How To Create Realistic Goals For Next Year Starting Today

This past Monday, I published a post entitled:¬†How To Set Yourself Up For A Successful 2012. It was a rather lengthy post, capping out at 2194 words. With the deluge of information that we receive on a daily basis, I am afraid that it was not in a “bite-size” format for proper digestion.

So here is my solution. I am so passionate about sharing the things I included in the original¬†post, that I want to re-visit each item. But — I am going to allocate each item a specific post. These posts will be short, bite-size, small enough for proper digestion, one day at a time. If you want to read the whole post through in one sitting, click¬†here¬†to read it. I am excited to share with you today how you can set realistic goals for yourself. Goals that you will actually accomplish.


1. Create a set of realistic goals and resolutions for next year, today. It is crucially important to set realistic goals for yourself. Do not over-promise and under-deliver. Avoid over-extending yourself. This will breed frustration and usurp energy from you that might otherwise have been put to good use. It is much better to put on your resolutions list a few things and do them well rather than a sleuth of things and barely accomplish the first four.

This is the mistake that I made this year:

At the beginning of 2011, I wrote out my new year resolutions as I usually do. I included four main categories:

1. Spiritual

2. Relational

3. Physical

4. Professional.

I then included over seven sub categories under each main category. This was a huge error on my part. It was exciting to look at this list at the beginning of the year. When I am looking at it right now in December, I realized that I neglected to narrow my focus.

For example:

At the beginning of 2011, two of my professional goals were to develop a theme and concept of my next book and to make one additional short film. Because I was simultaneously finishing seminary, working in the church and transitioning into a new job, I was not able to get to these two goals. I had big dreams at the beginning of the year but they fell flat.This taught me a lesson to plan and resolve accordingly and wisely.

I also want to share with you in particular two wins from my resolutions list:

Under my relational category, I resolved to have¬†at the least¬†one intentional date night with my¬†wife¬†¬†every week. By God’s grace and efficient time management, both Vika and I were able to accomplish this.

I also set out to make sure that I finish¬†seminary¬†in May of 2011. By God’s grace as well, I was able to do this also.

The concept here is simple. Resolutions are great. Make sure they are realistic, narrow and focused. Less is more.

2. Create realistic goals this year to take care of your temple. Commence new diet and exercise habits today. I already know that as soon as January one hits the iCal, gyms all across the country will be brimming with hopeful people who will end up dropping out before the first two weeks are over.

In my personal opinion, gyms are the absolute biggest waste of money and time for a large majority of people who are members. I will tell you why I think this way in a moment.

If you want to cut out carbs and soda from your diet in 2012, why not start right now. I know, the chocolate croissant you had this morning at Starbucks with your morning latte was delicious. But here is the problem. It went straight to your waistline. Substitute the croissant with a handful of almonds. It is a small change but it will make a slim difference, literally. There is no reason to wait to start this habit next year. Start it right now.

If you want to cut out all the junk food, create 30 extra minutes in your schedule to prepare a healthy meal the night before. Instead of skipping breakfast, junking on lunch and having a huge dinner, divide your eating habit into six to eight small meals throughout the day.

If you really want to get in to shape, I would highly recommend p90x. By doing this program all the way through, I was able to get in the absolute best shape of my entire life. It was awesome. I really enjoyed it. I have had a gym membership before. Never did it yield any result regardless of the intensity of my work out. This program was killer. It took care of the temple and I loved it.

Instead of waiting to start eating right next year, start right now.¬†Instead of waiting to get in shape next year, start p90x today. Or keep going to your local gym if that works for you. Either way, the point is not¬†procrastination, but¬†activation¬†— and it starts today.

Question: What are you doing right now to narrow your focus and begin to reach your 2012 goals, today? 


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