How to set Goals you can actually keep
“The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps”
Can you believe only 3 days are remaining in 2021? I feel like this year has flown by so fast. Are you ready for 2022?
While we are preparing for a brand new year of new beginnings and fresh hope, I’m sure you’ve been mulling over a host of new lifestyle choices that you want to pursue. You’ve probably also promised yourself that this time around, your New Year’s resolutions are not going to end up like the previous ones – abandoned after a few weeks of trying!
Positive declarations are a great way to stay motivated but that alone will not be enough to see your resolutions through for the rest of the year.
I have good news for you. You can do it with the right approach! In the next few pages I am going to help you set yourself up for success. I'm going to share some of the key reasons why New Year's resolutions fail. More importantly, I will share some valuable tips on how to set goals that you can actually keep throughout the new year.
Did you know that God really cares about your goals? Everything that happens in your life is important to Him. So, always start by committing your plans and goals to the Master Planner. Write it down, and He will oversee it to its fulfillment.
“And no one puts new wine into old wineskins” Mark 2:22 ESV
Mindsets or deep-seated habits and behaviors often prevent us from fulfilling our goals. The truth is, you cannot change negative habits or try to build a new mindset overnight. Dr. Caroline Leaf, a Christian Cognitive Neuroscientist & Mental Health Expert, in her clinical trials, found that it takes around 63 (sixty-three) days to change a mental habit. Sadly, most people give up on day four!
Changing your mindset means changing how you think about the circumstances of your life. Lifestyle changes are easier to maintain once you have solved the limiting belief systems that are holding you back. It takes time, persistence, patience, faith, and prayer!
“I praise you, (Oh Lord), for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well”. (Psalm 139:14 ESV).
Changing your mindset will also involve changing how you see yourself.
You must believe it to achieve it! This means that you must see yourself as a person who has already achieved whatever it is you want.
When I wanted to lose weight I realized that I had to think like a skinny person.
I had to let go of thinking that food would solve my anxiety, and feelings of overwhelm.
I had to learn how to plan ahead for birthday parties. “Would I eat the cake?” “How would I still enjoy celebrations without over-indulging?” I asked myself, “How would a skinny person think?” “What choices would they make?”
I changed my identity by looking at the fat girl mentality and what I was currently thinking. I had to identify as a person who made healthy food choices.
The same was true when I started my own company. I had to imagine myself as a CEO of a company. I did not always feel like a CEO even though it was true. I started to introduce myself in business circles as the founder and CEO of Roanna Rhodes Life Coaching. I had to train my brain to think like a business owner as opposed to being an employee.
I had to pour out the old wine - my current way of thinking - and exchange it for what I believed God had for me: His way of thinking about me, what plans he had for me. An identity shift was an important part of the transformation process.
As you are thinking about your goals it is important to answer this question.
Who do you need to become to achieve your goal?
Resolutions -vs- Goals
A resolution is a cognitive decision to do something or not, while a goal is your target towards which all your efforts are aimed to achieve a result. Goals have a definite endpoint. From this comparison, it's not difficult to see which one is more measurable, right?
“For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, This man began to build and was not able to finish.”
In Luke we see that we are to begin with the end in mind. No matter what goal you set for yourself this year do you have what it will take to complete it? If not, how will you get what you need to complete it?
I’m sure you’ve heard of S.M.A.R.T. goals but probably only thought of it in a business context. However, using the acronym is the key component to achieving your personal goals as well.
It must be simple, sensible, and significant and answer to the 6 (six) W’s
What do you wish to achieve?
Who else should be involved and who benefits?
When will you know you haveaccomplished it?
Why is this goal important to you?
Where will it predominantly take place?
Which resources will help to achieve this goal? (gym/ diet plan/online study courses, etc.)
Your goal/s should be meaningful and motivating
You need to measure your progress. Set short and long-term goals, i.e. by the end of May I want to have one credit card paid off. By the end of 2022, I want to be debt-free.
You need to be in full agreement with your goals, it must be attainable.
Are there skills, smaller goals that you should have achieved before starting, or do you have everything you need to get off the mark?
If you feel demotivated, discouraged, and procrastinating, you need to find the limiting belief that is holding you back and then reassess how you will move forward.
It should be reasonable, realistic, results-based, and within your budget or available resources.
Will achieving this goal move you forward in life, i.e.
¨ Is it applicable to you right now?
¨ Will, it be worth your effort and time?
¨ Will, it raise you to the next level towards your life’s purpose?
¨ Does it align with the Word of God?
Timelines (setting milestones) are helpful to stay focused.
Deadlines propel you to the goal line with urgency.
¨ Don’t set a goal that you know, will be almost impossible to achieve within the timeframe.
¨ Do you have most of the resources you need? (Time is often the most important resource to achieve a goal)
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and Perfector of our faith” Hebrews 12:1A
No matter how many times you’ve failed, believe that you can do it this time, with the right approach and new mindset. Setbacks are inevitable but you don’t have to beat yourself up even if you take a few steps back. Don’t lose heart while doing good, for in due season you will reap!
Most often, in our excitement, we rush into putting all positive behavioral changes into practice overnight and end up running out of steam, losing patience, and becoming demotivated.
Remember a year-long goal is a marathon, not a sprint. Sustainable, imperfect progress is to be expected.
“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 ESV
Starting on a new journey takes a decent amount of planning. But, despite the best strategy and logistical plans in place, you need someone in your corner who can lift you up when you feel down. You need an ’accountability buddy’ when you need motivation and are thinking of quitting.
This is when hiring a coach can really be beneficial to you. A coach not only can help you set a realistic goal, hold you accountable, give you insight into the limiting beliefs that are holding you back but also encourage you along the way and celebrate your wins with you.
Who will be your mentor to ensure you achieve your goals in 2022?
If you are committed to achieving your goals in 2022, you need to not just renew your mind but rewire it. You need to overcome your limiting beliefs and mindsets that will stifle and delay your progress.
Investing in yourself is a great way to level up your success. Having a trained coach in your corner will help keep you on track and moving forward.
I am going to be hosting a mini-workshop on setting and maintaining your goals in my free Facebook group. If you want to level up your commitment, get some live help then make sure you join my Facebook group. Click the link and join for more info.
See you soon,