Happy New Year!!!

If you’re like most, you’d like to make some changes in your life in the new year. Common examples include losing weight, exercising more, eating better, reading more, praying more, and/or indulging in unhealthy behaviors less. Regardless of what your goal is (and there can be many), it will take some work.

Many people have such little success with achieving their goals that they don’t try anymore. Is that you? Or did you set goals going into 2018? If so, did you have a good process for managing your progress? Did you achieve your goals? If not, why not? What happened?

Most people don’t achieve their goals for two primary reasons:

  • The goals aren’t realistic…trying to accomplish too much too soon
  • There’s no process to manage behavior

Assuming that you want to achieve your goals, this year’s resolutions, the following is what I’d suggest, given my past experience and research:

  1. Determine the areas where you want to improve
  2. Establish a plan in writing
  3. Execute regularly
  4. Track your progress

Before detailing each of the steps, I want to state something that won’t surprise anyone who regularly reads my blog. Prayer is critical to this process. God made each of us for GREATNESS and stands ready to help us get there. Engage Him and His Son, Jesus Christ, in this process and you’ll be amazed by the results.

I’d also suggest dedicating a journal to this process, using it regularly.  

Step #1 – Determine Where You Want to Improve

Consider the areas you would like to improve, classifying them as follows:

  • Spiritual (growing in faith and in your relationship with Jesus)
  • Intellectual (specialized knowledge to be gained)
  • Emotional (psychological well-being; healthy relationships)
  • Physical (diet, exercise)
  • Financial (earnings, savings)
  • Professional (position, career choice)

What is in the ( ) is intended to help, not restrict your thought. Be creative. Make it your own and then present it to the Lord in prayer, following these steps:

  1. Detail for God each of your goals
  2. Explain why each is important
  3. Listen (sit in silence) for His Voice and Guidance
  4. Pray to not only God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, but the Holy Spirit Who dwells within each of us…for help and persistence

Caution – please do not bite off too much. Rome was not built in a day. You don’t have to pick something for all six categories above. Choosing just 2-3 is fine. When you accomplish those, you can pick a couple others from your list. Ask the Lord for His help in your discernment.

Step #2 – Establish a Plan in Writing

There are steps required to achieving any goal. For the goals you’ve chosen, spend some time brainstorming, then recording those steps in your journal. Be as specific as possible, including timeframes, i.e. what you’ll do daily or weekly, or monthly (depending on the goal).

Once done, take your plan to prayer, reading through the steps with the Lord, then following steps 3 and 4 from above.

Another good thing to do is to place a list of your goals on your mirror, so that you see them every morning.

Step #3 – Execute (with God by your side)

Referencing your journal every morning (yes, every morning), as part of your prayer time, read through your goals and the pertinent action steps. Ask God for His help and persistence as you execute every day.

Use prayer throughout the day to help you achieve your goals. Simple prayers that have helped me include:

  • Jesus, I trust in You
  • Come Holy Spirit

Ask God for the strength to do what He’s called you to do. God made you for GREATNESS and is there to help you achieve it.

Step #4 – Track Your Progress

In the evening, mark in your journal what you achieved (or didn’t) that day, thanking God for His presence in your life and asking Him for His Grace as you head into tomorrow.  

And if you want to be assured of really accomplishing your goals, get an accountability partner, going through the entire process detailed above together. Touching base periodically, i.e. no less than once a week, report to each other on your results. Encourage one another, helping the other to course correct where needed.

Lastly, pray for one another, both throughout the week and when together. Call on our Lord to help you be your very best. After all, God loves you more than you’ll ever know, no matter what you’ve ever done.

Have a “Successful” 2019 and may God Bless you on your Path to Peace, Joy, and Fulfillment!!!

Mark Joseph