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When was the last time you wrote down goals?  Maybe you’ve gotten discouraged in the past with goal setting – you barely have time to read your emails, let alone accomplish new goals.

Yet I have found that setting goals every year has been a great way to help me focus on the next step.  Before I was ever published, I had a goal to write a manuscript.  Then a goal to attend a writers workshop.  Then a goal to get endorsements.  The goals continued and many times when I hold the real-deal book in my  hand, I marvel at God’s goodness through it all.

So here are four keys to setting goals to get you started:

Set aside a special time every year to write down your goals.  Make this a tradition or else you will get too busy.  Try writing your goals between Christmas and December 31, so you can share them with your family on January 1.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful for your children to grow up hearing about your goals and aspirations?  What an impression it will make on them to watch you achieve your goals each year.

If the holidays are too busy, try goal setting in August before the school year begins or select another date.  The key is consistency.  Have the same day set aside for goal setting each year.  That day will also become a celebration for the goals achieved the previous year.

Write sensible, well balanced goals.  If you don’t exercise much, the Boston marathon isn’t a very smart goal.  But working out two or three days a week sure is!  Try writing one goal for each of the following areas: spiritual, family, business, financial and personal.

Put your goals where you will see them often.  If you write goals and then put them away for the rest of the year, chances are you won’t do much with them.  But if you tape them on your bathroom mirror, read them every night before you go to bed, or have them in your daily calendar, you’ll be more apt to achieve them.

Break down your goals in doable steps.  Let’s use the example of working out three days a week.  If you’ve never exercised before, three times a week will seem impossible.  So start with working out every Wednesday for a month.  After you get used to that, add Fridays.  As you create a new normal for your exercise regimen, you’ll be able to add more workouts with greater ease.

Goal setting is a wonderful opportunity to push yourself to the next level.  No one wants to die with their music inside.  Set goals and reach them – you will be an inspiration to your family and so many others!

When will you write down your goals? 

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