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Goal Setting Tips

We are halfway through January 2018, how are your goals going?  Maybe you have not even written any goals down yet.  I want to encourage you to take some time and write down your goals, don’t think it’s too late or you will do it next year.  I know personally when I write down goals, I have something to look forward to and I have something to strive for.  Having my goals written out is a reminder of how important my everyday actions are.

I heard a statistic that 3% of people accomplish more than 97% of people simply because they write down goals.  That is just writing them down, that is not even actively keeping goals for you and pursuing an action plan for those goals.  Grab a notepad and start writing friend!

I hear a lot of people who have a negative outlook on goal setting, I think it is because we tend to look at the things on our list that we did not accomplish or achieve rather than focus on the things that we did achieve.  I have heard people say “I have the same goals again this year” if that is true I think you need to re-evaluate some of those goals, break them down into steps toward that main goal.  I believe you should have short-term goals, long-term goals, and dream goals.  I think sometimes we bite off more than we can chew and that discourages us in goal setting.

I waited until after January 1st to share this post because I know at the beginning of the year everyone is talking about goal setting.  Anyone who already writes goals, is going to write them without any encouragement and those who don’t write goals, are still getting used to a New Year and just finished celebrating Christmas, I wanted to give you some time to get back to your normal routine after Christmas break and New Years break before I posted about goal setting.  At the first of the year the local gym is full, I see a lot of people talking about their “No Spend January” well how about two weeks in and how about next month in February.  I wanted to encourage those of you who do not write goals it’s great to start on January 1st but if you have not, it’s not too late.

Goal Setting does not have to be this big elaborate tedious task that you dread.  Think of it as a “To Do List”.  I love making to-do lists, and I especially love checking off that to do list.

Start Small.  If you struggle getting started with goal setting I encourage you to start small, write down goals and things you want to accomplish this month, before summer, during summer, this Christmas, focus on goals to accomplish this year.

Long-Term Goals/Vision Board. Make another list of some long-term goals and dreams that you would like to accomplish in your life, places you would like to travel, skills you would like to learn.  Create a vision board for those larger, long-term dreams.  Use pictures, from magazines, or pictures you print out to make it more visual.

Keep goals in categories, for example, : Family Goals, Spiritual Goals, Financial Goals, Social Goals, Health Goals, these are great places to start.

Write Your Top 3-10 Goals Daily.  Something I implemented last year for the first time, was I took my top 10 goals that I wanted to achieve and I wrote them down every day, I did miss a few days and I did not even start doing this until well into March.  I am amazed at how many goals I accomplished last year!  It really does make a difference when you keep your goals before you.  Do not make your list too long, or you will grow weary of writing them daily start with the top 3-10 goals, as you accomplish these, I know you will, then you can add more goals from your main goal list.

Get Started.  I used a plain college-ruled notebook if you need a nice journal or pretty paper then do what works for you, but I also find sometimes waiting for the perfect planner, or waiting to find the best journal can hinder you from getting started.  Grab a notebook, use what you have, just get started.

Quiet Time. I like to pray and talk to God about my goals, and so in writing down my goals daily, I was able to ask for His help in accomplishing these goals.  I had a few scriptures that I wrote out and read daily as I wrote my goals.  You could also adapt this to your life and think of it as an affirmation that you are speaking into your life every day.  It is great to carve out some quiet time, dream time, meditating on what you hope to accomplish.

Be Specific.  Writing goals down daily affects the choices and actions you make daily.  For example, if you have a goal to get out of debt, I would put that on a long-term list but break it down a  little to make it more focused and achievable for example make it a goal to pay $100 extra every month on a specific credit card.  Be specific!  When you are writing that down every month, it makes you think twice about your fast food purchases and Target splurges.

If you have a goal to lose 50 pounds again, put that on the main goal list but then your daily list would be to lose 10 pounds this month or whatever your number is.  When you write down daily “I am losing ten pounds this month.” You will hear that in your head when you are going to the cupboard at night to get into the Oreos.

By writing my goals down daily and in a first-person statement more than just a list, it really did help me stay focused throughout the year.  If I missed a day or even there was a time I had not written them down for two weeks, I just picked up my notebook and started again.  I noticed when I had those missed days and weeks when I did not write them down, my actions also followed, I slacked off on my actions and I noticed a slowdown in reaching those goals.

I have heard teachings on Goal Setting at my church since I was 17, I have attended goal setting classes and seminars they are very helpful.  Zig Ziglar is another favorite of mine when it comes to goal setting. I encourage you if you still do not want to write down goals or think it’s frivolous.  Check out these resources to help spur you on, I know they have helped me.

If you go to this post on my blog I share some added resources that have helped me and an inspiring YouTube video.

I know we are already half way through January, but I want to remind you, I wrote my goals down but was not really looking at them last year until halfway through March, when I started to write my top 10 down daily.  Even if daily seems like a lot, how about every weekend you look over your list, how about once a month.  I am convinced once you see the difference it makes you will be encouraged to write them down daily.

There is no magic in writing down the goals, it’s the actions you take as a result of wanting to achieve those goals, but how do you implement a plan of action when you have no target.  You have to have something to aim at first then you figure out how to get there.  It’s putting one foot in front of the other and getting started, rather than just wishing, hoping and then feeling unaccomplished at the end of next year.

Think of Christmas, it just past, once December comes I hear so many people say things like “wow, Christmas is already here”, “I haven’t saved or planned properly”, “I’m not ready”.  Change that this year, we are in January you have all the way until December.  Create a Christmas envelope or jar, to put cash and change in, it’s a small start that will spur you on to be more prepared.  Make a list of the people you want to purchase gifts for, and then keep your eye out throughout the year for items on sale that would be a great gift for that person, buy one gift a month or a buy a gift card each month that you put away and save for Christmas shopping.  You will thank yourself and feel so good about your preparation this December.

The same idea for Summer!  Summer will be here before we know it and I frequently see people wait until June until they realize they want to go on a summer vacation.  A vacation they have not saved money for or planned for.  Then they are bummed when they can’t go or go into debt to go.  I know our family spends more money during summer with the kids being home from school, we go to the movies, swim park, and fun activities.  I already started saving money at the end of last summer; I have a Summer Fun account, where I save money all year long this makes it so much easier on my budget and my mind.

Goal Setting and planning really does make a difference in so many areas of our life.  Spend some time this week and write down some goals.  You can add to it as the year goes on.  If you already have your goals written down, I hope you will be encouraged to write them down daily or at least look at them more frequently throughout the year and see great accomplishment this year in 2018!

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