Before I go any further, let me just say Happy New Year, y’all!
Okay….now let’s get down to business! 😉
Do y’all get as excited as I do about starting a new year? For me, it doesn’t begin on New Year’s Eve, though. It starts bubbling up inside me in early-December. In the midst of all the Christmas preparations, I begin planning for the new year, and start dreaming about my first entry in my new blank book (one of my favorite personal traditions).
But to be honest, I’ve never been much good at setting goals….or attaining them, for that matter. *blush* But I think I have finally figured out why. I’ve been doing a lot of reading about how to best “work” my new business, and I’ve come to realize if I want to be more successful in reaching my goals in 2017, I need to implement these:
5 Steps To Planning With Purpose
STEP 1: REASSESS LAST YEAR
I gave 2016 a quick review. I congratulated myself on all I had accomplished…but also took note of what I didn’t get done. Then I reassessed: Was it a big deal that I didn’t (insert lingering goal here)?? Do I want to “move it forward” to the new year….or can I just let it go?
While I think this is an important starting point, I didn’t spend too much time on this step; I didn’t want to allow the enemy to plant seeds of failure. Instead, I tried to look at things objectively, then quickly moved on to the next, more positive step. 😉
STEP 2: PRAY OVER THE NEW YEAR
It was very important for me to make sure my goals weren’t just things I want to do in the coming year. I wanted to be as confident as possible that the goals I decided on are in line with God’s will for me in 2017. This actually involved 3 or 4 re-writes…but after praying over my goals a couple weeks, I had a few “ah-ha” moments.
One morning, after I finished my Bible and prayer time, I opened to my Big Project Planner sheet and it was like God was whispering, “Yeah….uhhhhh….erase ALL that.” And suddenly I knew I had been totally missing the point. Within 5 minutes, I re-wrote my entire 1st Quarter Goals…and continued to fill in number of the remaining three quarters’ goals. I believe that was a real God sign, so I feel confident these are the goals God wants for me; not just my own desires. And if He wants those things for me, then not only do I feel confident they are in line with His will, but I know if I stay focused on that – His will, not my own – I am more likely to be successful in achieving these goals. *happy dance to Jesus*
STEP 3: WRITE DOWN YOUR GOALS
I realized one of my biggest problems in the past is that I’ve been too general. You know, saying things like “I want to lose weight,” or “I want to get LASIK.” I now understand that if I don’t set specific goals – with specific time frames or end dates – they’re probably not going to happen.
So this year, my goals are time-sensitive: “I want to lose 20 pounds by 01APR,” and “I want to get LASIK before my birthday.” Once I established clear time frames, I was able to break them down into monthly and even weekly goals….which makes them seem actually achievable. *high five me*
For example, to lose 20 pounds in 13 weeks, I will need to lose an average of 1.5 lbs/week. THAT seems doable to me, ya know? Whereas losing 20 pounds just seems like one more thing I haven’t accomplished yet…so why would I be able to do it this time around? 🙁 I’m trying to erase that kind of negative thinking by taking my goals in “small bites” this year.
STEP 4: TRACK YOUR GOALS
The other advantage of setting measurable goals is they are easy to track. If you’re not tracking your progress, you’ll most like arrive at your end date and NOT have achieved your goal. 🙁
To help myself keep on track, I’ve written, “Lose 1.5 lbs” on the first 13 weekly calendar pages in my planner. There’s no chance I’ll forget next month because it’s already written in!
I even made a previously-unused section of my planner my new Fitness Tracker. I have one section with 3 columns for tracking my daily exercise, one section where I broke down my necessary weight loss, and one section with ideas on how I can actually make those weight loss goals happen. By reviewing these “small bites” regularly, I stand a much better chance of making them happen. 🙂
STEP 5: SPEAK YOUR GOALS
The final step is to speak your goals. By writing about it here, y’all can hold me accountable. Now that’s RISKY! If I fail, I fail BIG…in front of all of you! *mental head slap* I’m still not real comfortable with that…but I’m doing it. *nervous face*
Even if you don’t speak your goals in quite as public a fashion….telling just one girlfriend, or your husband takes your goals to a deeper level of commitment. It really does make a difference.
I think subconsciously we all have that, “Now I HAVE to do it or they’ll know I failed, too” thing go through our head when we speak our goals out loud. Which is exactly why a lot of people say they don’t set New Year’s resolutions, or if they do…they never share them with anyone else. If no one else knows, they can’t know if you fail, right? While that’s safer…it doesn’t offer a very high degree of success.
So let’s do it different this year, ladies. Let’s do it better! Join me in planning with purpose in 2017! We all need something to work toward, so let’s make sure we chasing the right goals…and that we are setting ourselves up to achieve them. We CAN do it, gf….but it’s always easier if we’re not alone in it. 🙂
If you want to “speak your goals” here, leave a comment below….or if you’d prefer, email me privately. If you do, I promise I will pray over your goals with you. That’s what the Grace & Sass community is all about: Connecting and finding encouragement in our everyday. Let’s start today. 🙂