When do you start evaluating goals at the year's end?
In 2013, I wrote out my goals and reviewed my list at least once each week. I started in early December thinking about the year end evaluation, but it wasn't until after Christmas that I really sat down to do some hard core accounting. And I have learned a few things. I'll get to that in a minute.
Daily for the last week I've been going over last year's goals, the ones met and unmet and taking time to really think, pray and talk to my husband about this year's goals. It's been good for me.
There were several goals for the year that I did not meet, but in all honesty, I did get further than I would have had I not set the goal to begin with. And there were other goals that seemed to become unimportant as God worked and directed the paths of our lives throughout the year. And thankfully there were also goals that God allowed to be met before the deadlines set.
So, what did I learn?
1. I learned that for me, goals are better than resolutions.
Maybe I'm just weird where words are concerned, but resolution seems like such a dire and concrete word. Something dark looming over me that must be completed, or else. It really puts the pressure on not to fail. But what if God wants me to fail? Yes, that's right. What if God wants me to NOT fulfill that resolution? Does it make me a liar? I just don't like the word and all it imports.
However, a goal is something to strive for, something desirable, something that implies there are steps to take to reach it, and IF by some chance God does not allow it met, it doesn't seem quite as devastating as an unfulfilled resolution.
2. I learned that goals are measurable and have action plans.
If I want to accomplish this by 12 months from now, I need to think about and act upon what needs to be done each quarter, each month, each week, each day, break that goal down into bite sized action steps that will further me on the road to meet the goal.
And as I take those bite sized actions, I also need to be evaluating along the way: What is the end goal? What have I done so far to get closer to reaching it? Has it worked? Do I need to try something else? I was regularly measuring my actions against the goal in a conscious effort to reach it.
3. I learned that God's ways are better than my ways.
Whether it was a goal set that became unimportant in the grand scheme of life throughout the year and just had to be “let go of” by the grace of God, or whether it was a goal met WAY before the deadline, or whether it was a goal met and exceeded at the very last minute, I learned again that God's ways ARE better. He DOES do all things well. And the experiences of walking with him toward those goals this year gives me belief and hope for the goals he is leading me towards in 2014 will be even better!
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. Romans 15:13
If you're looking for a goal work sheet for this year, I've made up a couple just for you and you can download them by clicking here! I cannot encourage you enough to write out those goals and refer to your goal list often. Weekly. Daily, if you can, as you commit those goals and their action steps to God.
Blessings on you my friend,