Journey to Faith

Journey to Faith
Follow your own path

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Make This Year Count


 Happy New Year, everybody! Can you believe it is 2017? I'm so excited to see what adventures the New Year brings. How about you? What are your hopes and dreams for the New Year? Need to lose those 20 pounds you've been carrying around for ages? Get your financial house in order? Write a book? Finish that degree? I've found that the best way to see my hopes and dreams come true is to set goals. 

Now I'm a big believer in goals and have been setting and accomplishing them since I was a child, believe it or not. There is something about having a vision for my life and a goal to work towards that gives me energy and motivates me to action. 

If you've ever been to a soccer game, you've seen how motivating scoring a goal is for the players. In the same way, achieving worthwhile goals builds our confidence and gives us a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment and also brings more joy into our lives and who doesn't want that? So here is how to set great goals you can achieve.
The first step is to define SMART goals. You’ve probably seen this criteria before, but in case you haven’t, here are the five keys to making SMART goals. A SMART goal must be:

S - specific - detailed and clearly stated 

M - measureable - must be quantifiable

A - achievable - must be realistic 

R - relevant - must be important to you, know the why

T- time bound - set a date/deadline to accomplish it by

A second major component to achieving our goals is we need to have a PLAN. It's not enough to state our goals out loud, publish them on Facebook, or note them in a journal. Without a plan to implement our goals we will fail miserably. I've heard it said "Failing to plan is planning to fail." Make sense? 
I organize my life into 5 major areas and create a goal for each of those areas. Let's say, in the area of health & fitness, I want to lose 10 pounds by the end of the year. The next thing I need to do is list 3 - 5 action steps I am going to start immediately to accomplish each goal. Action steps for losing the 10 pounds might be:

1. Take a brisk walk for 30 minutes every day. 

2. Ask myself if I am really feeling hunger before I eat something.

3. Reduce the amount of fats, sweets, and salt I consume by half. 

Third, I need to understand the WHY of each of my goals. This is sometimes obvious, but as our goals get bigger and harder, it is important to be very clear on WHY we want to achieve a certain goal, or we may lose momentum and give up mid-way through. The why is our motivation. This takes some soul-searching but when we understand the why we gain clarity about our values. 
The last component of achieving goals is the most important. Without this component, we will surely fail. We must learn to develop the power of FAITH.  We must BELIEVE we can accomplish what we set out to do and that God is going to give us the grace to do it. Faith is KEY to accomplishing anything good in life but it must be backed up with action steps and of course, prayer. 

So, write and share one of your goals with me. If you need help defining your goals, write me and I'll help you out. Here’s to a fruitful and fun 2017.

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Until next week, keep looking up!

Ariel