Have you set any goals for 2017 yet? If not, there is still plenty of time! It's never too late for goal setting, I'd argue. This year I have set goals in the areas of: spiritual, finance, family, social, physical, and mental.
As I shared in an earlier post, setting and remaining focused on goals in something I have not been good at, or made a priority. I have gone with the flow, aiming at nothing, no real purposeful living. And research shows that is 97% of Americans. This year I am hoping to join the 3% of focused, intentional, purposeful living.
Here are a few nuggets on doing this:
•Specific: What is the specific goal you’re trying to accomplish? Be specific! Example: "I want to pay off $10,000 in debt" is better than "I want to pay on some debt".
•Measurable: measure your success along the way. Am I paying enough each day•week•month towards debt? Where else can I save? What adjustments, if any, are needed?
•Action steps: what small steps are needed to help me achieve the goal? Whatever our big goals are--there may need to be daily actions towards hitting the goal---so new habits are being formed. Sharing this nugget from a recent Davy Ramsey episode: If you want to pay off X-amount of dollars of debt this year, daily steps: what can I sell? What can I put on eBay, Craigslist, garage sale sites that will generate income to go towards debt? If my goal is to pay off $10,000 in debt, that's $27.40 a day. If I have $27.40 to spend in my bank account today--pay on something! Then tomorrow do it again!
•Support: who do I need to help me with this goal?
A manager, co-workers, friends, or family. Make sure you are aware help is needed, then contact them. When contacting them: share your goal and then ask them for help.
•Timing: some goals are short term, while others are long term. Long term goal: I want to lose 50 pounds this year. Short term: I want to loose 5 pounds by the Super Bowl.
•Having a life of consistency is difficult until the new habits are formed (3 weeks+).
•Hitting goals takes a plan and strict discipline. By the way, though it's good for us, most people don't like discipline. I know I don't. But God disciplines us and He is good, so discipline isn't bad. An example of having a plan and strict discipline: if my goal of 2017 is to do prayer and healthy reading before I touche my phone or computer, I have to take steps to help me be successful. I learned if I don't pray and read before I touch my phone or computer--it won't get done. I see things I need to do for work, people I need to call, now I'm responding to text messages. My wife is reminding me of this evenings gathering, so I tell myself, "I better get moving". So maybe I purchase an alarm clock so my phone isn't the alarm and thus an easy temptation for me. I put my phone and computer away at night and mentally I tell myself: "God first or he doesn't even come in last--He doesn't even get acknowledged period". I know that if I don't pray and read first--it won't get done.
•Most people float through life, instead of creating their life. Most people don't have goals and remain focused on them (97%). The ninety-seven-percent do what they "have to do"--work, school, react and rarely commit, watch tv, go to bed. i want more!
•Goals are to be where we see them constantly. This serves as accountability and a reminder of what's important to ourselves and who we want to become.
•If we acknowledge we have failed on a goal, begin the next day. Example: I failed to read and pray today. We aren't perfect, give ourselves grace and get back on the road tomorrow.
•Use phone alerts & sticky notes to remind ourselves of goals & steps to hit goals. Example: daily phone alert--can I pay $27.40 towards debt today? Sticky note: list something for sale before dinner today.
•Reward yourself briefly, then get back at the goal. An absolute strict year isn't going to be rewarding to our souls and likely won't last. Two ways of setting your reward: #1 a time line--I will abstain from dining out & shopping for 60 days, then I will reward myself with a girls day out. #2 a focused goal--I will pay off $5000 in debt before I book my next vacation.
•Do away with distractions. Goals and being focused on them will help us become more purposeful. Yes, we still need a life, yes we still need relationships, church attendance, to be serving, a day of rest, etc. However, it's also ok to say "no" to things that may keep us or distract us. You want that $27.40 to go towards debt today--tell the coworker no to lunch.
•Goals take sacrifice. They may cost money, time, effort, sleep, energy, relationships. Depending on what your goals are, they could cost you each of those things. Goals aren't easy, if they were easy--more than 3% of America would do them. Anything worth having is hard work.
"Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty. I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well." -Theodore Roosevelt
Thanks for reading!
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.