Here comes 2017 whether you like it or not!
I love the new year! My husband? Not so much. He views New Year’s Eve as an ending and it makes him a little sad and nostalgic. I view it as a chance to start over. The new year is one more time around the sun to conquer new things and experience new ideas, places, people, and events. It is an opportunity to learn new things and become the person I aspire to be.
Every January I set goals and make a plan. And every December I review my goals. Some of them I fulfill. Some of them I don’t. But I’m confident I accomplish more because I had a plan and set some goals.
Here are some tips that help me with my goal setting each year:
Borrow from other leaders
There are successful leaders in your area of work, career, family, etc. Borrow ideas from them about goal setting. Someone may have an idea that would work for you. Michael Hyatt, Simon Sinek, and Carey Nieuwhof offer great advice on leadership and goal setting.
Select 3-5 categories
We can overwhelm ourselves with too many goals. Take some time to think through 3-5 areas and set goals for those areas only. Our brains are capable of focusing on about that many categories. More than that and we will not be able to follow through.
Start with Why
Simon Sinek encourages leaders to start with Why. Our culture teaches us to start with what, move to how then articulate why. Sinek says we need to reverse the order. Why is about defining purpose. Why do you do what you do and how you do it? Start with the purpose before you set the goal.
Create the next step
Every goal needs a next step or you will find it difficult to begin. If you never begin, then you will certainly not achieve your goal. Think about the obvious next step involved and write it down. If you have read any books on goal setting or leadership, then you already know why you need to write it down. The problem is we usually don’t and then we wonder why we never achieve our goals.
Track your milestones
The last few years I have made a habit of tracking my milestones. I record when I completed each step. It was an encouragement to see progress on paper. Our goals are often abstract. Tracking your milestones is one way to make it more concrete. When we see our progress on paper (or screen), then we are encouraged to press on through the tough days.
Prayer & Meditation
Goal setting needs to begin and end with prayer and meditation. Christian and secular leaders alike will tell you they use prayer and/or meditation in their planning. God has a plan and He wants you to be part of it. He will show you where to focus in the coming year if you give Him a listening ear. Set aside some time this week to listen to that still small voice leading you into 2017!