by Marva Titley-Smith, Certified Life Coach
I always had good intentions. But every year I’d make New Year’s resolutions, only to forget them by the end of January. Or maybe I got past the first couple of months but then, wham! Life happened.
So, I stopped. Completely. No more resolutions for me.
And for a while, I was ok with that. But I knew I needed something more. Something to guide me. Something to help me focus in a way that would bring structure and meaning to my year. And I found just the thing.
Now that we’re at the time of year when goal-setting and resolutions kick into high gear, this is the perfect time to share with you my alternative to New Year’s resolutions.
This is the path that led me to a more meaningful, power-packed year. These tips will empower you to create your vision for 2020 and make it crystal clear. And of course, the clearer the vision, the more confident you’ll be in working towards it. So, if you’re ready for a year of meaning, impact and abundance, read on.
These five tips will help you set clear goals, make them stick, and ensure that you enjoy the journey.
It’s my firm belief that God has a plan and a purpose for each one of us. I’ve learned the hard way what it feels like to live outside of God’s plan and I certainly don’t want to go down that road again. More than anything though, I know that God’s plan for me is good. So, as I make plans for the year, the first thing I do is seek God’s will. I approach Him in prayer, fully expecting that He will lead and guide me. And He always does.
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. ~ Ephesians 2:10
So, without a doubt, prayer is the first place to start if you want to have a powerful, Spirit-filled year.
Rather than create a long list of things I want to do for the year or promises that I can’t keep, this is what I do instead. I choose one word that will sum up what I want to focus on, the person I want to be, or how I want to live. Think of this one word as your theme for the year.
And again, I highly recommend committing this process to prayer. Ask God where He’s leading you and what He wishes to show you. Ask Him to give you your word for the year. Pray, pay attention and listen.
It’s usually during one of my intentional goal-setting prayer times that God gives me focus and clarity – and my word for the year.
I love having a word for the year to meditate on and guide me throughout the year. One year my word was ENOUGH and God showed up time and time again to remind me that He is enough for me.
Now, this is the real meat of the matter. And believe me, goal-setting really isn’t as painful as we make it out to be, unless, of course, you’re trying to go it alone. But when God is at the helm, you’ve prayed through His will for you and sought His direction – what a difference it makes! You can then step into your year with a sure foundation.
When setting goals, you’ll want to be sure that they are SMART so that it’s more likely you’ll achieve them. SMART goals are:
Part of my goal-setting process for the past several years involved creating a vision board and I feel as though this is my secret weapon. A vision board is a powerful tool to keep you inspired throughout the year. One glance at your vision board brings to mind the future you’re looking forward to and it motivates you to keep going.
To create my vision board, I focus on my roles and relationships and I try to imagine what I’d like to see in these areas of my life in the upcoming year. I pay special attention to my relationship with God, my husband, my children, my family and friends, and those who don’t yet know Jesus.
One year I chose the word FULL as my one word. My theme scripture became John 10:10 which reminds me that Jesus came (and died) in order that I might have life to the full. My vision board became a tangible reminder of the FULL life that God wants me to have, with the word FULL appearing in several places and in different fonts throughout my vision board. That one word transformed my year and gave me a whole new perspective.
In January I will be hosting the second annual Vision & Purpose Brunch where you can create your very own vision board in a fun and inviting setting. Even if you think you’re not the creative type, you’ll see how easy it is. I’ll take you through step by step, showing you how to create a vision board and use it as a springboard for your desired future.
The Vision & Purpose Brunch is like a mini-retreat, empowerment session, and girl-time all rolled into one. See all the details at: www.marvasmith.com/vision-and-purpose
Once you’ve set your goals and created your vision board, it’s time to put those plans and goals into action. This is the time to live them out. To help keep me on track, I created the Spark Success Goals Planner to document my goals and measure my progress month by month. You can add your goals to a regular calendar and make time to review them regularly.
Check-in ever so often to see how you’re doing. Ask yourself if you’re satisfied with the direction you’re going in and if not, adjust course.
Of course, as you live out your goals, remember to have fun. Life, after all, is meant to be lived fully.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. ~ John 10:10
Also, remember to add grace. They’re called goals for a reason and by the very nature of the word, goals are something we’re always striving for. Should you fall short, grace abounds.
So, there you have it. Five steps for setting meaningful goals and a powerful vision for 2020. I’d love to know if any of these tips helped or if there are others you would add to the list. And I look forward to seeing you at the 2020 Vision & Purpose Brunch where we’ll create our vision boards together and kickstart an amazing year.