“You make known to me the path of life, you will fill me with joy in your presence…” Psalm 16:11


As I mentioned in an earlier post, I wanted to share a little about setting goals that you can actually achieve.

I’ve been reflecting on my own life and praying and thinking about personal growth goals to set for this year.  I’ve come up with quite a few.  Now, that might sound a little too optimistic or like too much to take on, but bear with me…….  although I did choose quite a few areas to grow in, I made small, specific goals that will definitely be attainable— not just another “I will get skinny this year so I will join the gym resolution” that we often think of at this time of year (and that we often give up on by the end of the first week)     Let me explain………..

A good acronym to remember when making a goal is the word  SMART.

SMART stands for:   Specific,  Measurable,  Attainable,  Relevant and  Time-Specific.

Let’s look at what this means.

Specific goals are narrowed down a bit and exactly what the word implies– specific.  For example,  you could say, “I want to be a better spouse” or “spend more time with _____”,  “I want to lose weight”, or “I want to grow in my Christian walk”  etc. , but it’s better to be specific.  What is the outcome you want?  What will it look like when you reach your objective?

  • How will you be a better spouse?  What exactly will you do?  Which areas of your marriage do you want to change and improve?
  • If you want to spend more time with someone…..what does that mean?  How much time?  When?  Do you want a weekly date?  Will you visit your aging parents every Tuesday and Saturday?  Will you meet with your best friend for coffee twice a month?
  • How much weight do you want to lose?  What will you do to lose it?
  • What exactly does growing in your Christian walk mean to you?  What do you want the end result to be?

So, this gets into all of the other aspects of SMART goals….measurable, attainable, relevant and time-specific.

Make sure it’s measurable.  Something you can quantify and really see what the end result would be.  (example—-how many pounds, how much of whatever…..).  How will your measure your progress?  How will you know when you reach your goal?  What will it look like?  What will you do or how will you be when you “get there”?  If you want a “more balanced life”….define “more”.

Attainable:    Set a goal that will stretch you a bit, but make it something you can actually accomplish.  You’ll probably find that achieving one goal will motivate you to take on others.  One thing that may help is breaking goals down into mini goals.  For example, if you were trying to lose weight, break it down into smaller weight loss goals so that they seem like something within reach.  When you reach one, set another, and keep going until you reach the bigger goal that you had envisioned for an end result.

Make sure the goal is something you are capable of doing and depends only on you.  Set goals that you can control.

Relevant:  How important is this?  What makes this goal important to you?  Are you willing to cut other things from your time in order to work towards this goal?

Time-specific:  This part of SMART goals is very important.  Set a timeline or deadline.  When will you do it?  When will you start?  What is your deadline?

Setting goals that take all of the aspects of SMART goals into consideration will help you to achieve them.  If you are vague and don’t really have a clearly stated goal, it’s easy to lose focus and hard to reach what you want to achieve.

I hope the SMART acronym will help you as you think of setting personal growth goals for this year.




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