Ok. Maybe not EVERY time because we are imperfect and sometimes life just happens. BUT you can be way more successful than you’ve been in the past.
Y’all. I get it. A brand spankin, shiny new year rolls around and you feel so fresh stepping into it. A fresh start is ALWAYS a nice start. All your pals are making these grandiose resolutions and you’ve often done it yourself. But when you REALLY reflect, you think “dang, I sucked at keeping my resolutions last year.” But this year does NOT have to be a repeat of last year, and the year before that, and the one before that….
But here’s the truth. MOST people, as in 90% will FAIL at their New Year’s resolutions. Why? Because habits are hard to change. It takes WORK to change bad or unproductive habits and in most cases, people are setting resolutions the wrong way. But it IS possible. You CAN change. You CAN do the things that you are called and created to do.
So yes, I know that it is not January 1. It’s nearly February, but there is nothing magical about setting goals on the first of the year. In fact, it may be even more beneficial to re-examine and set goals the right way NOW.
Here is a list of our top tips to help you achieve your goals. We’ve listened to and read quite a bit on the subject, and these are our favs, the tried and true ones that have worked for us.
Nothing about this year will change unless you change your habits.
1. Find out what God would have you focusing on and working on in THIS season.
We need God’s perspective. Desperately. Fortunately for us, we serve a God who longs to speak and be heard by us. God wants to talk to you even more than you want to hear Him. Take some time to quiet your heart. Turn on some great worship music and sing your heart out (tone deaf or not). ASK God to talk to you about what goals you should be working towards. ASK Him to speak His destiny over your life.
Quick tip: if what you are hearing does not bring peace and agree with God’s Word (the Bible) it’s not from God. I promise you that God is NOT telling you to go cuss people out, steal stuff, or max out ALL the credit cards that you can get because the world is ending tomorrow. Promise.
2. Grab yourself a pen and some paper and just start writing the dreams that come to mind.
Don’t worry about organizing them for now. Just start writing them down. No order, no priority, just get them out of your dome onto paper. Seriously, doing this alone puts you WAY ahead of most people. They can be as big or small as you want, just WRITE THEM DOWN.”
Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it.
Habakkuk 2:2 NKJV
3. Now, look at those dreams and figure out a way to make them fit the S.M.A.R.T method.
Good goals MUST be specific. Instead of saying things like I want to “be a better mom, lose weight, grow closer to God, read more, go on a trip…” Write down SPECIFIC things like “loose 25lbs, spend 2 hours with my kids where my phone is in the other room so I’m not distracted; read my bible 5 times per week and pray every day, read 5 personal development books and 5 novels this year…”
Vague goals produce vague results... if any.
You can’t track progress if you can’t measure it. You can measure a specific number of pounds lost, how much time you spend per day on a certain activity, or how many trips you take. Being able to track progress means that you can adjust your efforts on a weekly or monthly basis to make sure you hit your goal.
What steps will you take to achieve your goal? Wanna lose 25 pounds? How many days per week are you going to work out? Wanna manage your finances better? What plan will you put in place to make sure that happens? An action-oriented goal will set you up for success.
If you are a go big or go home personality then you can set goals differently than the slow change kind of peeps. If you’ve lived on nothing but ramen noodles and little smokies for the last 3 years, I wouldn’t recommend turning full on Paleo with no sugar overnight. If you only read your Bible twice all year in 2017, don’t set a goal to read it for 3 hours every day in 2018. Start with reading one chapter in Proverbs each day. Work up to your 3 hours per day goal. Set yourself up for success. It will propel you to keep setting goals and keep progressing.
Give your goals a deadline! Let’s be honest, we are all our best housecleaning selves right before company comes over. Give your goals a deadline and watch how much more motivated you are!
4. Find scripture to back up your goals and add these to your written goals.
Not only is it good to get scripture before your eyes every day, but when we know that what we are working towards is in line with God’s written word, it gives us even more confidence and moxie.
5. Make it VISUAL
NOW, take those goals that you have written out and put them somewhere you will see them EVERY SINGLE DAY. Every time you see them, thank God that He is helping you to accomplish them. You might even take the time to make them visually appealing so you enjoy looking at them.
6. Tell a pal who will help hold you accountable and keep you motivated.
No, don’t count on your donut eating buddy to help you get fit and lose weight. Neither should you ask your sister who only goes to church twice a year to help you get your tush to church 3 out of every 4 Sundays a month. Find someone you can trust and have them check in on you from time to time. You might even ask them how you can help them achieve their own goals.
7. Schedule It Out
Schedule when you are going to DO THE THINGS that will help you achieve your goals. Want to lose 15 pounds by March 30? Ok, great, now schedule your 30 minutes of workout time five days a week. Want to read one self-development book per month. Awesome, now plan out 20 minutes of time to read every night. When you plan out when and where you will do the new behavior, you are more likely to succeed. Some folks call it "setting your intention." God calls it making a plan and counting the cost (Prov 16:9 and Luke 14:28).
Bottom line is this: You have God-given dreams FOR A REASON.
He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.
Ephesians 2:10 Msg
Your God-given dreams are assignments to bring the Kingdom of Heaven to earth; it is time to pursue them as such.