How to Win the Prize of Goal Setting

“Don’t you realize that everyone who runs in a race runs to win, but only one runner gets the prize? Run like them, so that you can win.”  – 1 Corinthians 9:24 (GW)

I have been writing about goals recently and I have also been setting goals for myself. I realize that act of goal setting is the easy part and it brings with it hope and exciting. Once you have set a few goals, the next step is the process is to achieve them. This can prove to be a challenge but you can make them happen. Here are a few tips to help you achieve your goals:

1. Keep Your Eyes On The Prize
Life is hectic and you can easily loose sight of what you want to accomplish. It is important to keep focused on the what, why and how of your goals. One way to do this is by reading your goal list daily. Keep them close on your bedside table and pray about them. Plan your week and your days by asking yourself, “What can I do today (tomorrow or this week) to bring my goal closer to reality?” You may even consider adding them to your smart phone for quick reference and as a reminder especially during challenges. I would also suggest a weekly, monthly and quarterly review. However, one fun way to get that daily reminder is by creating a dream board and posting that collage of your dreams in a place where you can keep your eyes on the prize.

2. Don’t Stress Out If You Fall Behind
We are not perfect nor do we live in a perfect world. The challenges of life will often get in the way of what you really want to achieve. It’s understandable if you have a late start or fall behind. The key is to get back on the journey and keep moving. Have a determination to succeed and when you fall down, don’t stay there get back up and get moving towards your dreams.

3. Discipline Yourself
Just like an athlete who trains to run a race, you have to train yourself. If you want to achieve your goals, when you set out your first steps, you will realize that you need to do some things differently. For example, if you want eat healthier foods; then your plan may include creating a meal plan, updating your grocery list, buying and preparing healthier meals, reducing your intake of soda, and so on. That goal requires some discipline on your part. Since discipline may sound like too much effort, consider this: Discipline is when purposely setup yourself to succeed.

4. Factor In Some Time Out For Relaxation
There is no point in working so hard to the point of exhaustion. You should try to enjoy the journey you are on. Two ways you can include relaxation and eliminate stress is (1) take 15 minute do-nothing-at-all breaks during the day (2) take a personal retreat or two during the year. Oh, don’t forget to take a family vacation as well. You will find that relaxation brings not only the benefit of refreshing the body but it will renew your soul and spirit as well. When you are refreshing you are more energized and creative which helps you to achieve your goals. Personal or spiritual retreats will also give you a new zeal for life. These times of refreshing will ignite you to keep moving forward.

5. Create A Sense Of Urgency
Have you ever noticed how productive you are just before going on a vacation or just before a pending deadline? Create a similar urgency with your own life goals one task at a time. One thing I have found useful is to set a timer when I really want to focus and get work completed. Knowing I have that clock ticking keeps my focused. I don’t stop to check emails or to answer calls or to chat. If you can work on projects in half-hour intervals, you’d be amazed at how much you will accomplish. Another way to create urgency is to set a time line within the same month to complete a major part of a project or all of it (provided it is reasonably doable). Knowing that you have a timeline within a few weeks often gets you started on making it happen.

6. Delegate Or Get Help
Ask yourself this question often, “Who can help me with this task?” There may be some things that you’re not skilled at and may need to hire someone to do. You may have a friend who is knowledgeable or experienced in an area that you need help with. For example, my husband did a book trailer for Financial Empowerment and I hired a designer to create the book cover as well as do the interior design of the book. If your time is best utilized in another area and you don’t have the time or talent to learn a new skill, then consider asking for help as you pursue your goals.

7. Tell Somebody What You’re Doing
Some goals are worth sharing with a friend or family member. If you have the goal of losing several inches from your waistline, and there is someone close to you who is into fitness, share your goal with them. Ask them to hold you accountable and even give you a few pointers on how to get started. A word of caution: Not everyone is a good candidate to share your goals with. Some will encourage but unfortunately there are some who will discourage. Your friends can either kill your dream or inspire you to achieve them. Ask the Lord who you should share your goals with. Choose wisely.

8. Join A Group That Supports Your Dream
I like small groups. Although there is the dynamic of dealing with different personalities, there is great benefit to being in a group that supports your dream. Such groups are often referred to as masterminds. If you can find a group of like-minded people whose goal is to succeed and help each other in the group succeed, go ahead and join them. The synergy and energy of being in a group that listens, guides and keeps you accountable for your goals is likely your greatest asset in goal achievement.

Many start off the New Year with excitement at the possibilities ahead. Unfortunately studies have shown that within weeks many give up on their goals. One reason for this is that some do not have clearly written goals. To help you set good goals check out these previous posts on goals setting:

If you are looking for a step-by-step guided process to goal setting, I’d encourage you to download the Living Success Goals Workbook.

I hope that as you work through the goal setting process and at achieve your goals, that God will give you great success.