I love making to-do lists. The satisfaction derived from checking off each item as I complete them one after another is a wonderful feeling! I am even guilty of writing down simple tasks that I have already completed just to make the list longer or so that I can feel more productive. While we might smile at this idea of so much satisfaction being created from writing a to-do list and crossing items off, this process of setting goals has proven to be very beneficial in many areas of life.
One reason we set goals is to help us plan for the future, and one good way to do so is by writing your goals down. When you write a goal, it forces you to articulate exactly what it is that you want to accomplish and where you should invest your energy. A popular recommendation is to make S.M.A.R.T. goals, which is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic/Relevant, and Time-bound.
Specific – state exactly what it is that you want to accomplish.
Measurable – create a way that you can evaluate how close you are to accomplishing this goal.
Achievable – the goal should be challenging but still able to obtainable considering the time and resources that you have available.
Realistic/Relevant – ensure that it makes sense for what you are able to do considering your location, job, other obligations, etc…
Time-bound – Set a date when this goal should be accomplished in order to provide accountability.
The most important step to goal setting – and one that I have often been guilty of skipping – is seeking God’s will in your plans. I tend to assume I know what is best for myself and forge ahead with my goals instead of pausing to ask God what are His plans for my life. Instead, I should be asking how I can make myself available to do His will instead of getting busy with my own schedule and objectives. Be sure to spend time with God, reading His word, and being in intentional, continual prayer to discern with conviction what goals He wants you to make; I can guarantee it is better than anything you could think of on your own.
One final step to goal setting is to take action. It doesn’t accomplish anything to make goals but not take the initiative to follow through! Share your goal with a friend and ask them to hold you accountable to your plans or write it down and keep it in an accessible location where you see it and are reminded of what you are supposed to be doing. This goal-setting process can be used for anything: classes, chores, New Year’s resolutions… and they can be for any category: personal, financial, professional, health, faith, and more! As a NEXUS Coach, my job is to help you succeed in meeting your financial goals. If you would like to set up a meeting or ask a question, please email me at [email protected]
Have fun checking off those boxes!