my goal setting over the years. I must say that I don’t include others very well and I believe you’re right in including that. That is a logical and helpful addition to goal setting. Thanks! I will try to add that in!

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      I am right there with you. I used to be very good about including others and have slacked off. I find it helps tremendously when others are asking and holding you accountable. I plan to do more of that this year.


  13. Reply


    Sweet testimony of your year with God, Maree. Love your reminder to start with Him. — I think I have my word for 2018, but am still praying about it. Hopefully I can share soon. 🙂 Still praying about my goals for this year too (nothing like being behind, is there? 🙂 ) I’ve been seeking God for where He wants me this year, and still haven’t been able to completely discern His answer. — I like your 2017 mantra…be still. — Hope you have a Happy New Year, friend. ♥

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Brenda, I can’t wait to hear what your word is. I don’t quite have mine yet; I am still in prayer about it too. I haven’t been able to get a clear answer from God, or maybe I am just not listening. I still need a little more time to rest before declaring. Brenda, to be honest, I wrestle with the “Be Still,” and God knows it. I must be a slow learner of the concept, so he keeps giving it to me. I look forward to chatting further when you get your word. Blessings, Maree

  14. Reply


    I love these practical, encouraging tips.

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Debbie, Thank you!!! Maree

  15. Reply

    Anita Ojeda

    I gave up resolutions a few years ago and stick to solutions :). I love your reminder that we need to focus on God and what HE wants for us!

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Anita – I like your idea of solutions. I have gone to one word for New Year’s resolutions, but I do set goals all of the time, they help me stay motivated. Thank you for stopping by and Happy New Year! Maree

  16. Reply


    That picture on the lake sure looks good today. The wind is howling, the snow is blowing, and the wind chill factor is 0*. Ugh. Visiting from Debbie Kitterman’s.

    1. Reply

      Maree Dee

      Oh, my sounds very cold. I bet the lake picture looked good to you. I hope you were able to stay warm today. Blessings, Maree

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