It was January 2018 and a friend called me. “Hey – there’s a couple of us who are getting together to do some goal planning for this year. I wondered if you’d want to join us?” I’ve never been someone who has bought into the gimmicks of motivational speakers, but I wanted to kick of 2018 with a fresh start. So I thought I’d give Michael Hyatt’s goal setting plan a try.
Often we have ideas that we hope to achieve – someday. Without a clear goal and an actionable plan we do not achieve our goals. Hyatt makes goal setting simple, achievable, and rewarding.
The simplicity of setting goals is by following the S.M.A.R.T.E.R. framework – make your goals simple, measurable, actionable, reachable, time-keyed, exciting, and risky. Saying “I want to lose 10 lbs.” is a nice goal, but not it hasn’t been simplified. But saying, “Lose 10 lbs. by the end of summer is a great way to have a goal that fits the SMARTER framework.
Further, what makes goals achievable is by having an action plan. For most of us, we need to turn our goals into actions. We can make our goals achievable by recognizing that some goals are habits and some are achievements. A habit goal would be something like: “Each morning I will read my Bible for 10 minutes 5 days a week at 6:30 a.m.” Habits take long periods of time to develop – often 2 months – so celebrating consistency is the key. An achievement goal would be: “Read through the New Testament by the end of 2019.” A habit goal needs daily time, a plan, and consistency whereas an achievement goal needs a deadline and an achievable plan to complete the goal.
Finally, what helps us keep moving is to celebrate our goals. Did you set out to have a 10 minute prayer time 5 days a week? Celebrate this goal by purchasing a lovely journal or book that will help you or encourage you. Did you read through the New Testament this year? Purchase a nice Bible to remind you how hiding God’s word in your heart is a great gift (Ps. 119:11).
When I reviewed my goals on a weekly basis, I was surprised at how much easier it was to take small steps to achieve lasting change. Rather than being driven by the urgency of a “To-Do” list, my “To-Do” list was being driven by my goals. And as I formed new habits, I found that there was great joy in having simple routines that simplified my day.
Summer is a great time to consider your goals for the rest of the year. What spiritual goal do you want to set? What family goal would you like to see happen? What vocational goal would bless others and give you joy? Pray and ask the Lord to help you to make the rest of 2019 the best year possible.