Before I go on to my actual post, here’s a quick note for you all. Firstly, thank you for reading! I appreciate it so much! Secondly, since school will be starting soon and, frankly, my free time will start decreasing, I have decided on a new blogging schedule. On Mondays, I will post a variety of practical, helpful posts for you all including quotes, advice, and more. On Fridays, I will continue to post devotionals on a specific book of the Bible. Saturdays will be an extra day where I might post a printable or Bible journaling post, depending on my week. Thanks again for reading! Love you guys! Now, back to the post…
We have all heard it said: you need to set goals to achieve success. It’s common because it is true! Here are some of my favorite tips for setting goals – and a free goal-setting worksheet – all to make this year your best one yet!
For some, this might seem like an odd time to set goals. But, in my household, the beginning of August is almost like New Year’s! As a homeschooling family, the beginning of the school year is a very important time for us. For years, my parents have encouraged my siblings and I to map out our goals that we would accomplish throughout the semester. It really enabled all of us to prioritize and succeed!
First things first
What is a goal? Glad you asked! According to Merriam-Webster, a goal is defined as:
something that you are trying to do or achieve
The first thing I notice about this definition is its stress on trying. Goals are not meant to be hard and fast rules to follow. Instead, they are more like guidelines for a productive year. So, if you reach the end of the semester with a few goals left undone, don’t stress about it! They are just meant to be a guide.
As kids, we also learned that our goals should be realistic and measurable. This concept reminds me of the acronym S.M.A.R.T. that is commonly used in developing goals. It stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound. There are quite a few versions of this acronym, but this is the main idea of it. (If you want to read more, here is an article about it!)
Goals should stay away from vague, hazy generalizations. Make them very specific and pinpointed. A weak goal would be something like “exercise”. This goal would get you nowhere. What exercise? Running? Biking? Dancing? The more specific the goal, the easier it is to accomplish.
Goals can also become very subjective when you don’t have an objective way to measure them. Let’s use the same example. If your goal is to “run”, how will you know when you have accomplished it? “Yes” – you could say – “I ran!” But it might have only been twice during the whole year! Instead, “run twice a week” would be a much better goal. Put an amount or measure on your goal to make it accomplishable.
To make a goal attainable, you obviously need it to be both specific and measurable. But, you also need the ability to accomplish it. To create a practical goal, make sure that it is within your known control to reach it. For instance: a goal such as “have better students” would be completely beyond your control! But, if you word it as “Invest 30 minutes in my students to help them learn kindness each day”, the duty is shifted to you – the sign of a practical goal!
This goes hand in hand with the “attainable” requirement. Goals take time and energy to accomplish. Before you write it down, think to yourself, “am I motivated to devote time to this? Is this really a priority?” What I love about goal-setting is that it forces me to be specific. As a dreamer, I have probably 50 ideas floating around in my head during each day. The act of writing only a few out on paper really pushes me to be realistic – I probably won’t be able to take ten different classes of school and five different classes of dance! Don’t overload yourself with goals. Besides, what’s the point of hundreds of goals if you don’t accomplish any of them? Think quality over quantity.
The last – and arguably most important – part of these guidelines is to put a time limit on each of your goals. As I encouraged you all earlier, to make a goal attainable you must be able to measure them. The same principle applies to your goal’s timeline. Is it a week? Month? Semester? Year? Life? Whatever you choose, make sure that a deadline is an important part of your goal – because it is! Deadlines are real life, and we want our goals as practical and as easy to accomplish as possible!
Your Christian life
Now, I know what you all are thinking – “That’s great Elizabeth…but how does that all apply to my Christian walk? Isn’t that what this blog is all about?”. That is a great question that I will answer right now!
On your printable, I included a category labeled “Spiritual”. Under this category, you can write down any kind of goal, ranging from reading the Bible daily, to having prayer walks, to service projects. This is a section for all goals pertaining specifically to your faith. But, I also included three other categories: mental, physical, and recreational. Why?
For me, this blog is all about helping you grow in your faith so that it eventually permeates ALL areas of your life – not just Sundays. Christianity is more than church, Sunday school, and youth group – as Christ himself said, it is daily taking up your cross. I hope that including hints that I have learned along the way will help you all (and myself!) to live each day more purposefully for Jesus Christ. That’s why you will find more than devotionals here!
My other three goal categories…
I mentioned my other three categories, and I’d like to take a quick peek at what each one of those is.
This category is for goals that are orientated toward improving your mind. For most of you – including me – that means mostly school-related goals. Some examples are “read a chapter a day”, “study for the PSAT once a week”, “join the debating club”, or “work towards an “A” in science”. But, it doesn’t have to be confined to just school. I sometimes include my piano goals in this category as well, because music is a very mental activity. Do whatever works for you!
This category is just how it sounds. Write goals under “physical” if they have anything to do with your body, health, or fitness. For those of you who do sports, include those goals here as well. Goals such as “Drink more water”, “go to bed at 9:00”, or “run 2x a week” are also perfect examples of physical goals. I personally like to include my goals that relate to ballet under this category.
Think of this one as an extra place for misfit goals. Hobbies, family goals, or extra-curricular activities are some examples of recreational goals. If you can’t find an apt category for one of your goals, feel free to list here. I use this category for activities such as learning to drive and teaching my sister piano.
So… that wraps up my four favorite goal categories! I hope that you will think about YOUR goals this year and how to make them epic! Keep track of them throughout this semester…because we might be returning to see them accomplished later on!
Before you leave, don’t forget to click the link below to download your FREE goal worksheet:
As always, thanks for reading and have a wonderful semester! Love,