How To Set Goals For The New Year

With the new year quickly approaching, have you set your goals for the coming year?  This is the first of a series of goal-setting posts to help you determine and design your goals for the new year.

Silhouette of a champion on mountain top

© Biletskiy Evgeniy / Dollar Photo Club

Make the decision now to start living with purpose!  Do you want to continue to go through the motions and find yourself in the same place next year?  We all get stuck in cycles where we go on auto-pilot and live life without really thinking about it.

You need to set goals and follow through with them to get out of the rut.  Believe in yourself that you can make it happen.

Here’s a process that I use for setting goals.

1. Your Focus Area

Choose an area out of the ones listed below where you feel that you can be specific and stay motivated.   Feel free to add any categories here that I may have missed.  Please comment below this post if you have any to add.

Family

Finances

Career

Spiritual

Health

Marriage / Love

Friendships

Giving

Learning & Personal Development

Some ways to decide on a goal or goals is to understand your probability of achieving the goal.  The last thing that you want to do is get discouraged and quit before you’re even half way through the year.  How likely are you to achieve the goal?

2. Get Specific

If you can’t make your goal specific then think again about setting the goal.  You will not achieve that goal if it’s not overly specific.

3. Be Intentional

Be intentional about your goal by laying it out over the course of the year.  You’ll have to remind yourself daily of the goal and why you’re doing it.

4.  Get a Partner

Find an accountability partner that you know will whip you into shape if you come off of the rails.  This should be somebody that you’re in contact with frequently and see in-person most of the time.

5. Dream a Little

Let yourself dream about achieving the goal but don’t get caught up in it.  We all have dreams that keep us going.

Your goal should be something that you can dream about.  Do you feel silly about dreaming?  Let go and understand that dreaming increases your motivation for achievement.

6.  What’s It Worth?

Think about what you’ll sacrifice for getting to your goal.  Will the sacrifice be worth it?  It better be.  Remember that doing something to make your life better requires trade-offs.

 7.  Don’t Look Back

Have you made mistakes or had complete failures in the past?  If you are thinking about those mistakes then use them as learning experiences and strength builders.  Don’t let fear of failure hinder you.  Look forward.


If you're having trouble with choosing a topic then pick a couple and rate them on a scale of 1-5 with 5 being most likely to achieve and 1 the least likely to achieve.

God wants us to plan for the future and use our heads a little.  Let Him lead you in your decision making by prayerfully considering your goals for next year.  Any good plan will start with God in it.

If we put God first in our goal-setting then there is no way that we will fail whether we know it or not.   Here's a final question to ponder.,,

How will your goals honor God?