How to Set Great Goals This Year

The beginning of a new year presents a great time to stop and reassess where you’re heading in life. Are you going in the right direction? Are you at least inching closer to your long-term goals? Or do you need to do an about-face and shake some things up?

Whether you like to call them goals, resolutions, plans, habits, or disciplines… this is a great time to set some specific direction for the coming year. But don’t just write down the first things that come to mind.

Here are 5 steps to set worthwhile goals that you can actually reach this year:

  • Be prayerful. What goals will reap eternal rewards? Set some time aside to carefully consider what God might want you to pursue this year.
  • Be specific. Consider where you want to be at this time next year, then figure out several specific steps you can take this year to reach those ideals.
  • Be selective. Too many goals will overwhelm you, and you’ll end up achieving none of them. Try for between 3-7 major objectives this year.
  • Be reasonable. Easy goals aren’t worth working towards, and hard goals can be too frustrating. Figure out something in between that’s both feasible yet slightly challenging.
  • Be accountable. Find someone with a similar goal, or someone who will keep bugging you about it, and ask them to check in with you every week.

Once you’ve settled on a handful of major objectives for the year, get busy doing them! Don’t wait until you have all your ducks in a row… until conditions are perfect… until the backlash of last year’s events fades away. Don’t worry about failed attempts, or sloppy progress.  If you do, you’ll never accomplish anything.

Goals don’t have to be accomplished perfectly in order to make headway, they just need to be done. {tweet this!}

If you’re like me, and you need some fresh motivation to keep making progress in doing this year, remember this quote from Teddy Roosevelt:

Do what you can, with what you have, wherever you are.

If we can remember to do what we can, with what we have, where we are — some day we’ll wake up and realize that we’ve traveled a long way in the right direction!Set Great Goals for 2016

I’ve finally settled on my 5 goals for this year, and chosen a specific focus as well, but for the sake of space I’ll share those in my next post. Meanwhile, I’d love to hear your ideas for choosing great goals!

What tips can you share for setting great goals?


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3 thoughts on “How to Set Great Goals This Year

  1. You are so right when you say to be selective in setting goals…I’m quite the overachiever to my detriment and have many times set too many goals only to be discouraged in reaching any of them. I still remember my top 2013 goal/resolution – to read through the entire bible from start to finish and it happened 🙂 It definitely pays to be prayerful and selective…small steps that add up to big benefits later on. Can’t wait to read about your goals and vision for 2016 🙂

    1. I hear ya! Last year I had over a dozen goals – some were “maintenance” level and others were definitely “stretch” goals – but I only hit about half of them. I learned the hard way that sometimes less is more. 🙂

  2. […] took a little extra time to carefully and prayerfully work through the 5-step process of setting great goals, and finally decided on 5 major things I want to accomplish over the next […]

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