Life, Uncategorized

The Ultimate Goal-Setting Guide: 2017

If you’re like me, you have a love-hate relationship with resolutions for the new year. It’s half-way through January, and I’m just now sitting down to think about what I want to focus on this year. I’ve said before that I like the idea of a central theme: one word to describe your hopes and dreams for the year. I have already chosen my word, Enough. There are some things that I struggle with, and the feeling of being and having enough is one of them. As I think about what that word means, and how I will live it out in 2017, I am forced to reconcile some of the things I believe about myself with what is really true. This is a hard task for many, and it requires a significant amount of self-reflection, prayer, counsel and grace.

I believe that for anyone wishing to achieve a new goal, there are some things that need to happen that are really unavoidable. Whether you wish to stick to a diet or exercise plan, save money, find contentment, or be more present in the moment (can I get an amen?), if you think about these three things before embarking on your journey, I can promise that your goal will be achieved more quickly and maintained more sustainably.


  1. Identify Your Theme. Or goal, if you wish to call it that. What do you want to improve upon in 2017? Is your goal to run a marathon? To save more money? To stick to a particular diet? To limit your use of social media? To be more content? Find what it is you wish to do better, and then TELL SOMEONE. Which brings me to the next step.
  2. Develop a Plan for Achieving Your Goal. I could also title this step “Set Yourself Up For Success”.  The first step in the plan should be to tell someone, an accountability person, about your aspirations. This can be a friend, a family member, or a counselor. This person should be someone that you feel completely safe with, meaning you will be open and honest with them about your successes and failures. Don’t pick a girlfriend that you only see every once in a while. It’s easy to hide behind schedule conflicts. This person must be willing to bust down your door to check in if necessary. So pick carefully. 🙂 Next, you must celebrate your successes– daily! Did you bring your mom game to the table today? Yay! Did you get out of your pajamas? Good for you! Did you meet someone new today? Awesome! Did you eat an apple instead of those leftover cupcakes from last night’s birthday party? Look at you, you sexy mama! Take pride in every moment that you work toward achieving your goal. Give credit where it is due! On the flip side, you also need to be honest about your missteps. So, you didn’t get out of your pajamas today, or run those three miles. You spent way too much time on Facebook while your children destroyed the house. We’ve all been there. “Anyone who says differently is selling something.” (name that movie quote). Tell your person about it. Listen to their feedback without getting defensive; they’re trying to be helpful! And then move on! Do not dwell on it. I’m a dweller, a wallower if you will. It’s another goal I have to get off my perceived failures and move on to something far more beneficial: living life.
  3. Finally, think about what impact your theme/goals will have. What would it mean to you for you to save an extra $1000 this year? What will you sacrifice to make that happen? Or what about running that marathon? How many hours of training and hard work will you have to put in? And if you spend 1 less hour a day on social media, what will you fill that time with? Would you find a new friend, a new hobby, a new sense of freedom? Sacrifice, hard work, and new discoveries. All of these things have a positive impact on your psyche. They tell you so much about who you are and what you are capable of! And not only that, but others around you will be positively impacted by the changes you make. Domino effect. BOOM.

You were created by a complex God for complex things. Little-known fact: He gives you MORE than you can handle on your own but never more than He can handle. Anything worth while takes work. And sometimes that workload looks and feels like too much. But it’s not without His help. Don’t forget that. And don’t forget about your community. He never intended for us to be alone on our journey. Let others encourage you, and return the favor by encouraging them! We are all in this together.

So there you have it: identify your theme, formulate a plan {set yourself up for success}, and think about the lasting impact of your goal. Figuring out these three things will help you assess your progress, be honest with yourself and others, and sustain your goal long term. It only takes a few minutes to jot these ideas down, but the lasting effects of this exercise will be worth the time and effort. Good Luck, and God Bless.










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