2017 Goal Setting: learning from 2016

Thursday, December 15, 2016

The new year is almost here! It's important to write down your goals. It can be simple, it just needs to be done. As I rethink 2016, I have found an efficient way to reach my 2017 goals. It starts with reassessing. Have you reassessed your life in 2016? What worked? What have you learned? Here's what worked for me this year:

Writing down my goals - I'm amazed that the simple fact that I wrote my goals increased the possibility of achieving those goals. This year I had 5 categories: Fitness, Family, Faith, Business and Other. The "other" goals were reached so easily. One of my my goals is to travel during the summer with my family. Another one was to run a race in California. I'm encouraged to keep writing down all my goals. 

Looking beyond goals - A tired person is less likely to reach any goals. It's important to make some major adjustments beyond goals. I took a serious look at my time management and decided not to volunteer myself to death. I decided instead to practice "focused volunteering" which means, I looked at my time limit and my talents and then I made a decision about my volunteering opportunities. I also took a serious look on my joy meter because "no joy, no strength." I cut down on some activities that were just not bringing a return that added to my joy and well-being. Looking beyond goals can really help us reach them. 

Be flexible - I have never experienced this but now that I am looking at some of my fitness goals, I see that I was being too strict with them. I didn't consider the detours that come to all people who set goals in life. I decided that I need to be flexible and I may need to adjust my goals while never giving up on excellence. 

Now that I have all of this in mind, I adjusted my 2017 the following way:

• I'm focusing on my strengths instead of trying to set goals for every weakness I have. I don't know why I never thought about that! In distance running, one needs to have a "running base" in order to wisely proceed with marathon training. The base is built over time and once you have a strong base, you may steadily put on more miles till you reach your peak. The you cut down for a few weeks then you run a marathon. I'm applying the same principle to goal setting. I built a base in 2016. Instead of going out too fast too soon, I'll build from that base and then keep going on towards my goals. 

• I will also write down "other" goals while being totally open to the awesomeness God may bring into my life. I'm thinking I enjoy living a "steady plotting" kind of life. The ordinary, every day activities are the ones that lead us to great achievements. Back to the marathon example, everyone loves marathon day, especially the atmosphere at the finish line. I wish those same people could see us on mile 7 then mile 23. Every mile tells a different story and we celebrate the culmination of months, MONTHS of training at the finish line. It took small steps. Some of us started with a couch to 5K training plan but we started somewhere. The key thing is to be open to the goodness that God always has in mind for us. 

I want to encourage you to take the time to write down your goals for 2017 before the end of 2016. I want to tell you that 2016 was not a waste. You lived and you learned. Let your 2017 goals reflect those lessons. Build on your base and keep moving towards greatness my friend.