At the beginning of each year, many of us sit down with New Year’s Resolution. We want to lose weight, get out of debt, start exercising…and the list goes on and on. But, too often, we quit on these Resolutions before they can become habits because we’ve made them too broad or unattainable. This year, I set goals for myself in ministry and personal goals that I want to reach by the end of the year. I want to be successful in reaching these goals, so I’ve taken a new approach. I shared this with our staff today and wanted to share it with you as well.
Here are 4 Strategies to reach your goals in 2012:
1. Keep them few in number. If you have too many goals, it is easy to get overwhelmed and then give up on all of them. 5 to 7 goals is enough.
2. Make them “SMART”.
Specific—your goals should identify exactly what you want to accomplish with as much specific information as possible.
Measurable—it’s hard to manage what you can’t measure so make sure that your goals can be measured. For example, if your goal is to start reading more this year, give yourself a number of books to read in a certain amount of time. Don’t just say, “I want to read more this year.”
Actionable—every goal should start with a verb (e.g., “quit,” “run,” “finish,” “eliminate,” etc.)
Realistic—a good goal should stretch you, but you have to also use common sense. For example, if you’ve never run a mile, you wouldn’t want to make running a marathon in March a goal. But, you want to stretch yourself, so you may making running the C3 5k (3 miles) your goal.
Time-bound—every goal needs a date attached to it. It could be by year-end (December 31) or it could be more near-term (March 31).
3. Write them down. They should fit on a 4×6 index card so you can carry them with you or put them on your mirror.
4. Go public. When you tell someone else your goals, they will help hold you accountable. That way, when you have weak days, someone is there reminding you of the purpose behind your goals and encouraging you to keep going.
5. Write down the ‘Why’ beside each goal. This will give vision to your goals and when you feel like giving up on it, you will remember why you had it as a goal.
Here are two of my goals for 2012 using the strategy above…
1. Read 7 books by December 31, 2012. (It’s SMART – specific, measurable, actionable, realistic and time bound)
2. Exercise at least 3 days a week.
Happy Goal setting,
(feel free to leave your goals on my blog)