Yall we made it! We made it through 2020, and are finally on the cusp of 2021! And although this year has been really hard, I’m sure it has come with a plethora of lessons learned.
However, now is the perfect time to set your goals for 2021! Goal setting is extremely important because it gives you a vision to hold on to for the course of the year. It also grounds you and brings you back to what it is that you want to accomplish. Whenever it is time to make a decision, you can go back to your goals so you make the choice that best aligns with your vision for the year.
Creating goals can seem really daunting because you want to make sure you are picking the “best” goals but also practical ones! That’s why I’m here to help!
Separate them Out
To set goals for the new year, I always think it is a good idea to split them into categories. For example, I always split mine into Financial, Spiritual, and Personal goals. This makes it easier to create them because it just brings some organization to your thinking. Then, choose 1-3 goals for each category!
When thinking about financial goals, an example would be “I would like to have $1,000 in my savings account by the end of the year” or “I would like to save enough to buy a home.” Personal ones could be “I will go back to school,” or “I will start my career change.” Spiritual ones could be “I will read the whole Bible this year.”
You can always have more categories or maybe you really want to focus on your financial goals so that is the only category you choose. Whatever you do, always remember setting goals is not a competition; if you only want to set one goal, that’s fine! Don’t let those who are setting a lot intimidate you! Remember this is your journey.
Make them SMART
Working in Human Resources, when we set goals for each year, we like to remind our employees to always make their goals SMART. SMART stands for:
I think this is a great practice for setting your goals for the new year too! When you set a goal that’s not specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely, you may not be setting yourself up for success.
For example, if my goal isn’t specific, how will I know when I reach it? If it’s not measurable, how will I know how to track my progress? If my goal is not attainable and realistic, how will I accomplish it? And if it’s not timely, how will I be able to reach it by the end of the year?
I encourage you to make sure your goals are SMART that way you have a clear understanding of what your goals are, how to obtain them, and how long it will take.
Write them Down
This may be an obvious one to some, but it is important to say that you should write your goals down. If you are anything like me and a “mental writer”, writing things down with a pencil and paper may not be your first instinct.
However, when you write things down, you give yourself an opportunity to go back to it later, to revisit your original wording, and look at it with fresh eyes.
When you only keep things in your mind, it could shift and change over time, you may not remember it fully, or you may forget it all together.
I also believe that when you write something down and look at it often, it constantly shifts your focus back to your goals. For example, When you look at your financial goals often, you are reminding yourself to only make necessary purchases because you have a plan in place to achieve them.
Finally, writing down your goals is biblical – the Bible says, “Then the Lord replied: “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it,” in Habakkuk 2:2. The Lord is telling us to write down our visions and goals because He has a herald who will take it directly to Him. When you do this, God can give you strength to achieve your goals when it gets hard. He can help guide you on how to achieve your goals and the best way to go about it.
Pray/Meditate Over Them
Finally, when you are done setting your goals, PRAY and MEDITATE over them.
This is you submitting your plans to God. And I know that can be scary because you may be afraid that God doesn’t approve or He will shoot them down, but I don’t think that’s what God does.
Get in a quiet space and truly hand them over to him (if you need a good worship playlist to listen to during your quiet time, click here). Submitting your goals to God gives Him the space to help you refine them. It gives Him the space to say “here is what you can do to reach this goal.” It also gives Him the space to say that you can dream bigger! You can have more!
Setting goals for the new year can be a bit scary. There is the pressure to pick and focus on the right ones. You may question if your goals are too big or if they aren’t big enough.
My advice? Take the pressure off. Choosing to set goals is huge! You have a whole year to reach them and when you do (because I know you will) you will be so proud of yourself.
Happy goal setting! You got this!