It’s the time of the year…. when we make our New Years Resolution and try our very best to keep them. I’ve made goals every year, but most of the time when it’s into a quarter of the year, I forgot what goals I set, not to mention, trying to keep them. Recent years were different, I made goals, and achieved many of my goals. I saw the difference as I executed some steps down which totally changed the way I see goals and reach goals. I’ll introduce the “5 Steps to be a Goals Conquering Ninja” to you!
Before I can even get to that, the most important thing to do is to review your past year’s goals. You will have to pull out your goals, sit down, think and know why you did not hit your previous goals. How were you distracted? What was your plan to focus on your goals? Not knowing why will ensure a repeat of the same mistake.
1. Write it. Pray, Dream, Think & Write them down. “Writing makes a man exact” Lord Bacon
“Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, That he may run who reads it” Hab 2:2
As you write them down, your goals should be quantifiable – Basically put numbers into your goals.
“I want to save this year” versus “I want to save $5000 this year” makes a big difference. The latter is measurable, quantifiable and you know it when you reach your goal. Quantifying it allows you to plan and reach your goal. You know when you reach your “win”.
2. Break it. Break it up into chewable bits just like how you do karate!
For example, if you want to save $5000 this year, it might seem like a big amount to you, but when you break it down: $5000 a year means $420 a month, means $96 a week. $96 is much easier to handle than thinking $5000. If you don’t break it down, at end of November, you’ll find it almost impossible to save $5000 in a month to reach your goal. When you break it down, you know how much you need to do monthly, weekly and even daily to reach your goals. Pace yourself throughout the year.
3. Track it. Convert your goal into a program and turn it into your to-do list.
One of my goals in 2012 was to read 52 books. I’m glad to have achieved that goal.
The first thing I did in the beginning of the year is to put in a spreadsheet and list 1 to 52: Title and Author. The entries are blank at the start, but as I read, I filled in those blanks. I turned my goal into a trackable program and this way, I know throughout the year how I fare and I can see the finish line. You might think that’s a lot of work? Takes me less than 1 minute to update it! And seeing the list filled on the last day of the year is all worth the effort of tracking it. This is the reason why I also use a Life Journaling plan to read the Bible once through each year. It is a pre-written goal, broken down to reading 3-4 chapters a day and trackable. You can do the same for your other spiritual, finance, career goals etc
The Bible Plan is available for free download here: http://discover.org.au/download/bible-reading-plan
4. Review it. Reviewing intensifies your concentration. So many things in 2013 that is going to distract you and take away you achieving your goals piece by piece.
My dad is extremely good at record keeping, not only that, he is excellent at reviewing. Every single document is categorized and filed neatly. As I grew up, I saw that every receipt from my family expenses is kept and checked off when the statement arrives. He knows exactly how much our family spend each month and how much he saves, invests etc. He reviews every statement monthly. These little habits goes hand in hand to why my dad is successful in finances. At every end of the year, he will evaluate all finances, sit my mom down with him and discuss how to move money, how much to invest and how to move forward in the next year etc. He never misses his once a year review with my mum. Consistent reviewing along the way brings focus to your goals. Review your yearly goals monthly, weekly, better still, daily.
5. Faith it. “Attempt something so great for God, it is doomed to failure unless God be in it” John Haggai
There are some who say when you set goals, set achievable goals. On the other hand, there are those who say, set targets that you can’t reach so that even when you are unable to reach your goals, you reach the maximum that you can.
My recommendation: Do both! Make some goals that you know you can achieve (just to encourage yourself!) and make some that requires a lot of faith! Jesus told His disciples “Can’t you watch (pray) with me for an hour?” and Paul says “Pray without ceasing”, both achievable goal and one that requires a lot of faith and discipline! Remember, faith pleases God!
As you have fun setting goals for 2013, will you remember to include “souls in your goals” to see more people receive Jesus and come into God’s Kingdom? Including souls in your goals is putting God’s priority, our priority. Plan into your life, something that matters to God.
I’ve included a free Ninja 2013 Goals Template that you can use to set your goals. It’s categorized into different areas of your life, you can add more categories as you need. Download here: 2013 Goals Template Go Ninjas!