New Year, New Goals … Right?

A new year. A fresh start. Many of you have set resolutions or goals for 2017.

Some of you have already messed up your resolutions. That's okay! Start again.Some of you have already messed them up. That’s okay! Start again. Progress is about moving forward, even if it’s imperfect.

I’m a big believer in goals. If I don’t have something to aim for then I get lazy. I meander. I wander through life rather than seeking out the next great thing God has for me.

But when I consider the past year and what I’d like to see done in the next, I get excited about the possibilities. Even when the last year had some bumps and twists that were neither planned for nor fun to walk through.

The problem we face

I suspect, many of you run into the same big problem I do: What goals should I set?

  • What if I set my sights too high? Or too low?
  • What if I set one goal and something that seems better comes along? Did I set the wrong goal? Do I change my goal?
  • What if I set too many goals? Or too few?
  • What if I miserably fail? What if I can’t even stick with it for this week?

I get it. But can I say something and you hear me with all the love and grace you can imagine?

Here it is. Breathe. Don’t get lost in paralysis of analysis. Breathe.

Just breathe.

Where to start

Consider where you are and where you'd like to be.
To set good goals, you need to think.

You need to be calm and rational.

You need to consider where you are and where you’d like to be—not to beat yourself up for where you find yourself. That’s not helpful.

Instead, be honest about where you are so you can realistically plan to move forward.

 

Dream a little.

If nothing stood in your way, if the year went smoothly and obstacles faded, where would you like to be in one year?

  • Spiritually—because how well you take care of yourself now often determines how well you can take care of others
  • Physically—because how well you take care of yourself now often determines how well you can take care of others
  • Financially—do I need to say it again? Because how well you take care of yourself now…. You get the idea.

Maybe you want to learn a new skill, or change your career. Maybe you want to keep in contact with friends better or just enjoy a night to yourself once a month.

Whatever it is, write it down.

Make a plan.

Think what you have to do to get from where you are now to where you want to be by December 31st, 2017.

Think through your year and what you know is coming in the months ahead. Events like a child’s upcoming marriage or a potential move could influence your targets.

What is one or, at the most, two goals for each of the categories above. And your total list for the year should be ten or less.

Consider your ambition.

Your goals should both scare you a little and excite you a lot. But your outlook on life might mean you need to adjust your objectives.

If you tend to be a positive person, you probably aimed a little (or a lot) too high. You might want to back it down just a little.

If you tend to be a negative person, you probably aimed a little (or a lot) too low. You might want to bump it up a little.

Remember: These are your goals.

You can change them whenever and however you want.What if something else comes along that seems better than what you were aiming at?

Pray, think through your options, and adapt as needed. It’s okay! These are your goals which means you can change them whenever and however you want.

What if you set too many goals? Or too few? Or they are too high? Or too low?

Pray, think through your options, and adapt as needed. It’s okay! These are your goals which means you can change them whenever and however you want.

Setting goals doesn’t have to be so big a deal that you are scared to pick some. They also don’t have to be written in blood or carry immense feelings of guilt or shame.

Just move forward. Aim at something you think God wants you to achieve and make progress.

You can do it!

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