Monday, January 02, 2017

Reflection: You've Made Some Goals, Now What?

Sometimes the hardest part of goals is coming up with them.--actually taking five minutes and writing down what you want to accomplish. But then, once you've made a list of goals, or maybe just set one goal, the appeal of waiting til tomorrow slips in. All of the reasons not to pursue the goal start calling out to you.

"I'm too busy."

"There's no time."

"I'm tired."

"What if I fail?"

"I'm making soup"~because as an old friend once told me, that's about as good as any other excuse. ;)

I'm sure you can come up with a few additional ones too. And maybe, some of these reasons are correct. More than likely they are just excuses meant to distract you. Set an intention in your mind and your heart that you will not be knocked off course by excuses--you can do this!

If these reasons are not excuses, and they have some merit, then it means you might need to think through your goal a little more, and make sure you have something tangible--if your goal is too ambiguous, then it is harder to know if you are making progress. Also make sure it is realistic--working on a project for 25 hours a day is not a realistic or possible goal, right?

Here's something I've learned through the years that has helped me set and achieve goals more effectively--making SMART goals. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely. So how do we make SMART goals? For instance, how could a person love their spouse better or get in shape? We know that there are people who run marathons multiple times per year--are they just naturally able to go out and run 26.2 miles (rarely, but I guess it's possible). So how does one do it? I would say it is kind of like eating an elephant (not that I believe in killing or eating elephants), you do it one bite at a time.

So let's think about a goal like "I want to be more healthy." That's a little ambiguous. How could we make that a little SMARTer?

Here's one idea. "I will walk for at 30 minutes per day, three days per week."

Will this goal make me more healthy? Yes.

Is it specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely? More than likely, yes.

May we each set and achieve goals that will help us enjoy life more, love others better, and savor the wonder of each new day! May God speed you toward realizing your goals!

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