We all have ideas or goals we want to accomplish for the new year don't we? Whether its weight loss, diet plans, fitness plans, work goals, education, and so forth. We dig in right away, but then find ourselves burnt out, or struggling part way through. This year, 2020, can be different. This can be the year that you finish what you start and find meaning for your life. A year where you can see progress and be encouraged. A year that will keep you in forward gear and never look back. You can reach your goals and find vision for your life!
First Things First: Have The Right Mindset
The way you think is so important. It's how you approach your journey. Do you approach it from fear and desperation, or being calm, confident, and trusting?
Having the right mindset is so important to reaching your goals or working toward vision for you life. If you don't have the right mindset, then you can't expect to reach the top of the mountain. What we think about ourselves, our efforts, the words we use, how we act, and what we put our time into is significant. It affects how our journey is going to end up. Do you think any olympic winner wins by having a bad mindset or thinks to themselves that they aren't good enough? Of course not! They have to believe they can and press on toward their goal or dream. Maybe you have a negative mindset or use many negative words towards yourself. You have to stop doing that. If you can't change that, you can't truly reach your highest potential. You have to believe you are worth it, that you can do it, that you don't have to succumb to pressure from others, that you can be victorious, that you can be the person you were created to be. You have to throw away those bad thoughts and words about yourself or situation. It won't happen in one day and it takes time. But that, is the step in the right direction! Expect that things will go well.
Make sure you write or say affirmations to yourself. Positive things like: " I am going to make a difference", " I'm going to accomplish my goals", "I can do this", "I'm going to influence others". Whatever it is, remind yourself of who you want to be, not who people say you are.
Once you have the right mindset and are determined, you can start writing down your vision.
So What Is Vision Anyway?
According to the webster dictionary, a vision is a thought, concept, or object formed by the imagination. Something seen in a dream, or unusual discernment or foresight. When you look at what vision means from a biblical stand point, it means divine-guidance, and revelation of God and His Word. All definitions I like. It's finding purpose for your life in simple terms. What are you seeking in life? What are you seeking God for? These are the questions we need to ask ourselves. What are we wanting to gain or loose? Your vision sets the stage for creating your goals and process to get to those goals. It's the overall "Big Picture".
Start broad and write down the things you want to find purpose in or you want to see yourself achieve. There may be multiple things, but it will help in the beginning to see what's really important to you.
Start Simple & Start Small
Like I said in the beginning, many people get overwhelmed part way through and give up because it's just to much or life has happened. Many times people have taken on too much or have made such big, grand goals, that they can't even figure out baby steps to reach them. That's why it's important to start with something small and simple. Make small changes, start habits or break old ones if you need to. "Achieving a goal is not just a neat, simple, quick-fix process that will guarantee instant victory. Patience is essential" (Dr. Caroline Leaf).
Know What You Want
Once you have a overview or vision you have for your life, it's time to set goals and then make steps to achieve them. 80% of people don't make long-term goals or plans. Wow, that's a lot, but you can start changing that percentage. Once you have your vision or dream/dreams in place, think about the goals to get there. Think about all the pieces that will be a part of it. The main ideas or desires are your goals and the actions are the steps to reach those goals. Add all your goals up and you reach your vision! I like to envision all of this like a tree. The roots are the dreams that influence your vision, the tree's truck is your vision, the branches your goals, the leaves your steps to achieve those goals, and the fruit is the growth from the completed goals to the vision. The tree will bear fruit more each year and this is a sign of your vision coming together and producing; more than you could have imagined!
Develop Your Goals
Once you know what you want, it's time to develop your goals - the ways to get there.
You can have small and large goals. Sometimes it's best to start with smaller ones and then add bigger goals. This will build your confidence and help direct you more to get to your vision. You want to make sure to grab your schedule and fit your goals into them. Not the other way around. If you do your goals and then try and fit them into your schedule, then you might get stressed out, or feel defeated seeing how much time you don't have for extra things. There may even be things you want to cut out or say "no" to, so you can work on your goals. Make sure your goals are clear, written or typed, specific, and measurable. Some goals may be more general, while others are more specific. You also will need to choose what your topics are and what you want to focus on.
Here are some examples:
Topics General Goals Specific Goals
Health & Wellness Eat Healthy Eat at least servings of fruit a day
Family Have more family time Do an activity-board game once/week
Fiances Save money Take 10% out of pay into savings each month
Relationships Strengthen Marriage Have a date night once a week
Create Action Steps
Once you have your topics in place, you can decide what you want your goals to be. Then you need to create daily reminders or action steps towards them. These will be much more detailed. If you want to work out in the mornings to build up your strength, then you will probably have to get up earlier, get to bed earlier, and add 5 pounds of weight each week you lift. These are all necessary so you can be ready to work towards the goal. Or it might be that you will say no to a couple clubs you are in, so you can put more time into working out more days of the week. Take some time to think about these and your schedule. Remember to make affirmation a part of this and check in with yourself as you start these goals, to see if you need to alter anything or get encouragement. Keep in mind, sometimes you have long term goals and short term goals, so you may not focus on some- everyday.
Another great way to help reach your goals is working with someone who can coach you, or simply having someone in your life that can keep you accountable. It helps keep you motivated and disciplined, because that person can call you out when you aren't doing what you said you wanted to do. You can be accountable to yourself as well. Be honest with yourself. If you need to alter or do less of your goals so that you aren't stressed or overwhelmed, then do that. No one can do it for you, but you. Don't have so many goals that you expect so much out of yourself, and get let down when you can't reach them.
Create a reward for yourself when you reach a goal to help you stay the course. Just don't let it be something that is going to draw you away from your goals. For example: losing 10 pounds, but then going out to eat at your favorite restaurant to celebrate and having an unhealthy dessert. Not the best choice. Going to buy a new outfit would be more rewarding and helpful toward the goal.
It's also a good idea to take a look at your priorities. You get to choose what you focus your time on, so make it count. It will also keep you accountable to your every day actions. It helps you become a better person and helps you be more effective with your goals.
You Got This!
Whatever your vision is and your goals, you are the one leading it for your life. If you are spiritual, then God is leading it before you. This is your time to take hold of your life and what you want for it. Take time today to even just start to dream of what your life could be. It's okay if it changes, it will. I like to take a look at all my goals each year and refine or develop new goals towards my vision. I personally like making a vision board so I can visually see my goals and vision every day. Some people like journaling them, typing them, or drawing it out. Do what works for you and enjoy it! Get excited that you can change your influence and life for the better. You have your journey of life ahead of you (no matter what age you are) and what have you got to lose?