I have a confession.
I wrote today’s devotion about setting goals almost two months ago. At the time I was really motivated, and the momentum of that enthusiasm lasted right up to January 1st. Then it dissipated like a mist. It’s over a week into the New Year, my devotion is running tomorrow, and I haven’t made any 2015 goals.
And I didn’t even want to until yesterday.
I don’t mean to be a downer. I’m just keepin’ it real up in the blog today.
Yesterday, though, it all changed. I listened to a webcast by Michael Hyatt, and his teaching lit a fire under me to set some goals! He’s putting out some awesome content on reaching goals, so make sure to visit his blog at the end of this post.
Before you go visit Michael, I want to quickly share some tips on setting goals that stick that I’ve learned from wise mentors over the years.
1. Start with prayer. In the past, one of my biggest mistakes with goal-setting has been creating goals with my own desires in mind instead of God’s. When I set my own goals based on my own thoughts, I had to meet those goals in my own power. That’s disaster waiting to happen! Instead, the Lord tells us, “‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.” (Zechariah 4:6, NIV) I need God’s power to reach any goal I set, so I need to start by asking Him to give me His will for my goals. How can you know the difference between your own desires and God’s? This blog post from earlier this week contains some helpful principles.
2. Write them down. There’s something that happens when we write down goals that moves them from intangible to tangible. I did this twice this year–once with some health goals I posted on the fridge and once with my writing I posted on my desk. Rereading these goals on days we feel unmotivated helps to restart our engines.
3. Make them specific. Making goals measurable makes them more attainable. I want to read more non-fiction this year (I’m a fiction junkie!), so I’ll write down how many books a month I want to read. I’ve got some weight loss goals, so I’m going to break those into small pieces and celebrate each time I reach a mile-stone. (Please pray that I’ll celebrate with something more appropriate than doughnuts!)
4. Build in deadlines and accountability. For each goal, set a deadline for it’s accomplishment. It’s another way we can translate our goals from “I wish” to “I can”. I don’t know about you, but I also have to tell someone about my goal and deadline. While I don’t want someone who will nag me, I want to have someone who I know will ask me about my success or struggles.
So… I’m off! I’m going to pray and then set goals for 2015. Have you made some? I’d love to hear any of your tips for reaching your dreams and goals too!