Do you ever feel stuck? Like you can’t get any traction while everyone else is getting ahead?
It could be simply the result of not setting goals. We can’t get anywhere in life if we aren’t sure where we are going. Sure, we might be able to see the big picture, but to get to the dream there must be goals. No more sitting around waiting for God to do something. Truth is, he is probably waiting on you to take that first step.
And the first step starts here: setting goals.
My husband is a boss at goals. About a year into dating we left to go to the beach for the day around the new year. We talked about our dreams for our life (individually and together), wrote them all down and then started discussing how to get there.
Often we get paralyzed thinking about how we are going to accomplish our dreams that we don’t actually take any steps forward. However, the “how” that we are all so afraid of is the road map. It’s the goals that we set each year to get a little bit closer to the dream.
Our little one-day beach trip has now turned into a three day getaway and it’s no vacation, it’s work! It’s waking up early and going to bed late. It’s essentially meetings all day long (bleh). But it just takes a couple days, even a couple hours sometimes, to hash out the list of goals, broken up into tiny bite sized pieces, which we will accomplish in the new year. And we take one more step forward.
But how do you set goals that will actually be helpful? Ones that you will actually do something with?
Michael Hyatt has perfected a way for setting goals that actually works. He calls it the “SMARTER” technique. When you are making goals they must fit this criteria.
So ask yourself these questions when writing down goals for 2018. Is this goal:
Specific enough to focus and direct your energies?
A goal that is vague is not helpful; it must be specific. For example your goal might be to “get better at finances.” To make this goal more specific, you might say instead, “Take Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University Course.”
Measurable so you can keep track of your progress?
A goal has to be measurable. Otherwise there will be no way to track your progress. You can do this by using numbers, dollars or percentages depending on the goal. For example you have a goal to “get physically fit.” To make this goal measurable you could say, “Run 5x a week at least 1 mile each time,” or “lift weights 4x a week” and you could even add a weight lifting goal like “bench press 45 lb. weight.”
Actionable with a clear initiating verb that prompts specific activity?
Your goal must be action oriented so that you understand how to accomplish the goal. For example, if I wanted to write more often, instead of saying, “write more” I could say, “write 5 days a week for 15 minutes through September.” It gives me a specific action to do everyday.
Risky enough to leverage your natural tendency to rise to challenges?
A goal should push you out of your comfort zone enough to where it challenges you, but not too much to where it scares you out of even trying. For example, if I increased my bench goal to 100lb. weight, I would feel overwhelmed and defeated before I even tried. However, a 45 lb. goal is still challenging but it doesn’t scare me away.
Time-keyed so you’re prompted to act?
A goal needs to have a deadline. A time to accomplish it by. Otherwise, if you’re like me, your whole year will go by and you’ll be pushing to get a bunch of them all done at the same time (procrastination, anyone?). Use the bench goal for example. Instead of “bench 45 lb. weight,” you would add, “bench 45 lb. weight by June of this year.”
Exciting enough to inspire and motivate?
A goal needs to be something that gets you pumped! For example. instead of saying something like, “take a one week vacation,” you could say “take a two week vacation to Hawaii.” It goes beyond the typical 1 week of vacation you would normally receive from work, but extends that vacation and reminds you of where you are going. If Europe or Mexico excites you more, aim for those places.
Relevant within the overall context of your life?
Is your goal attainable in your season of life? For example, if you are a single parent with 3 small children and you have a goal to “go back to school to get your undergraduate degree,” you might want to rethink this one. Goals may not always be appropriate to the season of life that you’re in. It’s important that there is clarity here to ensure future hope rather than disappointment.
And that’s it! In order to attain the life you’ve always dreamed, you must be intentional. Set goals for your family/relationships, your health, your finances, and career. Before you know it you’re one step closer to your dreams. As Dale Partridge says, “A dream without a goal is just a wish.”
Happy New Year and good luck! You’ve got this.
What is one goal that you want to accomplish this year?
I’d love to hear in the comments below!
All my Love,
To discover more in depth on following through with your goals, check out Michael Hyatt’s blog on using activation triggers to reach your goals this year.
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