December is here and the end of 2015 is closing in on us! This is a great time to look ahead and set goals for the New Year. Goals are different than a “New Year’s Resolution”. It’s creating a list of things you hope to accomplish, but then also a plan of action on how to get them done. A lot of times, we make resolutions – things we hope to accomplish but don’t take time to think through what it would take to get these things done. In order to lose 10 pounds in January, I must cut out sweets in January, work out a few times a week and find an accountability partner to hold me to it. This is a goal with tangible things to do in order to achieve it. (NOT that weight loss is the most important thing… any goal, a vacation, a new job, or whatever else you want to do…)
When we look ahead we should make plans and goals for different areas in our lives: personal, relational and academically. Here are a few ideas as you think about 2016 and some things to consider in order to achieve your goals:
- Set attainable goals. When you set goals for yourself, be realistic. If you do not work out at all right now, don’t say that in the New Year you will work out an hour every single day of the week. Give yourself some grace and be realistic. Work out ½ hour 3 x a week. This gives you days off in between, but gets you exercising.
- Put a plan together. Write out ways you will attain your goals. If you want to start a blog – figure out how you will do that. What topics will readers be interested in? When will you write, when’s the best time to post? How can you stay connected with your bloggers? Make a plan so your goal can be achieved.
- Make time for your goals. Just like everything else in life, make time to work on your goals. Put it on your calendar, and try to work on one goal every day if you can. If not, mark off a couple times a week to get things done. Schedule time for writing or working out, or travel or whatever else you hope to do this year!
- Be accountable. Find people you can share your goals and dreams with and ask them to hold you accountable. Choose someone who will be “tough” on you when you don’t get it done. (Don’t ask your BFF who will give you grace every time you give an excuse.)
- Check in on yourself. Every three months, see how you are doing. Go over your goals and see where you are at. Change goals or deadlines as needed, but hold yourself accountable for the things you had hoped to get done and find ways to work on those goals you haven’t started on yet.
Even if you don’t believe in New Year’s Resolutions, I’d encourage you to be a person who sets goals. If you don’t set goals and make plans for your life, where will you be a year from now? You won’t know, because you don’t even know what you are aiming for! Take some time this month to plan ahead and set goals for the next 12 months. December 31st, 2016 will be here before you know it!