“Let’s set some goals!”
If that phrase makes you cringe. If it fills you with dread. If you have regrets and piles of guilt from past goals set and unmet… you are not alone.
Sometimes setting goals feels like you are setting yourself up for failure. What if I don’t reach them? What if the goals I set are too high? What if …
The fear of failure often keeps us stuck, in a rut and in a cycle of bad habits. We make excuses for ourselves. We blame other people or circumstances. We justify our poor habits and behavior, because change is, well HARD!
Many women have joined me in a group called Balanced Beauties. We have gone through 8 steps in making forward progress in spiritual and physical health habits and disciplines.
It’s one thing to read and discuss the importance of things like reading your Bible, exercising more, and clearing out the clutter. It’s another thing to set specific goals and have the accountability to get it done!
While I do enjoy setting goals, I have to admit, I don’t like to see goals unmet, and sometimes that has kept me from setting goals – that fear of failure!
What I am learning though, is that by setting goals and actually writing the them down, then gathering up some accountability — I am seeing forward progress! Am I also seeing a few steps back and a few unmet goals? Yes. However, if I had not set the goals in the first place, I would have accomplished far less.
Here is an excerpt from the Balanced Beauties manual that shows the different areas we focus on:
Let me share some of my goals, some of my successes and some of the well, unmet goals that I am not counting as failure. I see them as goals not yet met, but still aiming to get there.
Summer 2023 Goals:
- Memorize Colossians 1
- Take time daily in prayer for Praise, Thanksgiving, Confession… in addition to my requests.
- Write new prayer cards for husband and kids with specific requests and pray daily for them.
- Finish Old Testamant Bible study
- Fast 2 x month
- Weekly meal plan/prep
- Keep eating lots of veggies/salads
- Eat slower and less, enjoy more
- Think and pray before eating – am I actaully hungry?
- Go to God first when stressed, bored, angry, etc.
- Workout 6 days/ week training for 2nd triathlon of summer – Aug. 27th.
- Off one day per week to walk
- Finish cleaning out garage, basement and pantry.
- Haul out bags of give-away
- Declutter something everyday
- Write letters/phone calls/visit/ or one on one conversations 1 x week with each of my kids that point them to Jesus.
Labor Day is the day I set to have these goals accomplished. Today is that day.
Did I get all of Colossians 1 downloaded into my memory bank? No, but I have gone over this chapter, little by little all summer and and can say 23 verses out of 29 verses by heart. More importantly this passage has become more alive, relatable and applicable to my life. It has become a part of my prayers for my kids and others.
Recently I heard a woman speak about the importance of “marinating” in His Word. When you marinate meat, it becomes more tender, flavorful and fragrant. The same thing happens to me as I marinate in His Word!
I have been more dedicated to praying daily for each of my family members and I finished an Old Testament Bible study.
Fasting was a struggle for me this summer. This is an area of spiritual discipline that I would like to keep working on. I have seen how fasting deepens and strengthens my prayers. I am more dependent on the Lord and seek Him more earnestly. Weekly fasting is a goal that I would like to do, but will need some accountability for that to happen.
Eating? Well, I did eat more salads and veggies with all the fresh garden produce. However, I can’t say I made great strides in meal prep and planning. We had far too many hot dog meals and often lacked the motivation to actually prepare the vegetables growing in my backyard. I also probably ate too many zucchini brownies. I made these every week for our little local farmer’s market, and I of course had to sample them!
Planning, prep and better food boundaries remain as goals for me.
It wasn’t six days a week, but it was enough to finish my second triathlon for the summer. It was such a beautiful day, and I praise God for the strength, ability and opportunity to participate. The trophy was an added bonus 😊.
Clutter is still a struggle for me. I keep trying to clear it out, but it keeps coming in!
I am still working on it. It remains my goal to clear something out everyday. Currently my 3 boys that are still at home are clearing clutter from their rooms. It makes me so happy to see them collect piles of garbage and give-ways out of their rooms!
Connections are happening. Not as many as I had planned or hoped for, but I can say I have had some good, meaningful conversations with each of my kids and it remains my goal to point them to Jesus as often as I can.
I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.Philippians 3:14 NIV
Why do we set goals?
Here is a recap of 3 reasons goal-setting is important.
- It helps us make forward progress.
- It keeps important things at the front of our minds, helping us keep the main thing the main thing.
- It helps prevent idleness.
When you write a goal down, even if you don’t meet it, it stays in your brain longer. It comes back to you, not to haunt you for what you aren’t doing, but as a reminder of what you set out to do. Living a life worthy of the LORD, means we don’t sit around. In His grace, we work with Him to accomplish the things He has for us. We don’t check things off a list to gain His favor, we already have that. We work towards the goals we set to experience the full life He wants us to live.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.John 10:10 NIV
Have you found goal setting to be a motivating factor in your life? What benefits have you found from setting goals?