Yes, it’s New Years Day and yes, we’re talking GOALS! Goals, those allusive little suckers, who both motivate and discourage us- depending on the day- and who seem to sometimes randomly find themselves achieved or not based on happenstance.
This year, 2018, we’re going to grab ahold of these goals, we’re going to figure out WHY we want to make them become our reality, and equally important (although not MORE important), where going to discover just HOW we get them to happen.
But here is the deal, and I’m going to need y’all to agree to this right this very second: Goals are meant to give us something to aim at, and NOT meant to discourage us, make us feel less than, inadequate, or undeserving. When you find yourself slipping into the ‘it’s not happening on my timeline’ mindset, you better check your stinkin’ thinkin’ and regroup. You may call it the Universe, Fate, Destiny, but I know that GOD is in control, He does all things for our good, and His plan and will always surpasses our perspective.
If you DECIDE today, that you WILL NOT QUIT, you WILL NOT GIVE UP, everything that you write out with this exercise will happen, I can’t promise you a timeline, and I can’t promise you that it will look exactly how you envision it, but I promise you right here and now, that you will find yourself with tears in your eyes, wondering, ‘WHY ME?? Why have I been so blessed?’
Because setting goals is NOT about making a plan for things to happen to you, it’s about asking yourself the question, “Who do I want to become?”
So with that question in mind, let’s get started…
Sidenote: Let me just tell you right now that every single one of these activities, ideas, and maps come from a beautiful gift Lisa Malone gave me this Christmas- a planner. If you want to find it, go to http://www.horacioprinting.com. They fund a great cause as well.
To walk through all of this with me, you’re going to want to grab a journal, a notepad, or several pieces of paper. It’s a lot, but I do hope you take the time to make it happen because I’ve found it INCREDIBLY valuable to helping me wrap my head around what I want to accomplish this year in ALL areas of my life, WHY I want to do it, HOW I’m going to make it happen, and certainly most importantly, who I’m going to become along the way.
- 2018 Bucket List! Just start writing, praying, making lists- whatever serves you. Let this exercise have very little limitations (other than consider it’s a YEAR bucketlist, and not a lifetime one).
- Who are you becoming? Who we become is largely decided by what we think and what we do, am I right? So let’s start there!
- Draw two circles and make 6 equal pie wedges.
- Label each pie piece, in both circles, with the following: Spiritually, Physically, Relationally, Professionally, Financially, and Personally.
- In the first circle, shade in each pie piece according to where you sit right this minute in relation to each heading. If you were to fill in the entire pie piece, that would indicate 100% on point in that area of you’re life.
- In the second circle, write one sentence in each pie piece, that describes who you want to become in this area of your life THIS YEAR. As an example, under “Relationally” I wrote: I want to focus on being a better, more present, parent this year.
- Under your circles, write down just ONE THING that you can do or make time for in each of these categories.
- In the next three months, what are three simple actions you can take to move towards your goal in these categories? It can be a daily action, or something you may only need to do once.
- Write down your THREE biggest dreams for 2018. Of all the categories in the previous exercise, what are three dreams that are most important to you to accomplish this year? For example, I have made a financial goal, a business goal and a personal goal this year, all wrapped around time and intentionality with God through prayer.
- Time to focus! Let’s start to look at where you have time and what you can eliminate to MAKE time for what’s MOST important to you. You see, most of us are absolutely guilty of giving up what we want the MOST for what we want RIGHT NOW. Like when I decide to watch a movie, instead of spend time with my kids (But not this year, right?).
- On a sheet of paper, write down all the things you HAVE to do- your daily obligations that fill your time (i.e. job, dishes, cooking, etc).
- Add any general things that might be obligatory focuses this year. For example, if you are getting married this year, that would be something that will steal your focus. If you’re best friend is getting married this year, that might also steal your focus, right?
- Add your hobbies. What do you LIKE to do? Include things from your bucket list that you maybe don’t usually get to do.
- Now write down the things that DISTRACT YOU!! For me these things are Facebook, Netflix, Instagram and Pinterest. They also include things like procrastination and rationalizing with myself about why it would be better to put something off.
- Now that you have your full list drawn out, start to pray and reflect on what you can take OFF the list. What is NOT critically important to you this year?
- Make a plan! What are you going to do when you start to thumb through Facebook? When you sit down to watch tv, what action are you going to put in it’s place?
- Questions to reflect on as you’re walking through all these exercises:
- Who am I encouraging and/or praying for this season?
- Who and what am I making more time for?
- What am I budgeting for?
- What do I need to let go of?
- Who do I need to forgive?
- What fears are holding me back?
- Time to PLAN to succeed, because guess what will be the very first thing to rear it’s ugly head once you start to feel confident about your plan? FEAR!!
- What are your five biggest fears and what can you put in it’s place? It might be a bible verse that you tell yourself or look at. It might be an affirmation. It might be a visual of your why. Write something down, so you can go back to it when you find yourself stuck. One of my biggest fears is that I’m not deserving or worthy of what I want to see happen in my life this year. Although that might sound familiar to you, and doesn’t necessarily register as a ‘fear,’ I know exactly whose voice that is in my head. I know that that kind of thinking is not of God, and I know I need to kick it to the curb!
- Lastly, go back to those top THREE biggest dreams for 2018. What are the things that you REALLY want to accomplish, because there is a big WHY attached to it. You know it’s WORTH giving up to go up in THIS particular area of your life.
- What is the goal and when are you accomplishing this by?
- What is the outcome? How will you you’ve accomplished it?
- WHY do you want to do this? Why is it important to you? What is tied to this outcome that motivates you to take DAILY ACTION?
- What are some measurements of progress? Choose 2 check points between now and when you plan to accomplish this goal. Where do you want to be by each checkpoint? What are some measurements to know if you’re on track? For example, I plan to write a book this year (whoa! I said it), so my check points will include an amount of work/chapters that I will want to have finished by each point.
- Between now and check point one, what are you going to do to make this happen each day and each week? Make the same plan for check point one to check point two. And then again from check point two to the completion!
Okay people, what we’ve got here is a legit plan!! This isn’t just a hope or a prayer- it’s a plan of attack! This is something we can come back to and touch base with. When you’re feeling lost or unsure, check in to see if these dreams still matter to you. Are you falling into those common distractions that you drew out? Are you wondering if this is still where you should be headed? My friend, Tori Hein, said to me the other day, when you’re unsure of what you’re doing or where you’re heading- if you should still be going where you’re going- go back to the last time you were sure and make your decision there. After a lot of prayer and reflection over the past week, this exercise will be my marker of the last time I was sure. This will allow me a place to go back to and make decisions from. Do my dreams still matter? Are they still important? Am I facing these same fears? What am I going to do TODAY to make progress?
Like I said, I love New Years Day. I feel so empowered today. I feel free of the hurts, misses, less thans and not enoughs of last year. I’m ready to take on this year with a purpose and a plan! I hope, after all this, you feel the same way! Let’s be people who make an impact. Because when you change who you’re becoming, you change who you’re influencing. And a person who knows where they’re going, is always someone I want to encounter. That’s someone I want to walk with. I hope that someone is YOU this year.
Happy New Year Readers!