Goal Setting and Vision Casting

“You don’t get points for predicting rain. You get points for building an ark.” Louis Gerstner, former Chairman and CEO of IBM

It’s that time of year again: time to reflect back on the past year and evaluate relationships; examine areas where you spent your valuable time, money, and energy; ponder goals set last year and revise new ones accordingly; and count your many blessings.

As I spend time these next few days looking over notes from years past, I will make every effort to draft goals for the New Year that will help me move further down the path. To becoming more of the person whom I hope to become. My goal every year is to become more saint-like, and many areas in my life need to be addressed in order to help me evolve–step by step–to that end.

I will not suppose that what works for me will work for you. I
will only share what I do in the hope that it might help you as
you prepare for the coming New Year.

I rely on my Filofax, where I write all of my goals down in
colored ink on colored paper. Over the years I have called my
goals various things, but as of last year they became known as
the “6 F’s.” Here goes…

1) FAITH

How can I get myself further down the spiritual path and become
more saintlike? Specific steps I might record to get me closer to my goal would include: disciplined and consistent reading of
scripture, journaling, reading books on spirituality, plugging
into a charitable organization whose vision fits that of my
family’s, taking a mission trip, maintaining a “bloom where
planted” attitude about life, etc.

2) FAMILY

How can our family–including my husband, our four kids,
myself, and the dog–become the strongest and happiest group of
people as we share life together? And what things do I need to be pro-actively instilling into our family’s structure to ensure
happy childhoods for each of our four kids? What is my vision for each child? What gifts and talents does this child have and what do we need to do to help him develop them for other people’s benefit? Specific steps might include: planning a family summer vacation, replacing TV with a family reading night, investments in music lessons, commitment to sports teams, scheduling weekly date nights, etc.

3) FRIENDS

How can I maintain the many friendships that I have formed over
the years given the great physical distances that separate us,
and how can I form new friendships with people who cross my path? Specific steps would include scheduled trips to visit
girlfriends, frequent long-distance phone calls, celebrating
birthdays with gifts and cards, continuing Christmas gift-giving
traditions, etc.

4) FINANCIAL

How do we become more financially independent? How do we reduce
debt and increase wealth? Steps would include my making a list of a realistic number of books to sell, seminars to schedule,
articles to write, investments to make, savings goals to meet,
tithing commitments to keep, etc.

5) FITNESS

How can I maintain a health and fitness regimen that keeps me in
optimal physical and emotional health–while maintaining kids
who are too young to maintain themselves? Specific steps would
include scheduling a realistic number of trips to the gym per
week, weekly commitments to swimming and tennis, and to weight
training, etc.

6) FUN

What things would I enjoy doing personally and with my family
that would help me enjoy life to its fullest? I would include
specific trips and dates with Ernie, plans for vacations with the kids, Broadway shows, season tickets to the philharmonic, oil painting classes, etc.

Studies show that people who record their goals IN WRITING have
a much greater chance of accomplishing them. Spend quality time
thinking about specific goals that you’d like to make in your
life. Begin the process now. Let your sub-conscious absorb the
goals and let it help you figure out ways in which to make these
goals realistically attainable. Consider your life stage. A trip
to the gym might be quite realistic for me but a pipe dream for
you if you have a newborn or a couple of toddlers underfoot.
Don’t fret that your goals seem out of whack or not grand
enough. Go easy on yourself and resolve to come up with goals
that fit where you are and where you’d like to be by the end of
the year. And remember to have fun with the process. Enjoy a
glass of red wine and sit by the fire while you doodle your
thoughts. Dream. Imagine.

ONE FINAL THOUGHT: Remember to count your blessings of this past
year. Make a list. We are each coming to the dinner table New
Year’s Eve night with our individual Top Ten Lists. Consider
making this a New Year’s Eve tradition in your family, too.
Nothing makes one feel better about the world than counting all
the ways in which you have been uniquely blessed.

Please let me know if I can help you in your journey.

Have a blessed New Year. PEACE!