Why I gave up on goals

It’s that dreaded time when everyone feels pressure to create resolutions, set goals, and finally CHANGE.  Let me tell you what my experience has been in the past; maybe you can relate. I am the queen of good intentions, a virtual factory of great ideas, a true visionary. You can imagine the lofty New Year’s resolutions that have filled my journals and planners.

Unfortunately, they all ended there. Ink on a page in my planner.

Maybe you have had a similar experience where good intentions and lofty goals were soon forgotten, abandoned and finally replaced with feelings of discouragement and failure.

After years of struggling as a people pleaser and believing the lie that I was not enough, I stopped writing goals.

In the past, I viewed goals through the lens of perfectionism. My unrealistic expectations set me up for certain failure. I thought that goals were a path to “getting it together” and that if I even stumbled a little along the way, I quit. I didn’t allow for any wiggle room in the journey. My goals were all things that I “should” do in order to be a “good” mom or a “good” wife. My dreams were not in the mix.

Knowing Who You Are is half the battle

Knowing now that I am already enough because Jesus has declared me so, gives me the freedom to dream, to set goals imperfectly. Before, I would quit if I made a mistake. How can we learn to be persistent and have endurance, if we quit at the first sign of weakness or imperfection? Now, I can learn from my mistake, and take that wisdom with me to the next step toward my goal.

One thing I am learning is that if you don’t believe the truth about God and the truth of who you are to Him, goals are not possible. For example, I believe I am loved by a good Father who has a unique purpose for my life. Therefore, I can set goals that help me live out that purpose. Not perfectly, but purposefully.

Once your believe you are living life already loved and accepted, it’s like a tight-rope walker who has a net. Maybe the walk across that thin wire is hard and a little scary, but you know that if you slip you will fall into the safety of the net.

The best version of yourself doesn’t happen on accident

Life is best lived intentionally, purposefully. Sure, God directs our steps, but if we desire to live fully for him, we have to plan. It doesn’t just happen. Naturally, I just drift to the comfy chair with a cup of coffee to watch Netflix. Intentional living  requires effort. If I create a better morning routine, I might could find more time for writing. If I plan to go to sleep at a good hour and take the time to lay out my workout clothes,  I will reach my fitness goals faster.

Time to plan, time to review

Goal setting begins with healthy beliefs.  Setting aside time to dream and plan and schedule comes next. Then it’s a matter of keeping those plans in front of you, reminding yourself just how badly you want good health, less debt, or a more organized home. Review you goals regularly.

Small steps

If you’re not sure what to do, just ask yourself, “what’s the next thing I could do to get me one step closer to my goal?” Just one thing. The next thing. Do the next thing. Otherwise, you will be overwhelmed by all the changes you want to make. Big changes are made up of little steps. You can take a little step toward your goal today.

You know what is standing in my way of reaching my goals? Just me. I have the love of Christ, the power of His Spirit, and everything I need.

I heard someone say that discipline is asking yourself this question, “Can I make myself do something I don’t want to do in order to achieve the results I want to achieve?”  Am I willing to wake up early to have intimate time with God that I desire? Am I willing to pack a bag and go sweat at the gym in order to be healthy as I age? Am I willing to play Uno for the 100,000th time in order to help my son feel loved?

 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.  2 Peter 1:3