One of the reasons I love this time of year is that I take some time to reflect on what I would like to achieve in the upcoming year. It’s like standing at the tee of a new hole on a golf course, full of potential and as of yet, you’ve made no mistakes. I admit it – I love plans and goals.
Here’s my process. I work on a year end family newsletter. Working on this allows me to look back and think about all that happened around me in the last year. In doing this I’m often looking for a pic or two to add to the letter. So I review all my pictures from the last year. I’m amazed at how looking back on them gives me a sense of gratitude for all I was privileged to be part of and quite honestly, reminds me of a number of things I’ve forgotten already. It’s an emotional experience.
Next, I work on a new family budget. I review how our spending was last year, and start draft-budget for this year. Full disclosure, I only tracked our family expenses until April in 2016. So naturally, one of my goals this year – is to track family finances beyond April 2017. Now I say draft budget because until Tracy has seen it and we’ve agreed together as to what our giving/spending plan is for 2017, is it’s not finalized. In the process of budget setting, we also look at our retirement savings and see if we are tracking to some sort of plan year to year.
Next I start drafting possible goals in my journal. More recently, I try and actually lay them open before the Lord as I sit in silence and ask him to confirm, redirect or lay other goals on my heart.
Some interesting facts about goals*:
- People with written goals are 50% more likely to achieve than people without goals
- The act of writing down a goal down in is a very powerful motivator
- Writing down goals forces us to be avoid being vague
- All motivational ‘gurus’ agree that goals should be written down
- 92% of New Years goals fail by January 15th
- Only 3 out of every 100 adults write down their goals down on paper
- Sharing your goals with a close ‘confide’ is proven to increase the chances of you achieving your goal
- Specific goals which are time-bound and measurable work best
- In the process of achieving your goal you will be sacrificing something else
Over the last couple of years I’ve used Michael Hyatt’s Best Year Ever material to create my goals and track them in Evernote. It’s very thorough. But you don’t need all of that to create your own. Here’s my suggestion. Take the different parts of your life say, spiritual, financial, professional, health and intellectual. Decide if you’re having problems, just not happy with any of them or you want to see improvement in that area. For instance, you want to lose 10lbs. Set a goal to lose 10lbs by a certain date. That’s your goal. But here is where the power is. What changes are you going to have to implement now to achieve that. Perhaps it’s tracking your eating every other month on something like Lose It. Perhaps it means you’re going to have to be active 3 times a week. Add those points to your goal. Do this for all your goals. Then finally share them. And if you’re really brave, ask someone to remind you about them periodically over the year.
In my family, we go out for Dim Sum lunch in early January and we share with one another what our goals are. I asked the kids to think about last year – share what were their highlights, how they did on their goals and what their goals are for 2017. This year I plan to ask each of the kids to bring them in written form. I’m not sure they are big fans of goals setting, but they love the lunch. We also talk about vacation plans and what big rocks as a family we want to drop into our schedule before they fill up too quickly. I try and ask them about their goal progress periodically during the year.
My goals this year? Well they’ll include reading a certain amount of books, losing some weight, running a couple of races, weekend get aways with Tracy, speaking publicly more about One Way Ministries and writing a blog once a week.
What are your goals?
* source: http://www.goalband.co.uk/goal-achievement-facts.html