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Saturday, January 31, 2015

The End of a Beginning....Begin Again!

The month of January represents a time of new beginnings....a time to start anew.  As this month of new beginnings comes to an end, where do you find yourself? Perhaps you have given up on your goals already.  You are not alone.  Many do.  I once fell in that boat. Every. Single. Year. I would start January 1st with so much hope and excitement about the changes that I was going to make.  But usually within a couple of days/weeks, I had already lost my drive and determination.  One year I even lit a match to my list of goals.  Yep, I was that frustrated!

But then something changed.  I read a book that made me realize that I was going about setting my goals the wrong way.  That book was Say Goodbye to Survival Mode by Crystal Paine and it equipped me with the knowledge to goal set in such a way that set me up for success.

If you have trouble sticking to your goals, you should definitely give this book a read! Crystal taught me how to set goals the right way.  First you have to realize what your priorities are.  My priorities look like this: God, Family, Health, Ministry, etc.  Whatever your priorities are, right them down.  Then break your priorities down into goals.  Within your priorities, what would you like to change?  Maybe you want to spend more time with God by reading and praying more....Maybe you want to strengthen your marriage.....spend more time with your kids.....lose 30 pounds....start a new ministry....a new business....get out of debt, etc.  Whatever you want to accomplish within a years time, write it down.  

You may say, well I already did that.  Yes, most people do write their goals for the year down.  However, most people don't take the next step.  They don't break their larger goals down into smaller goals.  You see, it's not enough to just say "I want to lose 30 pounds in one year." While that is a great goal, what small goals are you going to have to meet in order to reach your larger goal? All it takes is a little math.  In order to reach that goal of losing 30 pounds in one year, then you will need to lose 2.5 pounds per month.  That's less than 1 pound per week! For most people, that is a very reasonable weight loss goal.  Now, what daily goals will you need to meet each day to meet your weekly, monthly and ultimately yearly goal? Exercise for 30 minutes every day? Cut out processed food? Whatever route you choose to go, write it down....Create for yourself a checklist for every single day.

Do you see the process?
1. Figure out your priorities
2. Write down your goals for the year
3. Break down your yearly goals into monthly goals and write them down
4. Break down your monthly goals into weekly goals and write them down
5. Break down your weekly goals into daily goals and create for yourself a checklist for each day

That may sound like a lot of stuff to write down so I suggest that you purchase some sort of planner.  I whole heartedly suggest an Erin Condren planner.  You can check them out by clicking here:

Erin Condren Planners

One of the things that I absolutely love about this planner is the foil clips that you can use to add pages to your planner.  So at the front of my planner, I have a list of my goals for the year.  For each month, there is a small section for notes on the side and this is where I list my goals for the month.  For each week, there is also a small section for notes where I list my weekly goals.  And for each day, there are three squares that are broken down into morning, day and night.  This is where I create my checklist of goals that I have set for each day.

I hope that you are beginning to see that by working on daily goals, we will ultimately reach our weekly goals, monthly goals and yearly goals.  It may seem like a lot of work, but once you develop your system, it's a piece of cake and you will feel so much more organized and you will be amazed at just how much more you can accomplish!

"The decisions you make determine the schedule you keep.  The schedule you keep determines the life you live.  And how you live your life determines how you spend your soul." -Lysa Terkeurst

Now that we have discussed "the process of goal setting", I think it is important to make this important point:

WE HAVE LIMITS!  It's important to realize what stage of life you are in.  For example, a mother of three small children probably shouldn't create 35 goals to reach in one year.  It is much better to reach 10 goals in one year than to shoot for 35 and become so stressed out and overwhelmed that you throw  your hands up and walk away from your goals completely.  So figure out what matters most to you.  Better yet, what is God calling you to do?  I highly recommend this book:

Lysa Terkeurst is an outstanding writer and in The Best Yes, Lysa explains the importance of learning how to graciously say "no" to things that may even be good things in order to say "yes" to the best things. This has been a life changer for me.

"You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage-pleasantly, smilingly, non apologetically, to say "no" to other things.  And the way you do that is by having a bigger "yes" burning inside.  The enemy of the "best" is often the "good".  -Stephen Covey

"It's not enough to be busy, so are the ants.  The question is, what are we busy about?" -Henry David Thoreau

"A woman who lives wight he stress of an overwhelmed schedule will often ache with the sadness of an overwhelmed soul." -Lysa Terkeurst

So if you have found yourself at the end of your new beginning without having made any progress towards your goals, don't give up hope.  Begin again!

"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.  "The Lord is my portion," says my soul, "therefore I will hope in him." -Lamentations 3:22-24

 I will leave you with these:

"He who every morning plans the transaction of the day and follows out the plan, carries a thread that will guide him through the labyrinth of the most busy life."  -Victor Hugo

"We are what we repeatedly do, excellence then is not an act, but a habit." -Aristotle

"And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." -Colossians 3:17

P.S: if your goals include losing weight or getting out of debt, you should definitely check out these two books:

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