For the next 26 weeks I will be sharing a different way you can become healthier in your daily life. Some of these suggestions have to do with food or exercise, others have to do with lifestyle changes, but all of them are practical and relatively easy to execute. You may already be practicing some of these habits, but hopefully you’ll be inspired by at least one or two new ideas you can begin to implement.
Set Weekly, Monthly and Yearly Goals
SETTING GOALS PROVIDES ACCOUNTABILITY
Good intentions don’t get anybody very far. If you want to start exercising 5 days a week, writing down your plan for accomplishing that goal and making a daily checklist will help to hold you accountable on the days you’re tempted to skip. Merely having a vague desire to “start exercising more” is nice thought, but won’t compel you to keep your resolution for any length of time.
If you follow the outline I’ve laid out below, you will be able to identify any potential barriers to meeting your goals. Then you will come up with a detailed plan of how to overcome those excuses and other obstacles that you will likely face. Writing all of this out is a unique accountability tool as you strive to make changes in your life.
SETTING GOALS HELPS YOU ACHIEVE YOUR HIGHEST POTENTIAL
The Apostle Paul told the Philippians, “Not that I have achieved all this or have already been made perfect, but I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (3:14). Paul’s greatest goal and heart’s desire was to know God and to make Him known to those around him. Focusing on his goal day in and day out with the help of the Holy Spirit allowed him to spread the gospel to thousands of unreached peoples. If he had merely been halfhearted in his goal, or if he hadn’t had the goal to begin with, he would not have reached his highest potential. We too need goals to keep us motivated.
SETTING GOALS PREVENTS YOU FROM LIVING AIMLESSLY
As Christians we are to “make the most of every opportunity” (Col. 4:5) and to do everything for the glory of God (1 Cor. 10:31). If you don’t have any sense of direction or motivation in your life, you won’t be able to live up to these exhortations. If you’re not careful, you may wake up one morning and realize your life is nearly over and you’ve wasted the time God gave you on earth.
Begin setting goals now… don’t live with regrets later! As John Piper says in Don’t Waster Your Life, “Desire that your life count for something great! Long for your life to have eternal significance. Want this! Don’t coast through life without a passion.”
What do you want to accomplish? What are your aspirations for the future? Why is this goal important? How do you intend to meet this goal?
What are the targets or milestones you have set in place to ensure you are effectively moving toward your goal? Is your goal short-term, intermediate, or long-term? What can you do every single day to move toward your goal?
How are you going to execute your plan? What are the specific actions you need to take to meet your goal? What is the succession of steps that need to be taken in order to achieve your desired outcome?
Is your goal attainable? What might hold you back from achieving your goal? How can you avoid the pitfalls that might prevent you from meeting your desired outcome? List your specific solutions to overcoming your potential obstacles. What specific things will you need to acquire or do in order to reach your goal?
What specific date do you want to accomplish your goal on?
Below is an example of a goal I set and recently achieved. No, I did not meet my deadline (I was a couple months late), but I did finally accomplish the task. Taking the time to write all of this out helped me considerably in reaching my goal.
It is also important that you review your goals often to remind yourself what you are striving for, why, and how you have determined to accomplish them.
|Desired Outcome||Benefits to Meeting Goal||Potential Obstacles||Specific Steps You Will Take||What You Will Need (skills, money, knowledge, etc.)||Achievement Date|
|Memorize the whole book of
||July 1, 2015|
Now it’s your turn. What do you hope to accomplish in the next week? Next month? Next year? Follow the steps laid out above (you can even use a chart like the one I shared) and write down your aspirations.