I don’t know about you, but I’m terrible at setting goals. I always seem to get ahead of myself and make them unrealistic. That is, until last year. I wrote a piece called “The Next 12” in which I outlined different ideas for goal-setting. I broke them down into categories like physical, financial, and dream goals. I made myself goals based on my own advice. I wrote them down, and encouraged my homegroup guys to do the same, and made sure to tell people around me so they could keep me accountable. The most important part was almost neglected, and that was bringing up the goals we set throughout the year to see how much progress we were making.
There are a few things that I did well, like have a job I love, and asked the love of my life to marry me. A few other things didn’t work out, like running a 10k and saving money. But, to me, the important part is that I worked hard to improve myself and do things that I wanted to do. Even though I didn’t run an actual 10k race (I wanted a bib and a shirt) I still ran hard. I worked up to running a 10k on the treadmill, I just didn’t get the medal. I will repeat some of these goals this year (I really want a shirt) while coming up with new ones.
I think that one of the hardest things in goal reaching is the dedication required. Am I really signing up to do something for a whole year? What I learned about myself, though, is that my problem is my dedication. It would have done no good to run a 10k in May but not be able to hit a mile in December. I needed the challenge of sticking with something until it became a habit. Now my body won’t let me sleep if I don’t run. It’s awesome/terrible.
So, now some encouragement. I hope you’ll read my post linked above. It may help you be a little more detailed and intentional with your goal setting. I hope that when you set your goals, you will continue to work on them past next month. I hope that when you reach your goal early, you will seek to push yourself further. And I hope that you won’t give up on yourself. A friend on Facebook posted this quote from NT Wright, and I think it’s super encouraging when thinking about improving ourselves:
“Character is a slowly forming thing. You can no more force character on someone than you can force a tree to produce fruit when it isn’t ready to do so. The person has to choose, again and again, to develop moral muscles and skills which will shape and form the fully flourishing character.”
I love the third sentence: “The person has to choose, again and again (and again, maybe every day) to develop moral (or physical) muscles and skills…”
I hope that 2013 is wonderful for you, and I hope that you make the choice every day and every minute to make yourself a better person.
I’m thinking of sharing my goals in a later post, once I have them all written out, but what are you hoping do improve on in 2013?