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Goal Setting: Get Ready for a Puposeful 2013

January 31st, 2013 by Sherry Collier

Do you want to live a more meaningful and successful life in 2013?
Set goals for your life, your relationships, and your work or
business to increase your odds of success in each category.  Before
you set goals, it is important to take a look back to find out what
worked, what didn’t work, and if you accomplished what you wanted
to accomplish.

Creating effectiveness in life, love, and work comes from getting
conscious about where you have been, where you are, where you are
headed, and how to get there.  In other words – taking a personal
inventory and goal setting is a vital part of creating a productive
life.  Why should you bother to spend time and energy on assessing
the past year and setting goals for the coming year?  If you are
passionate about accomplishing specific missions or goals in your
life, relationships, and your work or business, you must take the
time to understand the past and plan for the future.  Achieving
excellence requires planning and mindfulness.

When you set a goal, it gets your whole being (mind, body, spirit)
pointed in a specific direction.  Your human psyche must know how
to organize itself to take you where you want to go much like an
arrow must be pointed toward the target that the archer wants it to
hit. Without goals you may remain hazy and unsure about what you
are doing and where you are headed which leads to aimlessly
wandering from activity to activity.  Follow in the footsteps of
many successful business owners, ministry-leaders, pastors, and
other leaders who set aside specific times throughout the year to
set goals, analyze what needs to be tweeked, and make plans too
accomplish the most important goals.

Taking An Inventory

Step One:  Before you even begin to set goals for the upcoming
year, it is imperative to sit down and write out your thoughts and
feelings about the past year and what you have or have not
accomplished.  Get out some paper ( do not type this on the
computer as the act of writing is cathartic in and of itself), sit
down in a quiet room and divide your paper up into three
categories:  Life, Love (Relationships) and Work.  You can dedicate
one whole piece of paper to each category or use a huge sheet of
paper with three columns.

Step Two:  Start with your “Life” category.  Looking back over the
past year, what was your life’s purpose or mission?  Based on what
you accomplished spiritually, physically, and emotionally – what
message did your life send out to the world, how did it measure up
to God’s calling?  What do you remember about the beginning of last
year and what you thought your life would/should look like in 2011?

Write down how that came to pass or how it missed the mark.  If
your life missed the mark in certain areas – get specific about
what got off track and make notes about what you think you should
avoid as you prepare to set goals for your life in 2012.

Step Three:  Moving on to your “Love” category – look over your
relationships from the past year.  Write down how you impacted all
your relationships:  parents, children, spouses, significant
others, siblings, friends, co-workers, employees,
ministry-partners, business partners, etc.  Grade yourself with a
simple 1 – 10 numeric system for your satisfaction with each
relationship (1 would be not satisfied at all, 10 would be very
satisfied).  Be sure to approach this from the perspective of how
YOU performed in the relationship (since you cannot do anything
about how they performed).   Write out specific thoughts, feelings,
and actions you remember going through with each significant
relationship and what might have caused some of these.

Step Four:  Now take a look at the “Work” or “Business” category of
your life over the past year.  Have you participated in a career, a
business that you own, or a job?  Write about the different aspects
of your work or business and what you liked, what you didn’t like.
Write about what went well, what didn’t go well.  Write down new
talents or strengths you used or developed and what weaknesses came
to the forefront.  What specific roles, tasks, technical
procedures, and/or aspects did you enjoy?  What parts of your work
self need further development?

Step Five:  Wrap up this inventory exercise by reading it all out
loud to yourself and summing up each category with one main theme
phrase or several descriptive words and a numeric rating of your
personal satisfaction in each category over the past year.  For
example, as you look over what your life stood for during the past
year you might write, “Mother, Wife, Encourager, Supporter” and
then an “8” if you were pretty satisfied about how your life
manifested these themes.

You’re work with your inventory has now reached a stage that you
can set it aside for a full day (sleep on it) and let this
information soak into the deeper layers of your consciousness.
Keep these notes handy because you will be using them as you sit
down in your next “session” to begin the important work of looking
toward the new year.

My next article will teach you a simple way to effectively set
goals for the new year based upon what you learned during your 2011
inventory.

Happy New Year!

