Do you make New Years’ Resolutions?
I’ve been hearing a lot of people who choose one word for the year rather than a resolution. Still, whether it’s a word, a resolution, or a bucket list, one thing is the same…
We all want to do better, to be better.
We hope for a better future and want to find the secret to lasting change.
We all have goals.
But how often do we actually achieve them?
The list of things I DIDN’T do last year is longer than I care to write. Just a few:
- I didn’t lose weight…well, I may have lost some, but I gained it right back.
- I didn’t finish teaching the history book to the kids.
- I didn’t paint the kitchen cabinets or the doors in all the house.
- I didn’t replace the shrubs in the front yard, though I did rip out the old ones (hello, bare-faced house).
- I didn’t remodel the bathrooms.
- And we didn’t achieve our financial goals.
Wow….that’s a lot…and I’m sure I’ve just scratched the surface. The question we need to ask ourselves is WHY?
What keeps us from achieving the change we want?
3 Steps to Setting Goals You’ll Achieve
If I want to change, I have to do more than just aim for it.
Just writing down your goals (no matter how SMART) isn’t going to get them done!
It takes a clear vision, proper preparation, and commitment.
Clarifying the Vision
If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.” –Lewis Carroll
Commit your work to the Lord,
and your plans will be established. Proverbs 16:3 ESV
Success isn’t a singular target. No one knows what your success looks like except you.
Before you plan out this year’s goals, resolutions, or intended change, consider what you want your life to look like in the future.
What does your glorious life look like in 10 years?
What about just 3 years ahead?
Don’t just think about what goals you want to set, think about what you want life to actually look like.
Now, close your eyes and picture the end of 2017.
Take a deep inhale. Exhale.
As the days turn dark, the Christmas lights begin to feel out-of-date, as you pack away the holly and the tinsel. Imagine yourself saying:
This was the year we….
That’s your vision. That’s the dream.
Prepare a Plan
By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” —Benjamin Franklin
The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance,
but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty. Proverbs 21:5 ESV
Nothing worthwhile and long-lasting happens by accident.
This past year, I have been learning the meaning of “Prepare” and it’s more than “pack your lunch the night before.”
Preparing yourself means looking ahead to possible problems or tricky situations and determining in advance how you would handle them.
If your goal is to eat healthy foods, you need a plan for what you’ll order when you’re at a restaurant. What will you do when you discover that your zucchini has molded in the refrigerator crisper drawer? Got a back up?
If your goal is to pay for a family vacation, you’ll need a plan for saving all your dimes and nickles. What will you do when unplanned expenses come up like a friends’ birthday invitation? How will you prevent your family from splurging on small, temporary thrills (like ice cream on a Saturday afternoon) so you can put that money toward your big dream?
You’ll also need to prepare for the emotional aspects of working toward your goals.
What will you do when it gets hard? How will you handle set-backs and discouragement?
Finally, you’ll need to plan the details.
This is where your SMART goals come in to play!
- SMART is an acronym for goal-setting. Goals should be:
Specific–clearly defined. “Lose 15 lbs” instead of “lose weight”.
- Measurable–can you measure your progress and success?
- Actionable–what action will you take to achieve your goal?
- Realistic–Is this something you can really do?
- Timely–In what time frame will you achieve your goal? If it’s a long-term goal, break it down into smaller ones.
My Peace & Productivity Planner is excellent for keeping track of all the tasks needed to accomplish a goal. It’s free when you join the Joy Gathering!
You can learn more about it here:
Commit to Courageous Change
Do you wish to rise? Begin by descending. You plan a tower that will pierce the clouds? Lay first the foundation of humility.” –St. Augustine
And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:18 ESV
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace… 1 Peter 4:10 ESV
Don’t be deceived. You cannot change your life without changing your self.
Chances are you have attempted these goals before. You’ve tried this path already. You haven’t yet reached the destination.
Maybe you weren’t prepared for the journey, or maybe you took the wrong path!
Or maybe you just weren’t strong enough, brave enough, wise enough to walk the way…YET.
Changing your life takes commitment. This new goal, this new course of action can’t just be something you’re “trying out”.
Count the costs, prepare for the setbacks and then, COMMIT to making the changes!
Now Get Planning!
This is such an exciting time! You are considering your ways and altering your path to become who you were meant to be!
Apply these steps and get back to me on how you are doing!
I love to interact with my readers. You can comment below, email me at Christina@gathering-joy.com, or
Which part of goal-setting is most challenging for you?
Butterscotch and butterflies,