If I learned anything from last year it was the benefit of setting goals! But not just the creation of goals but, see them as developing habits. Writing down realistic visions and focuses for the year allowed actual reflection. There was time to pray over my family and really seek out direction. Looking back on this year I am excited to set newer S.M.A.R.T. intentional goals. This practice is helping reshape my daily habits and propel dreams I didn’t always think were attainable.
2020 was an intense year. Every month was full of unexpected moments that caused waves of grief and joy. The birth of our daughter, beginning our homeschool journey, and even moving to Georgia were high moments. Then we found ourselves in a pandemic, major hospital bills, and even having COVID… However, even through that intensity there have been a myriad of blessings and refining that my character and life needed. This year has not been lost, though I would care to not repeat it.
God has a vision far greater than your sight
I’m sure you’re thinking, where do I start? I want to write a book, begin my podcast, or even just wake up with more peace and joy. The best place to start is in prayer or meditation. Be still and ask what does God have for you this year? Write it down and begin to pace yourself. There truly is no timeline other than the one you set in the beginning stages. Sure your goals will shift and change, but S.M.A.R.T. intentional goals are meant to be sustainable.
When we skip the part of slowing down and truly seeking intention behind our goal setting I think we miss it. The pressure of acheiving or displaying what our plans are to others can overtake the very reason goals can benefit from being personal. Engaging God and releasing our ambitions while we set S.M.A.R.T. goals allows us a chance to see God’s greater vision. May neither of us get stuck trying to impress or compete this year. Let’s grow!
Where to start with intentional S.M.A.R.T. goals
SMART goals are concrete targets that you strive to achieve over a certain period of time. These goals should be carefully drafted so you can be set up for success. “SMART” is an acronym that describes the most important characteristics of each goal.
The “SMART” acronym stands for “specific,” “measurable,” “attainable,” “relevant,” and “time-bound.” Each SMART goal you create should have these five characteristics to ensure the goal can be reached and actually yield its benefits.Clifford Chi
There are various approaches to setting goals, but more than anything they should be intentional. If you haven’t I encourage you to begin shifting from an attitude that goals will be magically achieved. Practicing S.M.A.R.T and intentional goal setting will make a significant difference. If we’re being honest, this doesn’t have to start Janjuary first. Intentional goal setting in this strategy is a continuous practice. I’m really hopeful it will allow you to see goals beyond tasks.
1. Write down the current habits you want to change.
Taking an opportunity to reflect and review what you’re doing daily is important. Behaviors and patterns start off with how we conduct our day and our mindset. When you set a reasonable goal, it’s key to see where it may be steming from. Desiring to wake up earlier? Examine your current evening routine. Jot down a list of no more than 4-5 habits that are truly affecting you and need change.
2. Start small and be S.M.A.R.T.
The acronym behind S.M.A.R.T. goals is the beauty of their success. This is why creating goals that are specific, measureable/manageable, attainable, realistic, and timely allow for actual wins! This particular category of goals is not meant to be created in bulk, hence their intentionality and the time spent developing them. So as you begin to intentionally goal set, start small. Look to waking up 3 times in a week instead of all 7. Then plan to increase a day as you become comfortable consistently achieiving the first goal.
3. Look to consistency!
Be motivated by goals that require AND encourage your consistency. It is in the daily tasks that we make differences. Big goals are achieved with small consistent steps, and I cannot say that enough friend. If you struggle with consistency S.M.A.R.T. goals will help. Being specific along with measureable greatly helps with this area. Also in consistency find one or two trusted friends that can hold you accountable whether it be weekly or bi-weekly.
Set goals with intention not insecurity
Insecurity can drive our goals to be bigger and far more unfocused than they should be. As you pray and seek God on the intention of your goals, look to how you can grow this year. Not how these goals can achieve how other people may see you, but rather an opportunity for you to see yourself clearer!
Surrounding yourself with others who are setting intentional S.M.A.R.T. goals will surely make all the difference. As I write down my own goals this year, I realize that they are far more intended to help me grow beneath the surface. In my character, my parenting, and areas that will yield a different type of value in my life.
How are you intentionally goal setting this year? I would love to know if these tips help you!