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.
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.
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.