Resolutions: Identify Your Target
Zig Ziglar said, “If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time.” As we start a new year, it is a good time to stop and evaluate where you are and where you are heading. This discipline is rooted in the fact that life is short and we must be purposeful about where we spend our time. Without intentionality, a vacuum will be created and filled with anything and everything that we allow. Without goals we will find ourselves pulled in multiple directions aimlessly and in the end may look back and wonder what happened. Enjoy the following list based on my experience in leadership and lessons learned. These steps are the basic outline of what I do several times each year during a personal retreat:
This is the most difficult step for me in the evaluation process. You may be doing this now as the Christmas break provides a good opportunity to stop the routines of life or busyness and to consider the past year. Don’t just replace one form of busyness for another. Force yourself to stop, disconnect and reflect. I have found it necessary to relocate to a remote place or coffee shop to avoid distractions.
Next reflect on all that God has done and all that you have accomplished in the past year. I encourage you to write these down in a journal for future reference. Categorize your life such as spiritual, marriage, family, professional, and personal development. Document areas of concern and weaknesses so you can work to minimize or balance these areas. This reflection should prompt gratitude and propel you toward your priorities.
As you evaluate your life, you should naturally think of those relationships that are most important. List in order of priority the relationships that are most important for you. Mine are: God, wife, family, friends and work. I reference this list frequently and use it to guide where I spend my time, resources and the goals I set for the future. When an opportunity presents itself, use this list of priorities to determine if you should accept or pursue it. Ask yourself if your time and resources are being spent in line with the priorities you have determined.
- Set goals
Goals should be written so that you can reference and evaluate again in the future. At this time of year these may be New Year’s resolutions but if so, make sure these are sufficiently detailed. Save these in that same journal so you can see progress and catch any recurring issues or weaknesses in your life. This should be your roadmap into the future that guides and directs who you are, where you are going and how to maximize your time. Remember to be flexible as detours and roadblocks are bound to show up.
- Read your bible daily
- Weekly date nights with your spouse
- Wednesday nights with your oldest child
- Exercise three times each week
- 100 books to read in the next year
- List specific and detailed work related goals
Now that you have your road map or plans in place, you need to schedule your next stop along your journey. Get these on your calendar and don’t wait until next December to check your progress. Resolve to do this monthly or quarterly. Whatever works best for you, mark your calendar now for that next evaluation or personal retreat.
Setting a course for a life of intentionality is a discipline. Start by making choices and decisions based on your goals. Your goals should be milestones that shape you to who you want to become, things you want to accomplish and stewardship of the resources you have been granted. I make time to plan because I want to be counted as a faithful servant or steward of what God has given to me. I want my life to make a difference and to be a part of something much larger than myself. This will not happen by accident. Stay on target by planning your next retreat today.
For further reading, check out Steven Covey’s classic “First Things First”
Do you already do life planning? What tools and resources have you found helpful in this process?
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Nevertheless, I would not recommend something if I did not think that it was a good product or service. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.