Updated: Jan 9, 2020
Hey FINE ladies, Happy New Year!
January always brings hope, that feeling of excitement about what is yet to come this year. There is a sense of relief that we get the opportunity to start anew with visions of what we want the year to look like. We are excited, pumped up, all in, and focused.
Like most, you've probably decided to get serious about your New Year resolutions, I mean goals and habits. I say habits because behind every goal are habits that we may need to omit, change, or add into our lives. The bad habits need to be replaced with good habits; they are the driving force behind meeting goals; habits and or practices are the mental discipline required to have successful goals. If you think about it, goals and habits are all part of the process of transformation.
Unfortunately, 80% of us will set resolutions, but only 8% of us will be successful. Don't make resolutions, set goals and change your habits! Let's take a look at some statistics on making resolutions and why its wiser to write out some goals and kick the resolutions to the curb.
- January 12th is the day New Year Resolutions fail. Research conducted by Strava, the social network for athletes, has discovered that Saturday, Jan. 12, is the fateful day of New Year's resolutions. This statistic gives me some peace of mind. I have never, and I mean never been able to stick to any previous resolution or goal that I attempted to start January 1st. We need time to recalibrate and come down from all of the excitement and the hustle and bustle from Thanksgiving until now.
- According to a study conducted by the University of Scranton,just 8 percent of people achieve their New Year's resolutions. In contrast, around 80 percent fail to keep their New Year's resolutions, says US clinical psychologist Joseph Luciani.
As believers, let's step outside of the perfection zone and decide to get serious about making good daily habits to reach our goal(s), identity-based goals that lead to transformation.
Transformation requires a few things; changes to our thoughts, removing old habits, and replacing old habits with new habits.
Habits are never a destination, you just don't arrive there one day. Habits are tiny steps, choices, and decisions that we take every day, which lead to the small wins. It is a change of lifestyle – transforming you from the old self to the new person.
Pastor Craig Groeschel says it this way "Small disciplines done consistently lead to big results over time."
The key to successful goals and transformation is building practices and or habits with Jesus as the cornerstone. The success of any purposeful goal requires a few usual daily practices; we are all familiar with this list, but it is helpful to visualize it daily.
1) Wake up early enough to start your day with Jesus.
2) Sleep a minimum of 7-8 hours a night.
3) Eat healthy well-balanced meals and be sure to share a meal with family
4) Attend church, giving and serving.
5) Exercise at least 3 times a week for a minimum of 20 minutes.
6) Declare biblical identity affirmations about yourself every day. (Find a list here)
Be kind to yourself along the way; you will have days where you were derailed, distracted, and discouraged, leaving you with the feeling of defeat. Remember, step outside of the perfection zone.
Regardless of the goal that you have a desire to meet, here are two wise biblical principles to help you with your success:
Principle One: Begin where you are and do what you can and leave the results to God. "Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin. Zachariah 4:10
Principle Two: Do all things with excellence and not perfection! "And don’t just do the minimum that will get you by. Do your best. Work from the heart for your real Master, for God, confident that you’ll get paid in full when you come into your inheritance. Keep in mind always that the ultimate Master you’re serving is Christ. The sullen servant who does shoddy work will be held responsible. Being a follower of Jesus doesn’t cover up bad work. Colossians 3:23-25 Msg.
Some practical steps to take:
1. Pray about it. Most likely, you already have a clear indicator of what your goal should be; however, with all things about life, bring it to your Heavenly Father, who already knows what is best for you.
2. Write out your goal. This is a very crucial step in setting a goal. Written goals are more powerful than thought out goals. The percentage of success is much higher for those who write out their goals. Habakkuk 2:2 says, "Write down what I show you. Write it clearly on a sign so that the message will be easy to read".
3. Base your goal on who God is and who you want to be. My goal this year is intertwined with my word of the year and my verse of the year. For example, my word is courageous; my verse is Deuteronomy 31:6. My goal is to go over the mountain this year in my Kingdom driven business and finances and not around it….again!
