I was thumbing through several self-help books the other day and couldn’t help but notice that every one of the ‘get well’ plans involved SETTING GOALS. It enticed me to dig even further as I thought to myself, “Hey! There must really be something to this goal setting thing”. I have to admit, I have always lived my life on a whim never really setting goals for myself. I guess the biggest one I had was to graduate college, then graduate from graduate school. Looking back, how I got through those two things?…I have no idea. I found several ‘goal setting’ references in common but one that stuck out to me was if you don’t have PERSONAL goals, it is that much harder to be successful at any others. Remember, your goals should be measurable. “Exercise More” is not a measurable goal. Say, “Exercise 3 times per week for one hour each” instead. Here are a few commonalities among the setting goals literature I found:
1. Personal Development: This is the whole “grow where you are planted” thing. If you are already what you want to be when you “grow up”, what do you need to do to thrive there? If you still have aspirations you haven’t already achieved, what will it take to get you there? Document the steps!
2. Marriage & Family: What do you do to have fun? A happy family spends time together whether it be at the dinner table, or in an RV on a trip, or a lavish trip to Europe. A family will thrive when there is interest among all parties.
3. Financial: Do you have a budget? (Sadly, I don’t…yet!) Do you save money? Do you have a plan for how you will fund your future? This is probably the most difficult of all goal categories for me.
4. Physical: Do you have an exercise plan? Do you plan your meals? I read where you are much more likely to both save money and stick with a healthy diet if you plan your meals. This has helped our household tremendously. I’ve noticed we don’t go out to eat as much. And although I struggle with getting to the gym some days, I try to go at least 3 times per week.
5. Spiritual: What do you believe in? I personally believe in The Bible as I am a Christian. I just can’t accept the scientific fact that the Earth and everything on “just happened”. Everything is too perfectly aligned for survival for that to have happened. Someone, somewhere created it…and I believe that someone was God.
This blog entry has encouraged me to try documenting goals for myself (these are things I’m already working on subconsciously, but never wrote down). I’ve chosen to share some of those with you (as a PG-Personal Goal), but please understand this is a work in progress. I’m not perfect. Many of these goals I am still working toward and sometimes I’m missing the mark. But, I only miss it because I tried to begin. And I will get back up and try again until I get it right.
A SAMPLE OF MY GOALS (in order of importance):
I. PG#1: Continue to grow my relationship with God
a. Read a new testament chapter every quarter
b. Read an old testament chapter every quarter
II. PG#2: Keep a happy husbanda. Go on overnight trips with my husband without our children
b. Cook dinner as much as possible (yes, this is an actual goal as it’s hard with my schedule)
III. PG#3: Have happy active children
a. Enroll the girls in activities they enjoy
IV. PG#4: Exercise and Eat Right
a. Bring my lunch to work most days, limit eating out to once a week
b. Run at least 2 miles, 3-4 times per week
V. PG#5: Have a successful career / challenge myself
a. Study for work certifications
b. Begin blogging, create a .com domain
VI. PG#6: Live debt freea. Sell our house by June 1
Have a great day!