Goals come in all shapes and sizes. Some are big goals that will take many years and significant effort to accomplish. Other goals come in bite size pieces like reading a specific book. There are educational goals, financial goals, career goals, personal goals, fitness goals, ministry goals, and more.
Most of us have some idea of where we're going in life and what we want to accomplish, but not very many of us take the time to write it down. However, writing our goals down makes us significantly more likely to reach them. It's amazing how putting pen to paper can make a major difference in what we accomplish.
Writing our goals requires us to think about them in order to articulate them clearly. Further, it gives us the opportunity to reflect on them and revise them when necessary. Goals written down are usually more developed, more intentional, and more defined than those that merely float around in our heads. Plus, they serve as a reminder of what we set out to do. If our goals don't find a home in the written word, they are easily forgotten. In fact, they may not be goals at all, merely wishes.
As we kick off the school year, parents and students alike will benefit from taking some time to write down their goals. What do you hope to accomplish this year? What is the big picture your goals fit into? How will this year's goals move you toward future goals? As you consider these questions and write out your goals, you may want to use the SMART approach.
Experts on goal-setting often use the acronym SMART to identify aspects of effective goal writing.
S - Specific: Define your goal using specific words so you know exactly what you are aiming for.
M - Measurable: How will you know when you get there?
A - Attainable: Make sure your goal is within reach.
R - Relevant: Does your goal align with the big picture, vision, or God-given purpose for your life?
T - Time-based: Set a realistic date to reach the goal. Every worthy endeavor needs a deadline!
Choose a few areas of your life and write down your goals. You may write them down in a journal or on notecard to keep in your purse or wallet. Review them regularly to stay focused. Finally, celebrate your achievement when you reach a goal and check it off the list!