It’s the new year, and goal setting is all the rage right now. It’s the season for fresh calendars, Whole 30 diets, and creating goals to better our lives.
Usually, when it comes to our goals we dream to do something astounding: Sell a million dollars of our product, lose 50 pounds, read more books, creating meaningful prayer time. As we write these goals down, we can see ourselves in an empowering montage, actually completing each of one of our goals.
We share our aspirations all over online, with our friends and families. Because you can’t contain the excitement that you’re going to do it.
According to Jeff Haden, author of The Motivation Myth: How High Achievers Really Set Themselves Up to Win that’s our first mistake when it comes to achieving goals. He say’s this:
"Describing how I plan to run a marathon, and how I bought running shoes and joined a gym and created a training plan, certainly makes me feel good, but it also makes me feel like I’m already part of the way there … even though I haven’t trained at all.
Declaring what we want to be and how we will get there causes us to feel somehow we are farther along the path of becoming who we want to be, and therefore less motivated … even though we’ve actually done nothing but talk.
This year, try something new. Pick a goal. Then create a plan to achieve it."
What Does Scripture Say About Goals?
"The plans of the diligent lead to profit" - Proverbs 21:5
“Is there anyone here who, planning to build a new house, doesn’t first sit down and figure the cost so you’ll know if you can complete it? If you only get the foundation laid and then run out of money, you’re going to look pretty foolish. Everyone passing by will poke fun at you: “He started something he couldn’t finish” Luke 14:28-30
Remember, your goals are a partnership with the one who planted those thoughts inside your mind: God. Setting goals is a part of our spiritual discipline. Scripture indicates that to grow in your faith, you must set goals. Goals stretch us to become who God has called us to be.
Your goals and aspirations are fundamental to your life. Without them, your hustle probably wouldn’t exist right now. We need goals, but more importantly, you need achievable goals. The plan you create to achieve those goals will help you live out your dreams. Here are three tips on how to set realistic goals in your hustle.
- Create a theme for the year.
Creating a specific theme for the year acts as a guidepost for the types of decisions and challenges you will have to make. If what you are working on fits within the theme, you’re on track. The worst thing you can do with your goal is to keep it vague. Can you explain what you are doing in a one sentence vision statement? Once you have your theme, write it down, keep it visible and always refer back to it.
- Break your goals into categories
Don’t just lump all your aspirations into one category. Create individual categories for your life and set goals that way. For example, maybe you would like to run a marathon. This would reside in the health category. Growing your e-mail list to 10,000 people would fit within the marketing category, etc.
- Create a roadmap
I like to work backward when setting up a roadmap for my goals. Start with your end goal and then ask yourself what do you need to accomplish just before that. Continue to work backward until you feel you have reached the beginning of your goal journey.
God is a God who sets goals, and he expects you to create them too. May you realize God’s purposes for your life and may you live out your goals. May you not be just all talk but action, too. May you be like the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 9:36, “I do not run without a goal, I fight like a boxer who is hitting something—not just air.”