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Three Steps to Setting Achievable Goals

calendar, blue target

In my previous post, I talked about resolutions in a light-hearted manner. Many say they don’t make them, because they don’t work. The news media doesn’t help. Every year I see the same reports telling us how many people don’t keep the resolutions they make. No encouragement there. So, I shared some broad resolutions that are more life directions than actual resolutions. (Read that post HERE.)

I know this, however, seldom do we hit a target we haven’t yet identified or located. So, if you want to improve in certain areas of your life, you need some new direction to get you there. You’ll have to make some changes in what you are currently doing.

Call them goals if you want. That seems to be a more popular word these days, but decide a few areas in which you want to see improvement, then put some goals in place to help you get there. Making positive lifestyle changes isn’t easy, but it really does start with that simple of a process.

To help you get started, here are…

Three guidelines I use for choosing achievable goals:

Quantifiable – Make sure you can make the goal measurable. Don’t say you want to lose weight. Decide how many pounds you want to lose. Don’t say you want to read more. Say you want to read one book a month…something like that. You want to read your Bible more? Then set a goal to read one chapter per day. Not…save more money…but save $50 per pay period…etc.

Reasonable – Set a goal you can actually attain. Otherwise you’ll give up easily. If saving $50 per pay period is completely unreasonable, then decide the reasonable number. It probably should be some stretch to make it worth celebrating later (which is a key component in goal setting), but make sure you can do it. Losing 10 pounds per week is going to be tough…perhaps even unhealthy…but two pounds per week…pretty much anyone can do that with a little discipline.

Motivated – Pick goals you are passionate enough about to put the energy and discipline in it to achieve success. Do you REALLY want to lose weight? Do you TRULY want to do better with your finances? Is reading your Bible ABSOLUTELY a goal worth pursuing? Your degree of motivation will likely determine how committed to achieving the goal you remain.

If you think through setting quantifiable, reasonable and motivated goals, and then you consistently practice them for a month, or two, or better yet three…you’ll be we’ll on your way to successfully completing them. And, the satisfaction from that will be worth celebrating.

If you are really serious about this process and want more, read THIS POST on writing a Life Plan.

Do you set goals (or resolutions) for the new year?

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Ron Edmondson

Author Ron Edmondson

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Join the discussion 10 Comments

  • Richard says:

    "S.M.A.R.T." goals are also a good way to get what you want. Giving yourself a "motive" completes the picture.

  • I got here great and rewarding post,i consider to recommended it.Thanks for sharing this great info here.

  • Dan says:

    If you'd like a tool for setting your goals, you can use this web application:

    Gtdagenda. com

    You can use it to manage your goals, projects and tasks, set next actions and contexts, use checklists, and a calendar.
    Syncs with Evernote and Google Calendar, and also comes with mobile version, and Android and iPhone apps.

  • kmac4him

    Yes. I like the New Year because it gives me a “strong “ starting point. But I also set goals at other times of the year. The point is, I need to have a starting point and ending point or I don’t “grow through” and change. My starting point is usually on my knees, I usually can’t achieve a goal without God starting it. My ending point is like the old testament times where something has changed and you build a monument and celebrate God. Usually that monument is gratitude written and shared with others, giving God the glory and what I call: “heavenly hindsight”, the ability to look back and break into a soul smile because I see God and what He did!! AWE-GOD!

  • Pastor Ron! Some of my goals for the new year:
    — To run a half-marathon officially
    — To blog more consistently (at least one post a week)
    — To read more vigorously (aiming at 52 books this year)

  • bryankr

    To be honest, I have found that following Christ is all about change! He seeks to make us more like Him, right? That sounds, to me, like a life of resolutions. Every day there is something I need to lose, get more of, do less of…etc.

    • kmac4him

      That is true! The heart of the gospel is change. I find that the Holy Spirit does change me, He challenges me in spurts of time, which are goals by the way of our human perspective, but by the way of His Kingdom Perspective, He is changing us! As usual!!