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Goal Setting: Get Ready for a Puposeful 2013

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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