Goal setting. It’s all the rage at the start of every New Year. Everyone and their mama wants to lose weight and make this the best year ever. But success usually only happens to a select few – or rather that’s often times how it feels. It feels like “God’s chosen people” are the ones that find amazing success during the year. So just how to set goals in life – the goals that you will actually achieve?
But here’s the reality, most of those successful people didn’t just sit down and make a list of lofty goals and then never think about them again. The reality is they made a list and then put it into action. Action is what separates the men from the boys as my Daddy used to say.
So if you’re wanting to see amazing success in the New Year, here’s what you need to do:
Say what?! A reality check?!?!??! Yep, you need to stop and take a moment to review this past year and give yourself a reality slap in the face.
It’s really the only way that you can get real with yourself and the goals you plan on accomplishing in the New Year. Here’s how it works:
First you’ll start with your personal reality check.
Ask yourself, “what is going well?” List out everything that you see as going wonderful in your personal life right now. “Personal” means things like your relationships with others – marriage, children, parents, friends, co-workers, etc. It also means your spiritual life – are you connected to God?
It also means your health – how is your health doing (note, I didn’t say “how is your weight doing” because weight is only a small factor of your overall health). Are you eating right? Getting enough sleep? Got a healthy routine down? It’s also about your finances – how are your finances doing?
List out everything that’s going well for you and then answer, “what is NOT going well?” Here’s the thing with this one, don’t beat yourself up over these things that you list. The point of doing this is so you recognize the things that aren’t working – that aren’t going well. You can’t make changes if you don’t first define what isn’t working.
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Now, the last thing you’re going to do, is list out “what needs to change?” Make list of all the things that you need to change based upon the answers you gave to the first two questions. This is the start of your personal goals for the New Year.
Here are a few examples:
What is going well?
- I’ve branched out and slowly I am becoming more involved in our church community.
- I’ve pushed myself out of my comfort zone and conquered one of my greatest fears – public speaking.
What is NOT going well?
- I am not as present in my life due to too much time spent on my phone or computer.
- I am not healthy – I’m eating right but I’m not getting the activity that I need to keep my body moving.
What needs to change?
- I need to consistency workout for 10 mins three times a week.
- I need to ignore my phone and take my email off of my phone.
- I need to create a better routine that works around our family.
Now you’re going to do this same exercise if you’re in business. If you own you’re own business you’ll need to give yourself a reality check as well. Going through and ask yourself these same three questions and make a list. Think of the growth of your business, your income, networking, your projects, etc.
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Now I want you do something that you may find silly, but I believe it’s truly helpful in setting the right goals. I want you to picture that it’s December 31st of the New Year. For example, right now it’s 2016 but in a couple of weeks it’ll be 2017. So for this exercise, I would picture myself on 12/31/17.
Answer these questions:
How long have you been married? (if applicable)
How old are your children? (If applicable)
What milestones have occurred this year? (graduations, weddings, births, milestone birthdays, etc.)
What are you most proud of?
What have you accomplished?
What does your typical day look like?
In 2017, I am __________ (fill in the blank).
In 2017, my business is ________ (fill in the blank).
I know you may feel silly doing this exercise, but it’s so important to take time and really envision the next year. To really see what matters to you at the end of the coming year. For example, I surprised myself whenever I answered “what are you most proud of” that I answered, “that Conner has excelled in school and exceeded all expectations”.
It surprised me because it had nothing to do with my business – it brought to light that I’ve been way too focused on my business and not enough on my children. I see my job as a stay-at-home mom the most important one that I have and it shows in my answer, but the first list of goals I made, didn’t reflect that.
We have to live into our priorities or else, life just simply isn’t worth living.
I know that it’s super popular to choose a word to live by for the New Year, but I like to choose a theme. A theme for the New Year. Crystal Paine of Money Saving Mom did this with her year of rest and year of yes. This year (2016) my theme was “surrender”.
I did my best to stick to my theme and to surrender everything over to God. Which, let’s get real. That was a struggle for me. I’m not good at surrendering anything…I blame my Southern roots. But here’s the thing, the more I surrendered the better my life became.
I surrendered and said “no” to business opportunities that would have brought in some serious cash flows but in the end would have left me “chasing the money”. I’ve surrendered and said yes to days at the lake instead of finishing up my projects or cleaning my house and my family benefited greatly from having mom join them in jumping off the boat into muddy Lake Allatoona.
“I will instruct you and show you the way you should walk, give you counsel with my eye upon you.” Psalm 32:8
So think and pray today about your theme for the New Year. What will it be?
Mine for 2017 is “embrace”. I struggled with surrendering to God’s will in 2016 and through that struggle, God whispered to me that I need to learn to embrace the mess, the chaos, the season of life I’m in (both personally and professionally), and that I need to embrace the moment – not keep pushing it aside for a “better time”.
Let’s Do It
So what are your goals? What will you accomplish this year? Look over your reality check and what your picture at the end of the next year look like. Do they align with your theme? Do you think that you can stick to your theme?
Picture your life being richer because of you sticking to your theme. At the end of year, when you’re looking back what will make you smile?
Now, write out your list of goals for your personal life and your business life. Run them through the filter of your theme for the upcoming year as you write them down. Post your theme and your list of goals where you’ll see them every day and be reminded of them.
You can stick them in your wallet or post them on the fridge or by your computer. It’s up to you where you put them, just make sure they are somewhere that you’ll see them and be reminded to take action and live into your theme.
What is your BIG goal this upcoming year?
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