Goals 101

It’s just about December and to many that means the start of the holiday season. Yes I am all about Christmas but December also signals to me the start of goal season.

In just 5 more weeks it will be 2016. It’s a new year and a new start. For many is it resolution time. Goal season is not exactly setting a resolution. I see it as a time of reflection and intention. For the entire month of December I will be sharing what my goal season is and how I use it to set goals for the new year. I thought it best that I start by defining the word GOAL:

  • The object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired effect
  • The end toward which effort is directed
  • An observable, measurable end result having one or more objectives to be achieved within a fixed time frame
  • The intention of an activity or a plan

The first step for me whenever I begin to set goals is to pray. This was not always the case. My goals were always what I thought was best for me. What I thought I could accomplish. But that is so limiting! Now I pray for God to guide my heart. To show me what he would like me to accomplish. By letting Him guide me the sky’s the limit. God knows what is best and He has incredible plan for me. It’s really exciting!!!

I feel strongly if you are going to set a goal you need as much information as possible to make that goal real. Personal reflection and prayer are my information gathering for my goals.  I use it to look back on the previous year:

1- what goals did I accomplish? I look back over the year usually by month (I love the Passion Planner as it includes a monthly recap) I look at the years goals and what I accomplished. What was I good at? What prayers were answered? When did I work with Gods plan.

2- what failures did I have? To me this is just as important as my accomplishments. I look at what didn’t work, where was I spread too thin or over committed. Where I did what I thought was best without prayer. It’s when I rush ahead and forget to be humble is usually when I fail. I feel like the things you stink at can teach you as much as successes. I also feel that acknowledging failure keeps you humble.

Once I have looked back I begin to look forward. I like to think big. But do not forget to get small. The details are important. For example you can set a goal of “running a marathon” and if you stop there the chances of you making that happen are harder than if you then break it down in to smaller ACTION driven goals.

Once I get three big ones down I begin to get small. I do my research. This is expectation setting time. What will it take to accomplish this goal? How much time? Commitment? Does it compliment my life or will it be a burden to my faith or my family.

This is the grunt work. It’s not as romantic as thinking big but it will be the first goal test. Are you willing to take the time needed to accomplish your goal? Do you know the cost of your goal BEFORE YOU EVEN START?

Are your expectations in line with the reality of your goal?

The last thing I do before I decide on my goals is to ask myself WHY? Why is this important to me? Why do I want to do this? Is it to feel important? To get attention? To please others? I show my goals to my husband (I advise showing your goals to anyone you truly trust and who truly loves you not a frienemy or a judgmental parent) and I ask them the same questions.

Once I am satisfied I pray for Gods help and wisdom and I commit.

This entire process takes me about two weeks. That’s important. With time you really decide based on facts not emotion. You also take it seriously.  I am less likely to give up or quit if I have taken so much time deciding on this goal.  A friend of mine calls this “skin in the game”. Many people decide on goals based on their “gut” many times your gut is really just what you want right at that moment. It’s like a craving if you walk away in 10 minutes it’s not as strong. Don’t rush, think on it, sleep on it, pray on it.

If it is something you get more excited about the more you think about it or you can’t stop thinking about it you are probably on the right track. Still wait. It is worth the wait.

Do you always feel like you never have enough time? Do you wish you had an extra hour every day? Now that you know how I set my goals next Monday I will talk about how I set my priorities and manage my time so that I can achieve those goals.

Till next time!