I think an important part of growing as an individual is having goals. I know “New Years Resolutions” are cheap and deemed successful if they last until February, but I do see a lot of merit in goal setting. I also think that a great time to do that is at the beginning of the year, where you can look back and see what was accomplished over the last 12 months, and think about how to improve upon that during the next 12.
I think we all have desires and goals that we would like to accomplish and see come to pass, but a lot of times we don’t know how to bring that to completion. We get tired and frustrated (or, if you’re like me, just plain overwhelmed) and give up hope a few months in. This is what woke me up at 4am this morning with a heavy heart. At homegroup last night we wrote down all our aspirations for the new year (it’s still new, right?). I want to see my friends succeed in their ambitions. I want to celebrate with them when they pay off that debt, graduate, get that raise, or whatever dream and hope they have seen realized.
I think there are 3 aspects to goal setting. I encouraged my friends to think about these aspects when they were deciding their goals, and I think using all 3 keys will help you set great goals and see them to completion:
Be Specific!– Don’t make it your goal to “lose weight” or “be more active”. These kinds of goals will be hard to see results from next year. Instead, try “lose 20 lbs” or “run a 5k”.
Plan!– How are you going to accomplish these goals? Make sure to write the goals down, and don’t forget: it’s all about the baby steps!
Be Accountable!– Have somebody who will hold you to your goal and encourage you along the way. We aren’t meant to do this alone.
Lastly, try to build up more than one area of your life. I separated my life into 6 catagories that can be improved upon, and I think everyone can split up their life this way. You may not have a goal for each catagory, and that’s fine, but I would encourage you to try to improve at least 3 of these categories:
Relational– Is there an area of your relationship with your spouse or significant other that could be improved? Want to love those around you better?
Professional/Financial– Want to save money? Working towards a promotion or raise?
Physical– Start training for that 10k that you wanna run, or hit that target weight.
Spiritual– Do you need to start serving in the church? Wanna read the Bible more?
Educational– Get back in school or read more!
Recreational/Dreams– This is for you to do what you have always wanted to do and to start working on that dream that keeps gnawing at you. Travelling and creating would fit in here.
Some of your goals may fit into more than one category (running a 10k would be a physical goal but also may fit into the dreams category) and that’s fine! Don’t limit yourself, you’d be amazed what you can accomplish when you put your mind to it!
What are your goals for 2012? How are you going to go about accomplishing them? Let me know with a comment so I can send you a hug when you accomplish it!