We always knew what to expect for family home evening the last Monday night of each year – our annual “Goal Setting” night.
Our dad works as an organizational consultant helping companies be more strategic and successful in their work, so he is pretty much an expert at this goal stuff.
On that night he would share a few thoughts about setting goals, give us each a copy of the handy dandy goal sheet we all knew and (sometimes) loved, and give us time to set some goals.
Having a designated time to write down our goals really helped!
Then we hung up our goal sheets in a place we would see them everyday, and kept track of our progress. Each month we got a new goal sheet to write down new (or the same) goals and continue to monitor our progress.
Here are a few tips for your own goal setting as we get ready to kick off another new year:
– Start with just a few goals in each section. I had the tendency to get really ambitious, write down 12 goals in each area (ok not quite), and then walk away from goal night feeling really overwhelmed and wanting to throw my paper in the garbage. Remember you don’t have to accomplish everything in one month! Pick the 2-3 goals you want to focus on most in each area and save the rest for another month!
– Write down things that you aren’t already doing. For example, if you already have a habit of exercising 5x a week, you probably don’t need to write that down.
– Make sure the goals you set are S.M.A.R.T:
– Put your goal sheet in a place where you’ll see it everyday – on your mirror, closet door, on your desk, etc.
– Share your goals with a spouse, parent, friend, etc. Encourage and support each other in reaching your goals, and check in on how the other person is doing. Or even better – pick one or two to work on together!
– Set goals that are realistic, but that will stretch you. L. Tom Perry told a story about when his son was competing in the high-jump in high school:
“One evening as I returned home from work, I found Lee practicing his jumping. I asked, “How high is the bar?”
He said, “Five feet, eight inches.”
“Why that height?”
He answered, “You must clear that height to qualify for the state track meet.”
“How are you doing?” I asked.
“I can clear it every time. I haven’t missed.”
My reply: “Let’s raise the bar and see how well you do then.”
He replied, “Then I might miss.”
I queried, “If you don’t raise the bar, how will you ever know your potential?”
So we started moving the bar up to five feet, ten inches; then to six feet; and so on, as he sought to improve. Lee became a better high jumper because he was not content with just clearing the minimum standard. He learned that even if it meant missing, he wanted to keep raising the bar to become the best high jumper he was capable of becoming.”
– Don’t expect yourself to be perfect at your goals right away. If you are setting good goals that stretch you, you will probably slip up a few times. Don’t let mistakes get you down – just keep trying everyday!
(You can find your ready-to-print goal sheet HERE.)
Happy goal setting!