Sunday, December 29, 2013

Five Ways To Set Goals for 2014

Five Ways To Set Goals for 2014

It’s over now. All the hoopla, all the excitement, planning of family gatherings, parties for Christmas, food to make, presents to buy, wrap, and open—it’s all over. There’s a sense of relief that the anxiety is gone, but there’s a let down too. We take down the tree and ornaments and our homes go back to “normal.” Our lives go back to normal.

But it’s not over—not really. For many people it’s more of a “Now what?” Maybe that’s where New Year’s resolutions come from. We think about what’s next. What we want to accomplish in the coming year.

Personally, I don’t make New Year’s resolutions because I don’t want the let down or disappointment of falling short.

I DO believe in setting goals though. If I don’t, I‘ll have no direction and nothing to shoot for. The difference is I won’t beat myself up if I don’t quite get there, recognizing I have made some progress. It also leaves room for my path to change if God wants it to and that happens all the time.

So how do we set realistic goals? Perhaps we could follow a few guidelines.

·       Look at the goals we achieved in the past year and see what we did to make that happen.

·       Congratulate ourselves on those achievements and let them spur us on toward new pursuits this year.

·       Examine the goals we didn’t reach. Were they realistic? Perhaps we need to revise our goal(s) and/or set a better, more reasonable timeline to complete them, recognizing our limitations.

·       Become more conscientiousness of how we spend our time, focusing our efforts toward reaching our goals instead of frittering away our time.

·       Have someone keep us accountable. Someone who will check on us and encourage us to stay on track, or to refocus our energy with the goal(s) in mind once again.

These are some of my thoughts. How about you?  Do you make New Year’s Resolutions? What do you do to reach them?  Don’t forget to join the conversation!



Edie Melson said...

Ellen, I'm like you. I don't make New Year's resolutions because I never keep them. But I do set goals and I use a lot of the things you suggest, and I'm going to add the ones I don't. Thanks for some great suggestions!

Ellen Andersen said...

Thanks for stopping by, Edie.

Celeste Vaughan said...

Good post Ellen! I tend to make resolutions that are too tough to finishing this dang book! Your last point is one I need to work especially hard on...time management. But it will be a goal, not a resolution. See you soon!

Ellen Andersen said...

The time management is the biggest one for me too, Celeste. I'm hoping the writers' group will be impetus for me to write more too.

Cathy Baker said...

Great post to start off our new year, Ellen!! I too prefer to aim for goals. Today, I broke mine down to Spiritual/Physical/Daily (Time management). I spent all day writing doable steps to reach them. Like Celeste, I've always aimed a bit too high and then beat myself up when I failed oh so quickly.

I'm finally learning that goals are great, but the "being" part of my life should always override the "doing." Happy New Year to you, friend!!!

Ellen Andersen said...

I like the idea of breaking goals down into categories, Cathy. Great idea! Happy New Year to you too!