How do you feel about that word now that it’s mid-January?
Are you stressed because you still haven’t made any?
Excited because you’re making progress?
Annoyed to hear them still be mentioned?
Defeated because you already fell off the wagon?
Good things can be said for making goals. Research shows that people who make goals are ten times more likely to be successful than those who don’t make goals. Not surprisingly, the rate of success increases exponentially when you commit those goals to paper and keep your written goals in front of you throughout the year.
I’m not gonna argue with research.
Most of the time, my favorite part of a new year is praying through the hopes and ideas God has put on my heart and filling out my absolute favorite goal planning sheets. This year, though, the only things I’ve really made progress on are the puzzles we indulge in every winter and the novels I keep checking out from the library.
Instead of the hopeful anticipation I usually feel at the start of January, I’ve been riddled with anxiety. As a result, all of my usual joy in goal-setting and plan-making is put on hold.
Your reasons for not setting goals this year (or getting off to a rough start like me) might be entirely different. You might be facing fear or stuck in complacency or run by a schedule that’s too full or a life that’s too loud.
Maybe you’re not making goals this year because your best laid plans were waylaid so you wonder what the point is anyway. I don’t know your reasons, but you’re certainly not alone in them. After all, about 80% of our population doesn’t even set goals. (Do you? Let me know in the comments below.)
I’m not sure where you stand with goal-setting, but today I want to be the little bird on your shoulder who whispers grace in your ear. Writing goals doesn’t guarantee a winning year. After all, we don’t know what tomorrow brings.
Yes, habits help hold us even when the unexpected comes. Goals guide and routines regulate. But sometimes we need to go more simple.
So wherever you are in goal-setting for 2017 — whatever you’re feeling — set that aside for just a minute and hear me out. I want to make progress this year super simple.
Instead of making a 12-month plan for changing your family, or brainstorming all the ways you can lose weight, get fit, say “no” or be a better parent, friend or Christian, ask yourself, “What can I do today?”
What can I do today to make progress on this idea, to write this book, to love my spouse, to shepherd my kids? What can I do today to eat well, move more, be generous, stay present?
What can I do today?
What can I do today to lead my family to Jesus? What can I do today to serve my family well?
What can I do today?
Prayerfully answer that question; then do it.
As you answer the question and take those steps, you will see progress. Maybe those daily steps will be the stimulus you need to look out a little further and plan a little bigger.
When you wonder how to make progress, what to do, or if you feel stuck, overwhelmed, derailed, or afraid, start with that one question :: what can I do today?
Growing with you,
Erika // erikadawson.com
ps :: If you’re ready to move beyond the “one question” and really want to pursue connectedness in your family and intentional growth in your kids, join us for a week of deliberate, prayerful, grace-filled parent planning. CLICK HERE to join us. See you there!