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Getting Ready for a Year of Excellence: Setting Goals for 2013

January 14th, 2013 by Sherry Collier

In my previous newsletter article I wrote about taking an inventory from 2012 to see what you accomplished, what worked, what didn’t work, etc.  This is an important step to take (taking an inventory) before you start setting new goals for 2013.  In setting goals for this next year you will want to reassess your life’s direction in three broad categories:  life, love and work.

Looking back over the three categories from your inventory – life, love, and work – begin to orient your mind toward the goals that you have for the next year.  Setting broad goals will help your mind to sum up what you are shooting for in each category.  Broad goals are different from the small, detailed goals you will set in order to accomplish your big, broad goals.  Broad goals are the over-arching goals that will help point your mind toward where you want to go in all three areas.

Before moving forward with goal setting, take some time to get quiet and pray.  Pray that your Creator will reveal to you how you can more accurately step into His unique purpose for your life.  Chances are you have been opening doors and moving forward until you bump into a wall and stop to question your direction.  Rather than taking this reactive approach to finding your unique purpose, spend considerable time up front asking God to whisper to you about your unique gifts, strengths, and calling.  Write out quickly (brainstorming) what impressions you get from this time you have spent seeking God.

Starting with the Life category, read back over what your actions from 2012 showed you about your life mission.  Did your actions seem to get scattered as time moved forward or did you remain laser-focused on your life mission?  Most of us will have experienced some distractions and some of us might not have even thought about our life mission.   This is your opportunity to fine-tune your life mission and get back on course.  To get ready, be sure you have plenty of paper and something with which to write as you will again be using the act of writing to bring clarity and catharsis (do not type this on your computer just yet).

Begin by experimenting with writing a mission statement for your life to guide you through 2013.  Start by making broad statements in each of the following aspects of your life

1.  Spiritual – prayerfully consider what your spiritual mission will be for 2013 and jot down any thoughts that come to you.

2.  Emotional – take into account what you would like to accomplish in your emotional life throughout 2013 and jot down these thoughts.

3.  Physical – write down ideas about your needs and desires for your health and well-being for 2013.

Now that you have some thoughts written for each of these three aspects of your life – begin to craft a mission statement that blends all three aspects.  Give yourself permission to write it in several different ways so you will find the wording that best suits your own unique personality.  Here are two examples of mission statements that blend all three aspects:

“My mission for 2013 is to proactively seek emotional growth and character development that will aid me in my pursuit of listening for God’s wisdom and guidance regarding how I am to help others find their own unique purpose and gifts.  I will further contribute to my life purpose by eating nutritiously and incorporating movement (exercise) into my daily life.”

or

“To  live in a way that shows reverence for all living beings by fostering healthy relationships and mutual respect for all so that those around me so that they may be encouraged to live positively and fruitfully.   I will do this by continuing my education both academic and personal so that I may continue to grow and learn in order to make a progressive, effective, and beneficial impact in my relationships with other people and the environment.”

Once you have settled on a Life mission statement – you are ready to move on to the next category for big-picture goal setting.

Love (relationships):  Get out a new piece of paper for this category and begin by looking over your inventory from 2012.  Write your big-picture goals that will serve as a guide for how you will approach this aspect of your life in 2013.  Some of you will have things you will want to add while others might have things they want to subtract.  If you found yourself pursuing a relationship with someone for the wrong reasons (feeling obligated, desiring “popularity”, needing validation) you might consider being open to removing yourself from this pursuit in 2013.

Here are some examples of big-picture goals in the Love/Relationship category:

“I will strive to continually renew my relationship with God and to prioritize my relationship with my husband and sons by putting their needs before all others’.  I will pray for my family and friends in addition to seeking out ways to spend time with them.  When spending time with friends and family, I will utilize appropriate boundaries (psychological) so that the time we spend will be uplifting, fun and growth-inducing.  In so doing, I will value the relationship I have with myself, knowing that I bring both strengths and weaknesses into each relationship.”

or

“I will seek out new friends by attending events, participating in hobbies, and instigating conversations with new people.  I will cut back on the amount of time and energy I have been investing in relationships that were filled with negativity and re-focus on my relationship with myself knowing that by valuing my “self” I will be able to value others.  I will constantly strive to create and maintain balanced relationships that are mutually supportive and growth-inducing.”

Moving right along to the Work category:  as you look into 2013, write what you would like to see yourself doing for your career, job, or business.  Have you been putting off starting that new business?  Are you ready to begin researching a new career?  Perhaps your career is to tend to the needs of your family by keeping the children organized, the house clean and the meals cooked – are there any changes you want to make about this very important “career” of parenting?

