Setting Goals – By Madeline Stiers
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smart-goals-1632636Life is what we make of it. We have desires and dreams to which we aspire, all unique to ourselves. We put our faith in the Lord to get us to where we need to be, and we shouldn’t stop there. We were made capable and intelligent with a mind that never stops thinking, dreaming, and feeling. God has granted us innumerable strengths, and so we should put them to use. Where else to start than with setting a goal! I mean, that’s the beginning to the end, right?

So, how do you set a goal? Well, first you decide what needs to be done. Then you just go do it, right? Although this might be how we may think it works, there’s a little more that goes into setting and accomplishing a goal. Think of it like this: how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Knowing what our end goal is, it can be hard to not want to devour the whole task at once. But there is a process and a way to effectively accomplish a goal. Think about a goal that you have. One that you feel like is just out of reach, but you can’t give a reason as to why.

First, make sure that the goal is specific and explicitly stated. Write down what is it exactly that you are trying to achieve. WRITE IT DOWN! It becomes more than an intangible idea when it’s written down and you are more likely to work harder towards the goal. If you’re realizing this particular goal too large or immense, break it down into smaller, more manageable goals. A goal too general has less a chance of being completed.

The next step is where you need to quantify the outcome. Ask yourself how you plan to measure the progress being made on that goal. What are the criteria needed to measure success, keep you on track, and reach target dates? Basically, if someone were looking at this goal, how would they know when it has been reached?

How achievable is this goal and do you have the resources to accomplish it? If not, how are you going to get them? If achieving this goal is dependent on someone else, reframe it to where it only depends on you. A goal that requires reliance on others are not as structured and can become messy. Take a hard look at the factors that may prevent you from obtaining this goal. Addressing them upfront is an integral part of being able to work and adjust as needed.

Finally, make sure the goal you have set is realistic and time sensitive. Setting a goal to lose 20 pounds in the next two weeks is not realistic or time sensitive. This is not to say that you should not aspire to be your best, but make sure you are not setting yourself up for failure. We often have too hefty of a goal and become more and more hopeless when we fail. This is where sitting down and analyzing the goal will help to set realistic goals, stay on track, and feel good about our progress. So, how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.



Madeline Stiers, Mental Health Coach

Hope and Healing Center & Institute

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