New year’s resolutions are not a bad thing! Resolutions help us focus on what we consider is truly important that we failed to do the year before. Now, there is probably a difference between resolutions and goals, but for the sake of this entry, I’m using them interchangeable (if you know the difference, let me know in the comments section).
We are at a natural moment in the year that is ideal for goal setting. In the next 30 days, most of us will have a few free days. Instead of simply packing-up your Christmas decorations, consider packing up your year, and plan for 2014.
Pack-up 2013: Year in Review
- What was your biggest triumph in 2013?
- What was the greatest lesson you learned in 2013?
- What is your biggest piece of unfinished business in 2013?
- What are you most happy about completing in 2013?
- Who were the three people who had the greatest impact on your life in 2013?
- What was the biggest risk you took in 2013?
- What was the biggest surprise in 2013?
- What important relationship improved the most in 2013?
- What else do you need to do or say to be complete with 2013?
Plan for 2014: Goal Setting
You might be thinking: Why make a new year’s resolution, if I’m going to break it anyway? Michael Hyatt says, “25% of people abandon their New Year’s resolutions after one week—60% do so within six months.” So the odds might be against you, but the main reason why people do not complete their goals is because they do not take the proper time to plan properly. Hyatt goes on to suggest a 5 step goal-setting primer; here is a summary:
- Keep your goals few in number
- Make them “smart” (specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and time-bound)
- Write them down (with a pencil on a notecard)
- Review them frequently
- Share them selectively (only to your stakeholders)
I would add to #4 – pray over them daily. Sandi (my wife) and I committed many of our past years’ goals to prayer, and we were amazed how God answered many of them. In fact, I remember when writing our goals last year how many of them seemed humanly impossible. For example, we could only afford for our housing rent to increase by $100/month. We committed it to prayer, and God answered it. Converting your goals into prayers is essential!
For more information on personal goal setting, check-out Michael Hyatt videos and blogs – he is a guru of practical life hacking advise. Here are some examples of my goals for 2014 (I guess I’m breaking step #5 above!):
- Pray every morning at 5:30 am
- Workout five days a week
- Share the gospel with one person each week
- Write a blog at least one time a week
So go ahead – make the time to set goals for next year. Aim high. Commitment them to prayer. And go for it! By this time next year, you too will be impressed how God will have answered many of your prayers.
I hope that 2014 is one of your best year’s ever!
What are some of your goals for next year? Did I leave out anything in the goal setting process? What has been helpful for you? Let me know your comments.