We recently just finished our first full month in 2018. Statistically, by now around half of people who made New Year’s Resolutions have already broken them. Honestly, I haven’t done “official” resolutions for quite some time now, much for that reason. Instead for the past few years, I’ve approached the New Year in a different way. I come up with one word, kind of a theme word, to focus on for the year.
The idea is to come up with a one word vision to focus on for the entire year. I got the idea from a bible devotional that I read on my YouVersion Bible app, called “One Word That Will Change Your Life”. It was a quick, simple 4-day reading plan. “Change your life” was a bit of a dramatic claim. I can’t say I experienced any life-altering evolutions, but subtle changes, yes. I’m a firm believer that lasting change happens little by little anyway. However, it truly did change how I approached the New Year, and my focus truly did last all year as opposed to a fleeting and failing resolution.
How does a person pick their word for the year? Ideally, God will reveal your one word to you as opposed to you just randomly picking one. However, I think that even if you struggle with determining if your “one word” is truly divinely inspired (as I did one year) or even if you just pick a word that seems good, I believe that God will work with that to teach, grow, mold, and change you over the year. Try to listen for God to speak to you about your one word.
Now that you’ve learned to set SMART Goals and how to take some action steps to achieve those goals, it’s a good idea to create a vision board. A vision board is simply a visualization tool to keep you focused on your life goals and dreams. It’s a vision for your life in the form of a collection or collage of pictures of your goals and dreams to be displayed somewhere where you will see if often.
You have to see something before you can have something. For example, you can’t go to a builder and ask him to build your dream home without having something in mind. It’s been said that you become what you behold. The bible describes one example of this in 2 Corinthians 3:18–that we will reflect like a mirror what we are looking at—just as when we look to God, He transforms us into His likeness.
“So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord–who is the Spirit–makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.” 2 Corinthians 3:18 (NLT)
Proverbs 29:18 says that “where there is no vision, the people perish”. We have to have that vision in front of us to make it happen. There is an amazing, transformational force in what we set our heart (spirit), mind (soul) and eyes (body) on. Many modern theorists and success coaches refer to this transformation as the “Law of Attraction”. The Law of Attraction basically states that you will attract into your life whatever you think about –that your mental perspective will attract external circumstances. This is not a new concept–the bible encouraged focusing on the positive long before the Law of Attraction theories.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” Philippians 4:8 (NIV)
I heard about some powerful examples of visualization bringing dreams to reality. One you may have heard was about Jim Carrey writing himself a check for $10 million for “acting services rendered” then carrying it around in his wallet (where he would obviously see it frequently as he would open his wallet). Check out his interview Continue reading →
We are three months into the year. By this time most people have already given up on those New Year Resolutions and goals they set a few months ago. So what’s the point? Why should we be writing goals down? Well, there are numerous reasons and benefits to writing goals down, and I’m going to share some of them with you (along with a few resources and studies to back them up so you’ll know I’m not just blowing smoke!).
First, it’s important to set and write goals out because they become our “to-do” list for life. I don’t know about you, but I’m a “to-do” list fanatic. We’ll talk more about this when we discuss time-management, but I thrive on to-do lists (post-it notes, phone reminders, calendar notes, etc.). I LOVE crossing stuff off of lists. Goals are no different. The feeling of achieving a goal and crossing it off of a list is amazing! It’s also important that we are writing goals down because they give us something concrete to look at, and they serve as a form of accountability. There’s something about writing something down that makes you feel like “ok, now I HAVE to do it”. Writing goals down brings them into sharper focus. Having to write your goals out forces you to clarify them and focus on what it is that you really want.
Studies have shown that we are much more likely to achieve our goals if they are written down. Supposedly Harvard Business School (1979) and Yale (1953) did studies on the effects of writing goals down. The study was said to have shown that only 3% of the graduates had written goals down and that 10-20 years later that 3% was making ten times as much money as the other 97% combined. Sounds really cool, right? Well, unfortunately it was a big, fat lie—those studies are a myth and were never conducted! (Sources: Harvard Library, Fast Company, and Sid Savara) HOWEVER…there really WAS a study conducted by Gail Matthews, a clinical psychologist at Dominican University in California. Her research proved that “those who wrote their goals accomplished significantly more than those who did not write their goals.” (Source: PDF: Goals Research Summary, by Gail Matthews, Ph.D., Dominican University)