Are you killin’ those new year’s resolutions or are they killin’ you?
And if you’re like, “Resolutions? What resolutions? I’m over here still writing ‘2018’ on checks.
#1 Wait, you still write checks?
#2 Don’t worry! It’s not too late to sit down and take stock of what you want out of the new year.
Towards the end of 2018, I heard three big-time motivational speakers: Brian Tracy, Donald Miller, and Rachel Hollis, share about their daily habit of writing their top 10 goals every morning and reviewing them every evening.
I figured if these wildly successful people all practice this one daily habit, then it was probably worth a try, so I followed suit. Here’s how it works.
Dream a Little
First, spend some time dreaming about the best version of yourself and your ideal life.
Now write it down in great detail. Be specific:
How do you look?
What does it feel like to be you?
What kind of person are you?
Where do you live? With whom?
What kind of clothes do you wear?
What kind of food do you eat?
Where do you vacation?
How do you spend your time? Your money?
What is your job?
Who are your friends?
What do you and your friends do together?
Set Your Top 10 Goals
Now, write ten goals that would make the vision above reality in the present tense.
That’s right; you’re writing your goals as if they’re happening right now. Otherwise, our subconscious focuses on phrases like I’m going to… instead of I am… or I have…
Get used to writing this list; the idea is to write it out every morning for the whole year.
Highlight One Goal
Zero in on the one goal that needs your attention immediately or the one that will you get you to your other goals the fastest. Make it specific and measurable.
My highlighted goal has to do with health and fitness. I figure that if I fuel my body well and move it most days of the week, I’ll have the energy to crush the other nine goals on my list. If I don’t, I won’t be able to do any of them.
What ONE goal are you going to focus on first? Highlight it. Once you achieve that highlighted goal, and it’s a habit in your life, use that forward momentum to tackle the next one on your list.
Share Your Goals
Choose a spouse or a friend to share your goals with and permit them to ask you the hard questions. I shared my list of goals with my husband and two girlfriends. We’ve been challenging each other and cheering each other on ever since.
It’s vulnerable to share your goals. Do it anyway. You may be surprised to read what your spouse or close friend considers a successful life. I certainly was.
Donald Miller recently shared a photo on LinkedIn of his list of goals, laminated like he’s in third grade. I loved it. The caption of the photo read that he not only writes his goals every morning, but he keeps his list of goals by his bed to review each night. He goes through each one, asking himself if he lived up to all ten of his goals. Brilliant!
A Note About Order
I haven’t heard anyone comment on whether the order of our list of goals matters, but it does to me. To be honest, it’s a struggle for me to put God first, my husband second, and my kids third.
Many of the goals on my list have to do with writing, speaking, and ministry. All good things, but if at the end of this life, I’m published and the leader of a thriving ministry that’s helped hundreds of people come to know Christ, but my kids aren’t Christ-followers (or worse, they hate church because they felt it stole their mom from them), that’s not a win for me.
That’s not my definition of success.
So, writing my list of goals in order of importance helps me keep my priorities straight.
The Apostle Paul exhorts us to “live a life worthy of the calling you’ve received” (Ephesians 4:1 NIV). We’ve all received a high calling; let’s live lives worthy of those callings and steward our time, gifts, skills, bodies, money and experiences well. It will require setting our intentions daily.
Developing a top 10 list of goals and writing them down every morning and reviewing them every evening is just one more way to help us focus on, and eventually become, what’s most important to us.