Monday, January 08, 2007

Setting Goals

As we have entered a new year (2007) it is usually the time that people think about setting and achieving new goals in their life. If you are not one to do this, I would like to encourage you to think about doint this. If you do this, I would like to remind you of some important aspects about setting goals.
First, why should we set goals? Well, when we set a goal, it gives us a direction and a purpose. It is easy in life to get off track with what we should be doing. There are so many demands on our time and our lives, that we can get caught up in doing things that don't really matter or don't further our purpose. Setting goals helps to keep us moving forward with what we were created to be and do. Also, when you set a goal and achieve it, it gives you great satisfaction to know that you are being productive and improving yourself.
Second, when you decide to set goals for your life, there are some important guidelines to follow. Make sure that you don't try and set too many goals. I would recommend not more than three or four goals. If you achieve those goals, then you can always set more. Next, make sure that the goals are what you want to achieve, not just something you think you should be doing. For example, you might set a goal to get in shape. If you don't really want to achieve it, you won't put forth the energy to achieve it, and in the end it will just frustrate you.
After this, you should make sure that the goals you set are specific. If your goal is not specific, you will not be sure if you have achieved it or not, and this can again bring frustration. Instead of saying "I will get in shape," say that you will work towards running 2 miles, three times a week. You probably won't be able to run 2 miles off the bat, but you can work up to it, and you will know when you have achieved it. Try and keep from setting a goal of doing something "every day." The chances are that you will not be able to do something "every" day.
Last, make sure that it is a stretch for you, but not so much that you can't achieve it. For example, if you want to lose weight, you might start in small increments. Tell yourself that you will try and lose 5 pounds in the next month. Then be specific about how you will lose this weight. Maybe you will cut down on the portions of your food, or cut out desserts. Maybe you will do 15 minutes of walking, 3 times a week. If you reach this goal, but you still want to lose more weight, then you can set a new goal for the next month.
All in all, goal setting is important and good. However, don't let the goal rule you. The goal is to help encourage you to better yourself and to be more of who God created you to be. As you set goals for yourself, try and set one or two goals in 4 areas: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. Don't forget to tell someone your goals so they can help to keep you accountable and motivated. I'd love to hear what you think and/or what goals you are setting for yourself this year! (