4. Use the SMART acronym to help you with your goal. This is a powerful method of goal-setting that will guide the process of turning your goal and dreams into reality. Once you've come up with a goal, check to be sure it meets the following criteria:
Specific - Be clear and concrete about what you want to accomplish. It's much easier to work toward a specific goal (lose 12 pounds) than it is to work toward a vague one (get in shape). When working on this aspect of your goal, visualize what you and what your life will look like once you've accomplished it. That will help you to define what you want to achieve.
Measurable - Set a goal that allows you to measure your progress toward achieving it. Ask yourself the following question: How will I know that I've accomplished my goal? Some people find it helpful to break the main goal down into small, measurable objectives. For example, if your main goal is to start a business, you can break that down into all the progressive steps you'll take along the way: create a business name, register the company, set up the tax ID, etc. Making your goal measurable is a critical way to keep yourself on track. The bonus is that you can celebrate along the way as you attain each of the objectives that bring you closer to success!
Attainable - Make your goals realistic. One of the biggest pitfalls to success is making the goal too big. You don't want to bite off more than you can chew, so take some time to think carefully about your goal and be sure it's reasonable and realistic. If you're in your mid-30s and have a passion for baseball, it'll make much more sense to set a goal of becoming a little league coach than aiming to become a star MLB player. Improve your chances of making your dreams come true by factoring reality into your plans.
Relevant - Set a goal that means something to you. Working toward your goals, no matter how big or small takes work. By setting a goal that you're passionate about and genuinely want to achieve, you'll be more likely to stay motivated along the way. When the going gets tough, you can remind yourself of how much you want to reach the finish life and find the energy to keep going.
Time-Bound: Set a deadline and commit to it! Putting time stamps on your goals is a way of holding yourself accountable and making sure you stay focused and on task. If you don't set a deadline, you won't be nearly as likely to stay committed and keep the wheels in motion. Check-in with your deadline every now and again to be sure it remains realistic and use it as a way to stay motivated.
Writing out your goal and breaking it down into small bites with the SMART acronym is not as intimidating as it may seem.
For example, one of my goals for 2020 is to go over the mountain this year in my Kingdom driven business and finances; not around it again! Written out, my identity-based goal looks like this: For God has not given me a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. I am strong and courageous without intimidation because God is striding ahead of me, he is with me, he will not let me down and he will not leave me. Through his strength, guidance, and wisdom, my business will grow. I will contact10 prospects daily and add five recurring monthly customers of $500 by March 1st.
To achieve this goal, I will need to implement good habits:
1: Meet with God each morning, He is the CEO of my business.
2: Daily prayer and bible study.
3: Setting a set time to reach out to prospects and sticking to it.
4: Sending out daily emails.
5: Practicing and memorizing my script.
6: Managing my time effectively
7: Staying focused on the end goal, bringing Christ into businesses and expanding his Kingdom.
My goal is a SMART goal. It is based upon my identity in Christ and all that I can do through him.
Specific: Grow my Kingdom driven business and finances by going over the mountain and not around it.
Measurable: I list the steps that I will take each day to obtain new customers as well as how I plan on doing so.
Attainable: I have set a goal that is attainable. Notice I did not write out that I will add 10 customers. I took into consideration all of the other tasks that I am responsible for each day; my full-time job, single parent, sports schedules; cooking dinner, and getting to bed early.
Relevant: My goal is related to not only my word and verse of the year, but it is connected to the intention of going over the mountain and not around it…again.
Timeline: I have set a quarterly deadline, which is much easier for me to meet than had I said monthly.
The Better than Fine Women website has provided resources for you to help you get clear on your goals. Check out the Resource page here. You can also find a goal, word of the year and scripture planner here.
Finally, ladies, rest in one of the many promises of God found in Isaiah 40:29-31.
"He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint".
Aim for excellence and not for perfection.