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Goal-Setting: Getting Ready for a Purposeful 2011 – Part 3

Greetings!  I hope you are doing well as you prepare to celebrate the upcoming holidays.  January 1, 2011 is right around the corner and I’ve been writing this blog series about setting goals to keep you on track to success in life, love and work in 2011.  The last article covered big-picture goals – the overarching purposes or missions that will propel you forward in life, love and work.  This week, I will cover how to break down the big-picture goals into smaller goals in order to give your purposes and mission a fighting chance. 

Gather up your papers (both hand-written and typed with graphics) from the last exercise (see below in last week’s blog) and sit down at your comfortable table or desk and get ready to write.  As you look over last week’s exercise, you will see your life mission statement, your big-picture goals in the area of relationships (love) as well as in work (your business or career).  Now you will take out a fresh, clean piece of paper for each of these three categories writing “Life” at the top of your first sheet of paper, and “Love/Relationship” on the second and “Work” on the third sheet of paper. 

Life – As you look at your guiding life purpose or mission statement, ask yourself what you will have to do to actually achieve your big-picture goal in this area.  Just begin to brainstorm – listing any and all behaviors that you can think of to get  you closer and closer to your life mission.  After this brainstorming, arrange the listed behaviors and actions that seem the most specific and do-able into the four quarters of the next year. 

For example:  Suppose your Life Mission Statement looks something like this – “My mission for 2011 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.”

Break it down into actions for the 1st quarter (Jan-March), 2nd quarter (April-June), 3rd quarter (July-Sept), and 4th quarter (Oct-Dec) such as this:

1st quarter:  meditate and write  in prayer journal each morning, join a personal development group, take hikes/walks in nature 5 days a week, add one new vegetable into diet each month.

2nd quarter:  attend 3 day business development conference, meditate and write in prayer journal each morning, add a ballet class twice per week

3rd quarter:  join a book club or group that is reading a personal development book, meditate and write in prayer journal each morning, continue to walk and experiment with new fruits each month

4th quarter:  meditate and write in prayer journal each morning, continue with hikes/walks, begin taking an inventory of the year up to that point by writing each Saturday

You will do the same thing for the Love  (Relationships) category and the Work category – breaking down the big-picture goals into smaller steps (actions or behaviors) in each quarter of 2011. 

After you have completed all three categories, you may want to type these up in a spreadsheet format for easy, at-a-glance reminders and put it on your mirror or fridge in 2011.  Know that as you grow and evolve, you will want to remain flexible about these smaller actions and behaviors as you course-correct for any changes to your big-picture goals.  Remember that you go toward what you think about and plan for.  If you do not plan at all, you are in danger of spinning your wheels and accomplishing far less.  As you are mapping out your vision, your mind/body system will begin to shift to make changes in beliefs, changes in attitudes, and changes in behaviors to give you victory. 

Next week, we’ll talk about implementation and what it takes to actually DO these actions and behaviors on a consistent basis.  Have a great week!

Enjoy a few inspirational quotes to drive home the importance of goal-setting:   “Strong lives are motivated by dynamic purposes.”
– Kenneth Hildebrand

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.”
– Zig Ziglar

“Without goals, and plans to reach them, you are like a ship that has set sail with no destination.”
– Fitzhugh Dodson

“Our plans miscarry because they have no aim. When a man does not know what harbor he is making for, no wind is the right wind.”
– Seneca

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