Some Tips for Making Goals

When January comes around, making new goals is one of the first things I think about.

My husband likes to remind me that I can make goals any time of the year. I don’t have to wait for a “New Year’s Resolution.” Why should I let an arbitrary month dictate when I seek to improve my life? Well, I guess it doesn’t really matter. And some of the thoughts I am going to share can really be applied to any time of the year. However, January just feels like a time of renewal, change, reflection, and hope. You’ve just made it through the insanity of Christmas and New Years. School has started back up. The calendar changes. You have a whole year in front of you. And when it comes down to it, I just like making goals in January!

The Best Example of Growth and Improvement

The Bible doesn’t tell us very much about Jesus’s childhood.  It basically is summed up in one interesting scripture. 

Luke 2:52 says, “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.”

From this scripture, we can guess that Jesus grew intellectually, physically, spiritually, and socially.  Our church has developed a whole program for children and youth that centers on these different areas of growth.  Kids can set goals and work to have a more balanced life. You can check out our church’s website with info about this specific program here

I love this program!

I Love Making Goals… and Lists!

I have always loved making goals, writing something on a paper and putting it where I could see it, and the striving to achieve those goals.  I think it has something to do with my personality.  I just accomplish things better when I have a list in front of me reminding me what I need or want to do.

And I love using Jesus as my example.  I like the idea of having different things to be working on.  They may not all be the priority at the same time, but I have a vision of what I want to learn or who I want to become.  And I have found that whenever I involve the Lord with my goals, things tend to go better and I am able to accomplish so much more than on my own.

How Our Family Sets Goals

So every few months, we sit down as a family and talk about our goals.  We follow the topics found in Luke 2:52, but we name them a little different in our family.  And I arrange them a little differently than the scriptures have it listed.

Social goals (using your heart) are sometimes tricky for me because I don’t consider myself a very social person.  And I am totally okay with that.  So I try to do things to help me get out of myself, serve or others, or learn about other people.  I usually look for ways to connect with family or friends better.  Service is also a wonderful way to get out of yourself.

Intellectual or goals to improve your mind can be anything you would like to learn.  We have done guitar lessons, baking, writing, language study, art.  There really are so many things that could go into this category.  Something you want to learn?  Make it a goal!  

Physical goals are things to get your body moving and improve your overall health.  I am trying to eat better.  I got in a pretty bad habit over the holidays.  Way too many treats and sweets.  Other body goals could be daily exercise, cooking at home, less fast food, a daily walk, dancing with your spouse, or meditation.

Spiritual goals are things that touch your soul.  What can you do to connect more with God?  Maybe it’s getting out in nature, better music, scripture study, prayer.  What speaks to your soul?  How can you do better?

Family Support

So as a family we write down our goals, print them out and put them up so we can all see them and be reminded about what we are working on.  And then we help each other as best we can.  Encouragement, love, and support helps so much!  And remember, NEVER get down on yourself if you don’t succeed right away.  Having a goal is something to work for, but should never be a source of discouragement or shame.  None of us are perfect.  God doesn’t expect that.  He just wants us to be trying to improve and be more like His Son!  And I believe that if we put forth the effort, he will make up the difference in our shortcomings.

A Great Resource

I just remembered this great book that we read with our kids.  I need to pull it out again.  It’s called The 7 Habits of Happy Kids by Sean Covey.  He tells cute stories with fun pictures that illustrate different ways for a child to be happy.  Heart, Mind, Body, and Soul are all discussed.  I would highly recommend this book as a fun way to introduce these ideas and encourage positive behavior with your kids.  You can get it here!

My Goals

So are you still not sure how or what goals to set?  Just as an example, here are my goals that I set this January 2024:

Heart: Send mail (actual mail, cards, etc) to family that lives far away

Mind: Work on my mermaid story

Body: Eat fruits and vegetables every day

Soul: Piano practice and reading daily

See?  Nothing too complicated.  Things that can definitely be achieved.  That is an important thing to remember.

What makes a good goal?

A good goal is SMART:

S-specific

M-measurable

A-achievable

R-realistic

T-time-bound

If you follow this, you will have a much greater chance of achieving your goals.  And don’t give up!  Even if you fall short some days.  Keep going!  Become the person you want to be!

Here is the printable for our family’s goals.  You can fill it out, hang it up, and have a simple reminder of what you hope to accomplish.

Good luck!

~ Rachel

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