Our goals and desires for the new year can be truly beautiful. Here’s the thing though…whenever I’ve set New Year’s Goals, (and I rarely have) I’ve often found them to be intimidating, and ultimately, unrealistic. My follow through with them always falls short. Does this resonate with your experience? I think I know why this happens in our lives.
First, our goals are often wayyy out of reach. This leaves us feeling so intimidated when we look up at the Mt. Everest of our goal and don’t know where the heck to start. And second, we often don’t truly connect to the “why” of the goal. Why do we truly want to lose weight or eat healthier or connect more with our spouse or children? Everything we do flows from the heart. When we connect to the heart of our desire, name it, understand it, and embrace it, we are able to move forward with clarity and purpose.
Change happens in the small moments. When we break down our goals into realistic step by step courses of action, we are much more likely to succeed. There’s something beautiful about living and enjoying the process of our transformation. In the process of slowly moving towards achieving our goals, something happens in our hearts, and that’s the real prize. This gradual change helps us actually become different instead of merely behaving differently. Perhaps your goal is to connect more with your children. In the process of slowly achieving this, you BECOME a more connected and available person, you don’t just behave connected. Your heart blossoms into who you truly are. This difference between becoming vs. behaving is so vital, and is often the deciding factor between success and failure in meeting our goals.
CONNECT WITH YOUR HEART
As you dream about 2019 and all that you’d love to see happen in your life, find some space and time to ask yourself these questions. Your answers will clarify and deepen your understanding of your heart’s desires:
1) What are some of the main reasons I want to achieve this?
List out whatever comes to your mind. You might be surprised at some of the reasons that surface. Allow the reasons of your goal to change and morph the goal with more clarity. You might start with something really vague like, “I want to lose weight,” and through understanding your reasons, your goal may morph into something like: “I want to see myself the way God sees me and love myself more through having better body image.”
2) Why is this important to me now?
This is such a beautiful question to ask. This deepens the why. Often our goals are things that our hearts have been wanting to do for a long time, but we haven’t been able to or haven’t chosen to for one reason or another. Embrace the importance of your goals. Sit in the importance of it for a while.
3) What is a realistic expectation of myself when I’m starting this goal?
Let’s say your goal is to eat healthier. The temptation might be to throw out all the unhealthy food in your house and just PURGE and go hardcore. I get it. You feel motivated and 2019 is gonna be your year. However, I would strongly caution against this! Instead, consider what a good starting point is for truly changing your relationship with food. Maybe that means choosing an amount of days per week that you will start to eat clean. It could be as simple as choosing 2 or 3 days a week. As you get some smaller wins and stick to it, your confidence in your ability to be self-controlled grows and you have the belief to progress in a beautiful and natural way. Starting small allows your habits to actually change, so instead of behaving like a healthy eater, you’re becoming one.
4) Looking at my life realistically, and not allowing my expectations to be colored by any voice other than my own, how would I truly define success with this goal?
One of my favorite sports podcasts is called Jalen & Jacoby. They’re hilarious. A repeated phrase from their show is, “Happiness is a function of realistic expectation.” If you are 19 years old, it may not be a realistic goal to make 25 million dollars in 2019. Certainly, you can take some significant steps towards that and lay an awesome foundation, but setting such a lofty goal often leaves us feeling defeated one or two months into the year. Take a step back and allow your heart to process and come to a conclusion on what a realistic expectation is for yourself. Doing this is so vital.
5) Who can support me in this?
You are never alone. Sharing your goals and dreams allows people in to the process of your life and heart. This enhances our connections with one another in an amazing way. When we let others in, our success becomes their success, our victory becomes their victory, and they get to take part in the joy of our transformation. Who can support you when you feel like giving up? Who can pray for you? Who will be there to encourage you to keep going and remind you that you’re doing awesome when you inevitably miss the mark?
6) God, what do you have for me in this?
God is so interested in our lives. He’s so interested in everything that is on your heart and mind. I remember a few years back I had a goal to lose weight. I had gained a lot of sympathy weight during our first pregnancy and I didn’t like the way it made me feel. Asking for God’s help in the process and keeping an active dialogue with Him during exercising and learning to eat healthier was so beautiful. His encouragement and bolstering and laughter got me through the nights where I felt like doing anything but exercising. What I discovered in that process is that He cares. My desires are so important to Him. What might He have for you in the process of your dreams and goals for 2019!
Happy New Year! I believe in you and the beauty of your goals!
As always, if you’d want some support, outside perspective, and accountability, I would love to coach you in these goals. We can fly much farther together then we can alone. Sign up for coaching here.
What are your goals? Share below!