This year flew by like the Concorde leaving Dulles for Paris. Only it made less noise.
Why does that happen? I don’t believe time goes faster as you age, as some say, but it stuns me that the year is almost over.
This last week of December is unique. Each year at this time I get reflective. How do you feel about the previous year? Did you accomplish all the goals you set? If not, why not?
Before you can start the new year, you need to deal with what happened the past year.
How did setting goals work last year?
At the close of the last several years, my husband and I have followed Michael Hyatt’s 5 Days to the Best Year Ever goal setting system. We’ll go through it again this year. It helps us be intentional about the days ahead in next year. There’s nothing quite like the end of the year to remind you how fast time flies.
Dan Miller offers another goal setting system. Click here to check it out. As Dan says, “A goal is a dream with a timeframe on it.” How many dreams have you and I had for years? You know, the same one. Perhaps this year, that dream needs to get some feet and a timeframe to make it a reality.
We highly encourage you to find a system that fits and then buckle up for full steam ahead.
I used to see setting goals as a four-letter-word not too long ago, but when I compare the years when I set goals to the others . . . It’s no contest!
Here are some of my goals for this past year:
- Read 52 books from different genres. I’ve read 36. Why different genres? Because I tend to gravitate to the same kind of books, reading what is not typical stretches me. I discovered new genres are enjoyable.
- Get healthy by losing weight. This is one of those dreams that needed feet. I’ll tell you more about this next week—watch your inbox.
- Expand editing business. Done.
- Walk or bike 30 minutes four times a week. Started great, but surgery in August curtailed this one.
- Spend at least four hours a week on non-computer creative activities. I did it. This was fun! And it forced me to carve out time for creative projects.
There were other goals on my initial list that I abandoned within the first or second quarter last year. Why? They weren’t specific enough—more like a task than a goal. Or, it was something out of my control—how can that be a goal? Originally, my book goal (see #1 above) was “read 30 minutes every day” (a task). I changed it to read 52 books in different genres. That was more specific, challenging, and measurable.
Give yourself permission to evaluate and reshuffle as the year progresses. Don’t be afraid to adjust or abandon a goal. Perhaps, like me, you list something as a goal when it is a task you need to complete. Just don’t let too much of the year pass before you do.
Setting goals for this year
Make sure they are challenging enough to stretch you, but not too difficult to break you. One thing I’m changing this year is setting 90-day goals. Yes, some goals will take the whole year to accomplish, but I’ve found I get lost in the weeds on those. So, to help me stay on task, I’m breaking the annual ones into 90-day pieces. Since that’s not a lot of time, there’s a greater sense of urgency to complete them.
Also, I encourage you to set goals in different areas of your life—personal, spiritual, emotional, relational, professional, educational, etc. Once you set the goals, post them where you can see them each day. The regular review helps you (and me) stay on track.
The truth is what is important to you gets done, every day and throughout the year. Yes, there will be unexpected events, but having your goals in front of you helps you spend your time and efforts on things that are important to you, not just urgent or important to everyone around you.
How do you set goals?
Leave a comment below and tell me more. We can learn from each other.
If you need help, please reach out. I promise to listen without judgment and help you take the next step.