Here are some examples of big-picture goals for the Work category of your life in 2013:

“I will make this the year of “discovery” and research about which type of business I would like to own.  I will continue to work where I am currently working but will use nights and weekends to read, talk to others, and consult with mentors about what type of business I could run that would showcase my strengths, further my life purpose and would have a low “start-up” cost.”

or

“I will create a new approach to my parenting career by structuring my days to accomplish more in less time.  I will solicit the help of my children with certain chores and basic tasks.  I will incorporate a family night each month that will create cohesiveness and provide some good, old-fashioned family fun.  I will discuss the possibility of planning some “field trips” that will be educational, uplifting and fun for the entire family.”

Now that you have written broad goals for each of the three categories, type them up in Word or write them all out on a fresh piece of paper where you can see all three categories on the same page.  To make this even more meaningful, try adding visual images (could be clip art, magazine clippings, drawings or any other graphics) to emphasize the look and feel of each category’s goals.  This does not have to be elaborate, one or two images will do.  The reason for adding the visual images is to stimulate the creative side of your brain and to give yourself something visual to look at from time to time as a reminder of how you will feel as you continue to aim for these particular big-picture goals.

Congratulations!  You are done with the second phase of goal-setting.  Now that you have completed your inventory and your broad goals, you are well on your way to creating smaller goals which will make it easier to plan out actions and behaviors accordingly.  Set this exercise aside until our next (third) phase – and check back here in one week for Part 3 of this series (Breaking it Down:  Setting Smaller Goals preparing for the Implementation Stage).

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Measure What You Treasure

June 13th, 2012 by Sherry Collier

I recently read a phrase that said, “measure what you treasure” in an article about goal setting in business.  I am not a logic-based analytical type – I prefer the creativity and imaginative aspects of right-brained business activities, so I’m not prone to measuring anything.  I am learning the extreme importance, however, of measuring things […]

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Overcome Obstacles to Your Vision: Four Tips

August 8th, 2011 by Sherry Collier

When you have a “vision” that burns with passion in your very soul – you want to change what is to what could be or what should be.  You have been given a glimpse of how something (or someone’s life) could be bettered, improved, transformed.  Any time someone catches a vision and begins to act […]

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Accountability Works: Four Reasons and Four Tips

July 16th, 2011 by Sherry Collier

Accountability is an important aspect of any program designed to ignite growth whether it is personal growth, business growth, spiritual growth, or financial growth. Part of the value of any aspect of a personal/professional development  program is knowing why it works and how it works. In this article, I hope to highlight four of the […]

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Life Purpose: A Radical View – Part Three

May 31st, 2011 by Sherry Collier

You were created with plans and purposes written on your heart, but do you know what they are and how to access them?  I’ve been writing about life purpose in this 3 part series and have found that my own life purpose, which grows and evolves with time, is becoming more clear to me as I write […]

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Life Purpose: A Radical View – Part Two

May 23rd, 2011 by Sherry Collier

In this three-part series on life purpose, I hope to get you thinking about why your Creator made you the way He did and why He put you on planet earth at this time.  You were born with unique strengths, personality traits, callings, and passions.  No one else on earth is exactly like you – […]

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Why Do We Need to Plan for Success?

May 23rd, 2011 by Sherry Collier

Planning comes naturally to some folks, and not so naturally to others.  I am one of those that it does NOT come to naturally.  Throughout my life I have had to learn the art and science of planning, goal-setting, and using a structured way to move toward my life purpose.  I tend to go with […]

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Three Tips for Keeping Resolutions

January 7th, 2011 by Sherry Collier

The New Year does provide us with a mental clean slate and a feeling of starting anew, so we often make resolutions.  What kinds of resolutions should we make?  How do we see them through?  What happens when we “fail” at keeping these resolutions?  I have three tips to address these questions. 1.  From a […]

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Getting Ready for a Purposeful 2011: Implementing Your Goals

December 22nd, 2010 by Sherry Collier

Wow!  This weekend is Christmas and I’m excited to bring you Part 4 of this blog series on goal setting for 2011.  To prepare for this last 2011-planning session, get all your paperwork, visual aids, and new pen and paper and find your comfortable spot to sit, ponder, and write.  This goal of this article […]

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