This time of the year, it's popular to reflect on where we are, what want to accomplish, where we want to go over the next year. We may look at our health, relationships, career and other areas of our lives. If we are really serious about improvement, we will set some goals and establish a plan to move forward.
Goal setting helps us decide what we want to do, which leads to who we want to become. Willow Creek Senior Pastor Bill Hybels has said more than twice that our schedule should reflect who we want to become, instead of what we want to do. Goals also help us seperate whats important from what's irrelevant, or a distraction. Goals also help motivate ourselves, family, teams. They buld confidence as successful achievement in hitting goals happens.
Ever heard the phrase: "If you will aim at nothing--you will hit it every time"? I heard that line almost 11 years ago now. While I agree with it's meaning heartadly, I like the other 97% of the population has spent a lot of time aiming at nothing. In 2016 I made conquering my mountain of anger my priority, my focus. Thank God I maintained that goal for the year. I now know that it's not a one year thing, but rather a life long process...so that goal continues. This year I'm doing something different. Instead of having one thing to focus on or like most years--not having goals at all, I have made out goals and plan to spend 2017 focused on hitting those goals.
Studies show that homes earning $250,000 and more in America is about three percent (2.7%) of the population in America. Thats husband and wife togther, either one working or both working. Now, check this: three percent of people who make goals earn more than the 97% of the population combined. So, if you took all the paychecks of the 97% of those homes not making $250,000 or more, and you added all their paychecks up--they are still less than the top three percent. Can we see how big of a part "goals" likely plays in the part of top income earners?
Now, maybe you are like me and don't have a desire to become super wealthy. I enjoy making money and enjoying the fruits that come with it, but I also enjoy my time, freedom and family more. I'm not an "all out to obtain wealth" kinda guy because in most causes: more money means more commitment, more time in career and less of family and experiences. While I can admire succussful stories of those that climb to the top, I don't want to put in what it takes to get there, at the scarifice of the other things I currently enjoy. However, I do think it's wise to follow actions of those that have success. If you want to be an athlete--you must do what athletes do, if I want to be be debt free--I must do what debt free people do. If your goal is to become wealthly, then you will likely want to write out goals that will help you get there. Even if that isn't a goal, and for 97% of us--it isn't going to happen, we still need to have goals.
When making my goals out for 2017 I rememberd Pastor Bill Hybel's advice: "your calendar and goals should reflect who you want to become." I read over them a second and third time, asking myself "Does this help who I want to become or is this something I want to do". The areas I wrote goals out for are: Finance, Family, Social, Physical, Mental and Spiritual. Obviously, you want to customize your goal setting areas for you. For ideas, a simple google will help you with ideas on where to possibly set goals and also some goals to have.
Here are a few simple guildlines for goal setting:
1. Focus your efforts. Set one, two or three goals at a time for each area. When you hit one of your goals to that area, add another goal.
2. Be realistic. Setting unrelastic expecations only set us up for failure and disappointment. Make goals that are attainable goals. If you don't read your Bible reguarly now, I wouldn't set a goal to read all of it in two months. Instead reading it 3-5 times per week is more realistic.
3. Include stradegies. Develope baby steps or stepping stones that help move you towards your goals. If one goal is to lose 25 pounds, determine how you will do that. How often will you exercise? What will you do to count calories? When will you exercise (morning or night)?
4. Create manageable steps. Break down your overall goal into a series of smaller goals that are doable and will lead to success. If you wish to pay off $12,000 in debt....that means you need to pay off $1000 a month, $230 a week, or just shy of $33 a day.
Chris & Jenn live in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. They were high school sweethearts, marrying in 2001. They are parents to one son, Luke (born November 1999) and two loving pups: Miley & Elsie.