Most people don’t seem to be able to keep New Year’s resolutions beyond a few months, but if you do these 6 things, I know you will reach your goals in 2014. For many of us in the United States, it is too cold to go outside, so take some time to plan and set goals!
- Commit to Not Quit: Whatever goals you set for the coming year, whether they be financial, weight loss, quitting smoking, or being a better spouse parent or employee, the main thing is to commit to not quit. Yes you might fail, but that is part of achieving goals. Everyone fails, but those who achieve goals are the ones that get back up, dust themselves off, and go at it again. Life is more a long walk, not a sprint, right-foot left-foot daily consistency. The Bible is full of heroes that failed a lot, yet King David, who was “A man after God’s own heart” kept his eye on the Lord, or returned to God when he failed. Key Bible verse Philippians 1:6
- Cope with Failure: Yes, you will fail at many of your attempts. So what! Many people think that if they fail, then that is the end, and they give up. Get over the thought that failure is bad–it is just a learning device. It is good and it is designed for intelligent people to determine why something didn’t work, and to recalculate their path. The difference between those who fail and those who succeed is that the successful ones take their lumps and keep going, but more wisely each time. One of the most awesome things about being a Christian is that through God’s grace we are saved for eternity. Jesus doesn’t measure performance, but he wants us to rely on Him to help guide us, and he wants to pick us up when we fail. Key Bible verse 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
- Set Goals, Reasonable Ones. If you need to save a bunch of money, or pay off a big debt, and you know it will take a few years, then pace yourself. The same applies to weight loss. If you need to lose 100 pounds, shoot for 25, but give yourself as many months as your doctor tells you, probably a pound a week. After you reach that goal, then set a new one. It is kind of like when I go outside for a run; if my real goal is 3 miles (I’m a pretty weak runner), my brain and body freaks out and tells me that is impossible. However, if I just tell myself I have to run to the end of the block and I make it alive, then I will set out to run one more block. Before I know it, I’ve run 3 or 4 miles. So set a few goals for health and finances for the coming year. God wants us to be good stewards over everything he has blessed us with, and to be free of being slaves to debt and bad habits. Key Bible verse Proverbs 16:3
- Set Overall Big Goals First. Know what is motivating you!. If your goal is better finances, then find out why you want that. Is it to lower stress and achieve something like a purchase? Those are big goals; write them down. Do you want to be healthier? Then what is your motivation? Feeling better overall, lower health care costs now and in the future, and just general comfort are your big goals–then write them down. Now you know why you are doing the daily tasks. After you make your list, spend some time praying about it. Ask if it is what God wants for you in the coming year, or are there other things he wants to show you? Key Bible verse Psalm 37:4 By the way, I’ve analyzed ObamaCare, individual and group coverage, and Medicare and Medicaid, so for the long-term your health insurance coverage isn’t going to be great. I’m not being political, just realistic. You will have high deductibles, co-insurances, and a lot of out-of-pocket things that aren’t covered, so good health will help with good finances.
- Set Measurable Goals. If it is to spend less money, avoid debt, and save for the future, then build a budget, and watch it closely. Stay within spending parameters that you can easily measure (like using www.Mint.com). If it is exercise, get out of bed 30 minutes early 5 days a week and go for a run, drive to a fitness facility, or do a video on your TV. If you want to eat less and the right food, sign up for a calorie counting app like loseit.com (there are many options), and when you go grocery shopping, if it is junk food, don’t buy it, except for a reward at the end of the week. Key Bible verses Luke 14:28-33
- Pray and Read the Bible. You need God’s strength daily, and his word in your heart to walk in his light. Commit to a least 20 minutes of Bible reading, prayer, meditation and journaling everyday. Not only is it essential to just function, it is key to having the prosperous year he has in store for you! Key Bible verses: 2 Timothy 3:16-17, Psalm 119:105, Matthew 6:9-13, and Matthew 4:4.
These things work for me, and I firmly believe that if you commit to not quit, not fear failure, set big goals first (know your main motivations), then set achievable and measurable goals, then 2014 you will do some key things to change your life for the better.