New Year Goals
The New Year is here! It is one of my favorite times. I love the thought that each new year is like a blank sheet of paper ready for me to fill in with my thoughts, activities, plans, and more. I like to reflect on the old year and see what, where and how I can make changes and improve life.
Often you hear of people making “New Years Resolutions”. They will resolve to change the things in life they do not like. I have always had a fundamental problem with resolutions. Once you resolve to do something, well you either do it or you don’t. If you don’t do it, well then you fail. Too much of that and life becomes very discouraging.
My choice is to set goals. A goal is something that you can always be working on, not something that you pass or fail. You can make big or little goals, complicated or simple; the choice is yours. You can have big goals and work on them in parts with smaller goals.
Let say you want to lose 30 pounds, you could start with the smaller goal of losing 5 or so pounds and then lay out exactly what you plan on doing to achieve that.
Maybe you need to save money on the grocery budget and eat better. You could start with small goals of serving a couple very low cost meals each week. Or maybe be a better steward at using up leftovers and so on. As the year goes on each day you can work towards your goals but if you don’t meet them for a time there is no need to feel that you have failed, you just keep plugging away at them throughout the year. At the end of year you can reflect on how much progress you have made.
An example in my own life is accounting. My husband handles all the bills and the family household finances but I take care of my own business books. Now I have to say that accounting and I don’t get along well at all! ~smile~ I really would rather have hubby do it, but he is a busy man and I know this is my responsibility to deal with. So each year one of my goals is to be more diligent in keeping track of expenses, mileage, etc.. AND making sure I get it all recorded. The best end to my goal will be one where I just hand him my copy of the year end books and he can do the taxes from that without problem. Well I am not there yet, but each year I have gotten better and better. Each year I spend less time trying to catch up with and search for needed information. Each year I am more and more diligent about recording my information in a timely manner, each year I dread this job less and less ~smile~. So this goal is traveling from one year to the next and I am pleased to see my progress. But if I had “resolved” several years ago to have the books all ready for tax time, I would have failed. Instead I am getting there at a rate that I can manage and I can handle. I am encouraged to see my progress rather than discouraged at what I did not make happen.
My basic method of
goal setting is pretty simple. First I pray! I don’t want to be setting goals
that are not in line with what the Lord would want from me. Then I begin to
write down the goals. I go back over each goal and write down what steps I can
do to make this happen. Or see if a big goal needs to be broken down into
smaller bite size pieces to make it more manageable and doable. The other
important factor in setting goals is to be realistic! If the goal is too big or
too overwhelming you won’t be able to reach it and may scrap it all.
After my goals and steps to achieve them are written down I put it somewhere where I can review it often. I assembled a homemaking notebook last year and so this year’s goals will go in my notebook. As the busyness of year begins I want to be able to reassess and remind myself of current year’s goals so I can be working towards them throughout the year.
At the end of the year I pull out my goal sheet. I can see and reflect on my progress and the events of the year. I can see what worked, what did not, where I want to change a goal, or move a goal onto the next year to continue with it.
Most importantly I pray over my upcoming year for wisdom as to where to put my energy and effort. I also pray for stewardship of my time. I only have so many hours in a day and I need to not only use them wisely but also use them in the direction that the Lord would want me to go.
Happy goal setting for 2010!
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