I want to start this by making two statements:
1. We shouldn’t wait to write goals until the new year
2. If we do write goals at the new year, it shouldn’t be the only time in the year that we
do write goals
Goal setting, having vision, casting vision, etc. in my opinion are crucial elements that are very much prioritized in mine and Derek’s life. I’m not saying that we run our lives solely based off of the goals we’ve set, as if they must be accomplished or else we’ve utterly failed. I am saying that writing them down makes them real, gives us a target to hit, a path to follow, and when God swoops in and changes things up, which He often times does, we course correct, make new goals, build a more profound vision, and continue walking forward towards those targets. We tell God the desires of our hearts, we accept that we have a responsibility and must walk our feet forward ourselves, and we’re constantly editing our lists as God leads us towards what He has in store.
2011 was the first time I had really been encouraged to write down my goals. In fact, my mentors would just wait there silently until I did. Back then I’d sit there, mind blank, frustrated as hell, and I’d finally muster up a word like “Travel”, or “Family.” I’d write those words down because they were all that I could come up. I didn’t know where I wanted to travel, nor did I know what I meant by family, but that was my start.
I write goals in a number of ways. You don’t need to follow the way I do things. The point is, it’s taken me about 5 years of trying different ways to figure out which ways work for SARAH. If you haven’t started, just start. If you have started, keep moving forward, and experiment until you find methods that really work for you, where your goals and vision seem to come to life.
Here are the three methods in which I write goals:
1. IMMEDIATE GOALS
Whether it’s this week (make it to Crossfit 5x this week) or in the next 3-6 months, (put X amount of people through our Firearms class), these goals go on our bathroom mirror. We see them everyday, multiple times a day. If a goal changes, we erase it and write a new one. When a goal has been accomplished, we erase it and write a new one. It’s a constantly changing list.
2. LONG TERM GOALS
This could be anything from things we’d like in the next 5 years, or what we envision for when we’re 80. 3 years back I was listening to one of my mentors speak and he said something that has stuck with me ever since.
“People should know exactly who you are, what you want, and where you’re going simply by stepping foot in your house, without you having to say a single word.”
What he meant by that was instead of having bills on the nightstand, blank walls, and meaningless paintings, we need to have quotes that inspire us, pictures of bucket list items, magazines of our next great adventure, etc. So with longterm goals, we are in the process of finding creative and stylish ways to integrate these goals into the bones of our home. Quotes in picture frames, magazines on display, books that we actually read and love on open shelves, assets needed to retire written on a chalkboard, etc.
3. YEARLY GOALS
This is where New Years comes into play for us. In 2013, on December 31st, I took a few hours to myself to reflect, pulled out the computer, and wrote a list of what I had accomplished in 2013. After that list was done I wrote a different list of what I would accomplish in 2014. I have continued that trend since 2013 and will be doing it again in these next few days. I used to fill up around 1 full page of bullet points and now I fill up around 3-4 pages of bullet points. And that’s the exact point. Once we start writing goals, (2011 writing down the word family), the juices start to flow on an entirely different level, the creativity spikes, the perspectives change, and there become countless options, opportunities and possibilities. Today, I could write 4 full pages just on that one goal of “family”, when in 2011 all I could write was the word.
New Years Eve is now a really special time for us. I can’t explain how fun it is to sit down and look over what we wrote down as our goals for the year that just ended, to see which ones did happen, which ones didn’t and why, what things changed, and things we accomplished that weren’t even on the list because we couldn’t have known to put them on there.
So for The Weikart’s, that’s how we currently write our goals. Experiment until you find what works for you. Or don’t and chances are you’ll look back on your life 5 years from now and wonder why everything still looks the same, and you’ll probably have forgotten where the time even went.