Smart Goals: keys to making lasting changes in 2018

I once read about a little boy who had gone into a toy store with his parents. No sooner had they entered the toy store than the little boy spotted a rocking chair. He became fascinated by it. He climbed unto this rocking chair and began to rock laboriously. Seeing how he enjoyed the ride, his parents left him to rock some more. Soon, the boy was lost in his rocking world. He rocked and rocked for a long until his body became drenched with sweat. It was at this point it occurred to his parents that the boy had been rocking so hard for a long time but was still in the same spot.   Similar to the story above, it may interest us to know that not all chairs we sit on are adapted to moving us far. Even though 2018 is a new year with new opportunities, let’s don’t forget it’s the old us that entered it. What are the chances that things will change If we do nothing differently? How many times in a new year have we pledged to do things — read more, exercise more, write more, watch less TV and so on — all to realize at the end of the year, that we were no further from the place we started?  How many times do we make resolutions in January that don’t get to see the light of April?  According to Statistic Bain, only about 41% of Americans make new year resolutions.  Out of that number, only 9.2% of them actually succeed in achieving their resolutions. Why is that? I noticed that the key to making lasting changes in any area of our lives lies in our ability to regularly assess our actions and habits. We need to locate the things we do to sabotage our progress. We need to be truthful to ourselves and be willing to take definite steps to correct our lapses. In this article, I hope to share some proven steps that would help us make progress while we “rock”.

Vision: A roadmap for your Life

“Where there is no vision, the people perish” —  Proverbs 29:18 It was Myles Munroe that said the greatest gift God gave a man is not the gift of sight but the gift of vision. Lasting changes all starts with our ability to see beyond your physical senses. Myles Munroe goes on to say that “vision is a mental image of your future that is inspired by God in the heart of a human” They guide the different decisions we make in life. How do you know your purpose and your vision?

The life of a thing is nourished and sustained from its source

The way to be in tune with your vision and our purpose in life is to be in tune with your source. Developing a close relationship with your source (God) helps you to know His voice and hear when He speaks. John 10;27 says, “My sheep hear My voice; and I know them, and they follow me”. God speaks to us through the thoughts and ideas He gives us. This vision or the mental picture of your future fuels passion into whatever you do.  It fuels persistence into you because you realize that your current stage is the stepping stone to the next level. You’ll persist because you understand there’s a greater purpose to your efforts. Your vision will also give you a sense of urgency.

Some questions to consider

Where do you see yourself going? what future do you envisage? What are the dreams, thoughts, and ideas God has put in your mind? What steps did you take last year towards your ideas? Why did you not take the necessary steps? What definite steps do you need to take this year? Why not start now?

Identify the pattern

According to Newton’s law, a body will continue in its state until it is acted upon by an unbalanced force. Meaning that things will continue to happen in a certain way except we do something differently. How has your life been the past year?  How has your spiritual life, your business, your career, your mental life, your family life been? What areas do you need to work on? If you look closely, you may identify a pattern that reveals your habits. What are the keystone habits you may have to change that’ll affect other areas of your life? Note down the things that are necessary to make that progress and have a plan on how to achieve them.

Mere talk leads only to poverty

“Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty”. — Proverbs 21:5 After you’ve got a grip on a direction for your life, your business, your marriage, whatever it may be. You want to plan your time and your energy so that you’re able to achieve your set goals given the resources you have based on your life situation. In business, there’s an acronym called the SMART Goal. A SMART goal is a quantifiable goal we set, using measures to account for progress. S- Specific, M – Measurable, A –  Achievable, R – Realistic, T – Timebound Below is an example of my smart goal for wanting to write more and better. My SMART goal: Year’s Goal= X no of posts
Explanation Example Breakdown  Yours?
Specific what you want to accomplish  I want to improve my writing skills, to write X no of blogs in 2018
Measurable  What are the monthly, weekly, daily steps you’d take to ensure progress Monthly Goal= X/12 Weekly: 1 post Daily= to spend 45 – 60 mins writing
Achievable What time, energy, skills, and resources would you require to achieve this? What courses, what books to read, and amount of time To complete SEO course in January, to read 1 book each month
Realistic Given your other involvements and financial standing can you pull this through? Free online courses, wake up earlier, Go to bed earlier.  Get lots of walks and fresh air. Because of my family size, by the time I get the kids to bed, I’m drained for the day.
Timebound what is your deadline? Dec 2018
   One of my goals is to become a very good writer and to write X number of articles this year. This is tied to my vision of wanting to shape perceptions in the society.  So with 4 kids and a plethora of other responsibilities, I plan my time to wake up very early about 4:30 am. After devotions, I write for about 45 to 60 mins before preparing the kids for school. Because of this schedule, by 9:30 pm, I would have used up my energy to do any mental work. This is just one example of how our vision guides our monthly, weekly and eventually daily activities. A true understanding of your vision ignites passion in what you do. Vision helps you persevere to take the necessary steps in order to achieve your goals. Smart goals help you account for your time. I encourage you to make the necessary changes you need today. Follow the steps above and come up with your own smart goals today. And don’t forget to leave your suggestions and comments as well. we’ll very much love to read them. God bless you!