Why There's Nothing Magical About January 1: My Favorite Goal-Setting Tool

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Have you set goals for 2017? There are many benefits to setting both personal and business goals, especially if you're a blogger. Having goals keeps you on track and holds you accountable to making what matters happen.

But what if you haven't set any goals yet for this year? It's already the end of February, and you're feeling so far behind...

Well, I'm here to tell you there's grace for that, dear sister!

What if I told you there's nothing magical about January 1? Lara Casey from Cultivate What Matters said that first, and she also has some amazing tips on goal-setting:  She shares that "You are not one bit 'behind,' if you haven’t started (or finished) setting goals yet."

"Today is the best day to begin."

Feeling inspired, but unsure where to begin? Today, I'm sharing my favorite goal-setting tool and some tips to help you get started, as well as my own goals for 2017! Let's go!

Goal-Setting Tips & Encouragement - Cultivate Grace

How to set intentional goals:

step 1: Reflect

To quote one of my favorite musicals, let's start at the very beginning, a very good place to start! (It's okay, you can blame me if this song is stuck in your head now! :)

But in all seriousness, that's just where you should begin in goal-setting -- wherever you are right now.

Spend some time reflecting over the past year:  What worked well? What didn't?

Think about what kinds of habits and feelings you experienced in the past year. Which ones do you want to take with you into the year ahead? Which ones would you rather leave behind?

You may want to write these thoughts in your journal, or on a scrap piece of paper nearby. This will be helpful later on!

step 2: Know Your Why

Start thinking about what motivates you to take action on your goals. Is it your family? Your love for your spouse? Your kids?

What is the biggest reason you want to set intentional goals? What will be the motivation for you to actually achieve them? 

This could be anything from the people in your life to your desire to be free from a 9-5 job.

All that really matters here is what will fuel a fire in YOU.

step 3: Dream BIG

Now that we've reflected on the past year and your motivation to begin setting goals, we can look to the year ahead.

What are your dreams for the next year? Don't be afraid to dream big; in fact, you should!

Dream BIG about what you want the upcoming year to look/feel/sound like.

My favorite way to do this is to create a Pinterest vision board. Check out mine as an example!

Be sure to comment with a link to yours, so I can follow along!

step 4: Set Good Goals

Yay! It's finally time to do what you came here for :)

Each of the first 3 steps is SO important in preparing your heart to set good goals for this year, goals that will be filled with grace and intent.

Look back through your notes from the past few steps - what stands out to you? Use these highlights to outline your potential goals!

One thing to keep in mind during this step - keep it simple, sister. Having too many goals will leave you feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. Try to limit yourself to a number of goals that will allow you space for GRACE.

I recommend 4-5 really good goals, but there's absolutely nothing wrong if you have more!

Here are my goals for 2017:

1) Grow in my FAITH so that I can trust + obey God in ALL things.

2) MAKE a healthy lifestyle happen this year!

3) Cultivate a love for the HOME we have now.

4) Build COMMUNITY through Cultivate Grace.

5) DREAM + PLAN for our future home + farm by taking intentional action steps.

So, dear sister, what will YOUR goals be?

Intentional Goal-Setting Tips from Cultivate Grace

bonus: My Favorite Goal-Setting Tool

These goal-setting steps are all inspired by my favorite yearly planner: The PowerSheets Intentional Goal-Setting Planner by Cultivate What Matters.

Lara Casey is the creator of these, and she is such an inspiration to me! As a Christian woman, wife, mother and businesswoman, she exemplifies grace and an intentional life.

Using her PowerSheets have been such a blessing to me! I hope they will inspire you, as well.

Simplicity Challenge

Every week, I like to share a quick action step that is designed to help you simplify various aspects of your life or business. This week, it's time to set intentional goals for your year!

There truly is nothing magical about January 1, or even February 1 or March 1! You don't have to wait until the first of the month or until the first of next year to begin pursuing the dreams God has placed on your heart.

Get started NOW by working through the action steps in this post. I've highlighted them here to make it simple for you:

  1. REFLECT - start by reflecting over the past year. Think about what has worked well and what hasn't worked so well for you. What will you keep? What will you change?
  2. KNOW YOUR WHY - consider what motivates you to take intentional action on your goals. Why are you going to make what matters happen this year?
  3. DREAM BIG - think about what you want the next year to look/feel/sound like. What are your big dreams for the upcoming year? Create a vision board & share it with me in the comments!
  4. SET GOOD GOALS - look back through your notes from the first 3 steps and find common themes. Use these to set intentional, actionable goals for the year ahead.

Share your goals with us in the comments. One of the first steps to making what matters happen is to make it real and sharing your goals with others allows you to do that!

I can't wait to hear what goals you're going to make happen this year!

In His Grace,