With the end of the holiday season and a new year upon us, we look forward with anticipation and expectation to all that awaits us in 2019.

I tend to take on too many tasks and set my sights on the “big “things I want to accomplish. Two years ago, we helped our oldest son and his wife build a house.

Before we began, we made a list of all the jobs and then divided the responsibilities and assigned time limits. We called it “next steps,” and my husband sent out an email with the weekly goals, so we would all know the expectations. I learned to apply that idea to every aspect of my life. I realized I needed to set goals to keep me focused and intentional in the new year.

There are multiple methods that can help us set goals. My favorite method is the SMART method.

Specific- Set a goal that defines exactly what you want to achieve. Most goals are not reached because they are too vague. For example, saying I want to lose weight and get in shape is great, but without specifics, how can it be reached?

Measurable- The goal must be measurable in order to succeed. How do we know if we reach our goal if there is not a metric to measure it? Make a plan that will let you know when you have met your goal.

Attainable- The goal must be attainable; otherwise, it is a dream. When we set something so far out of our reach that it becomes unattainable, we tend to give up and return to our everyday routines without pursuing our goals. How fair are we being to ourselves if we set goals beyond our reach?

Relevant- The goal needs to be relevant not only to your life and long-term plan but to the daily activities in your life now. For instance, wanting to lose weight is more difficult when life is stressful due to an illness, an upcoming event such as the holidays, or an out-of-town business trip. When setting goals, keep your calendar in mind to ensure your goals fit your lifestyle.

Time-Bound- Most goals need a time limit in order to succeed, so determine the time needed to achieve the goal and give it a deadline. Again, goals without time constraints tend to simply fall away as time moves on throughout the year.

By using this method to set my personal, spiritual, and professional goals, I have been able to see the results and adjust as needed or completely re-evaluate my goals to possibly set new ones.

We actually make goal setting a family affair. Together, we talk about and create a list of what is important to us as individuals and as a family. Then, we devise a plan to meet those goals.

For us, it keeps us connected and provides conversation starters and opportunities to reconnect throughout the year.

There are many goal-setting methods available. I challenge you to find one or two methods, put them into practice, and set a few goals to see if 2019 can be more intentional and blessed.

Join us for our “Happy Place” series for the next six weeks as we explore how we can find success and fulfillment in our lives this year. You can also meet with a group where you will set personal goals and discover the secrets that happy people know. Connect with a group today!