Tag Archives: setting goals

One Word for the Year

One Word for the Year

One Word for the Year

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. 

How I came up with my one word each year

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How to Create a Vision Board

Learn the steps to create a Vision Board

How to Create a Vision Board

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

How to Achieve Your Goals

Learn some specific steps to take to help you achieve your goals

How to Achieve Your Goals

Now that we’ve discussed the importance of writing goals and how to set SMART goals, I’d like to give you some practical tips and steps to achieve your goals.  It’s very easy just to write goals and set them aside, but we won’t be as likely to follow through and achieve our goals unless we take some additional steps.  Adding some action steps and some accountability will significantly boost the probability of reaching our goals, dreams and vision for our life.  Most people leave these steps out and that is often why people don’t see their goals to completion.

To take the next step to achieve your goals, after you have written your SMART goals (made them Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic/Relevant, & Time-Sensitive), you should establish some specific actions steps (or short-term goals) for each of them.  By working toward completing these “mini goals” you will reach that bigger goal and achieve your goals in the long-term.  Making and taking smaller action steps is a way to baby step or snowball into a larger accomplishment by taking off bite-sized pieces.  Even God does things in steps and stages.  He knows that we can be overwhelmed easily, and He directs us in steps and stages to success…little by little.

“The LORD your God will drive out those nations before you, little by little. You will not be allowed to eliminate them all at once, or the wild animals will multiply around you.” Deuteronomy 7:22 (NIV)

“The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.” Psalm 37:23 (NLT) 

Next, it helps to identify some potential obstacles or barriers that you may come against for each of those goals, and then come up with action steps to overcome and/or prevent some of those obstacles.  It’s not a question of “if” you will encounter hurdles, but “when”.  Decide ahead of time that you will not let any hindrances stop you or get in your way.  You CAN achieve your goals!  You are Continue reading

How to Write SMART Goals

Learn how to write SMART Goals

How to Write SMART Goals

We recently talked about the importance of writing your goals down because people who write their goals down are much more likely to achieve them.  We learned that writing goals down will help you to be Happy, Healthy and Prosperous!  We also discovered that the bible has several references about the importance of having goals and vision and writing them down.  Today I’d like to share HOW to write goals or better yet, how to write SMART goals.

First, when writing SMART goals, it’s important to keep in mind that you need to write out your goals in the form of a positive statement.  In other words, write what you want NOT what you don’t want.  For example, if you have a goal to pay all of your bills on time use positive wording instead of negative wording:

Negative: I don’t want to be late on any of my bills next month.

Positive: I want to pay all of my bills on time next month.

Do you see the difference?  It’s the exact same goal, just said in a different way.  Your mind tends to lean or focus toward what you think on or say.  In this case, “Late on my bills” will stand out instead of “pay bills on time”.  It’s kind of like advice parents are given when correcting children.  I remember hearing or reading somewhere not to tell a child “Don’t spill your milk” because the brain then unconsciously focuses on “spill your milk”.  Guess what, quite often…they spill their milk!  On the contrary, if you were to say “Be careful with your milk—be sure it stays in your cup”, they are focused on the positive instead of the negative.  It’s almost like a magnet pulling an object toward itself.  We are like magnets that will pull what we focus on toward us.  

This honestly is just a good life skill anyway!  Focus on the positive, not the negative.  It’s also scriptural:

“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” Philippians 4:8 (NLT)

The next step to writing SMART Goals is Continue reading

Reasons for Writing Goals Down

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!).

Reasons for Writing Goals Down

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)

Writing goals down is kind of like taking Continue reading