How to Prioritize and Set Goals in a New Year

The new year seemed to arrive to our world suddenly– as it often does– leaving our heads spinning and our collective voices sputtering phrases like “So soon?”.. “Can’t believe 2014 is gone already!” .. “Wasn’t it just last week I was learning to write the new date on my checks/papers/reports!?” It appears the new year always catches us off guard, regretting at least a little the lack of carpe diem over the past 365 days. 

Thankfully, this year Tyler and I had enough milestone experiences that we had a few solid memories to fall back on when reminiscing about 2014. We covered a lot of that in our year-end review so I won’t rehash it all, but it did feel good that as we were arguing about deciding on answers to that quiz, we had plenty of possible events from which to draw. As my sister says of her incredible last year,

“We dreamed a lot of dreams, and then we got to live them”.

When Tyler and I met and started to see the future as more of “ours” than “yours and mine”, we talked a lot about what we wanted. And now here we are, making that happen in small but determined ways.

During the first church service of 2015, our [unconventional] pastor launched us all right into the new year with a worksheet designed to help us recognize life priorities and form goals around those. I could not have been more thrilled since introspection and organization and imagination are some of my favorite things. Tyler was a little less than enthused, mostly because he’s not so future-oriented… but perhaps because I’d already made him do a little dreaming and goal-setting at home on January 1st 😉 However, as we worked through the questions prompting us to look at various aspects of our life, it was fun to see how we’d already gotten a good start being intentional about our growth this year.

Our pastor told us in closing that coming up with goals– and then writing them down– made us 4x as likely to accomplish them. I can’t vouch for the exact accuracy of that statistic, but in my own life that has held true. We would encourage you too to spend some time at the beginning of this new year reviewing what is important to you and making a plan to focus on specific goals for the year. To help you get started, here are some questions from the worksheet:

Consider each of the following areas: Spiritual, Family, Physical, Career/Calling, Financial, Social, and Personal

What is the best practice to adopt for each of these in the next year? Identify the:

  • Dream
  • Problem (the thing preventing the realization of the Dream)
  • Solution
  • Voice of God (speaking to you regarding the Dream/Problem/etc)
  • Step (what is needed to get going in the direction of the Dream)
  • Daily Practice 

What are the two most discouraging things going on in your life? What needs to happen to overcome these obstacles?

What ONE daily practice would make the greatest difference in your life? (Time and Place)

The brainstorming we did on our own was a little more simple, just throwing around ideas and crazy goals that we still find achievable. We like to think most things are in the realm of possibility if we: only pick a few, determine from the beginning to support each other, and start fresh each day, deciding to take advantage of what that day has to offer.

Stay tuned to find out what kind of goals we’ve set for ourselves this year, as well as some of the practical tools that help us stay on track throughout the year!

January 8, 2015
January 15, 2015