As we approach 2020, I wanted to write a blog on goal setting… go figure!
We all have the best of intentions as we hope things will be different in the coming year. I believe in recognizing that goal setting is seldom about starting or even finishing it’s about continuing.
Why does gym attendance explode in January but decrease within weeks? Why do our good intentions lose momentum? How can we continue what we start?
Personal experience example of goal setting with teens
Back in 1973 when I was a youth pastor in Buffalo NY, I had one goal… inspiring 1000 teens (yes that was the size of my youth group) to read the Bible daily. Sounded doable but every goal is doable until you start doing it.
… Ok stay with me!
Their perspective had to change, so I came up with the following mantra: Start with the ridiculous to achieve the impossible rather than starting with impossible to achieve the ridiculous!
Goals must be demonstrated not demanded!
The Rule of Reciprocity: I personally picked 12 kids and modeled for them what I expected from them. My hope was that they would each do the same for someone else. Goals must be fueled not just felt.
Ask yourself the following 2 questions:
- What do you think was the human fuel that insured momentum in times of mundane obligation to keep these kids interested and committed?
- How can the voice of conviction become louder than the voice of compromise when you simply want to quit?
Are you ready for the answer?
I created a type of fuel for these kids that was high octane… a mixture of accountability and authenticity.
First, they had to make themselves accountable to someone they could not scam. Second, they had to legitimize the goal by making it their own. If you don’t own it you won’t do it. An example of accountability and authenticity when it comes to weight loss would be to get on the scale while someone is watching!
Here is how starting with ridiculous goal setting played out for these 12 kids:
7 days per week for 6 weeks:
Week one: Create a habit: Be sure your Bible is in the same place. But do not open it! (Goals must be repeated)
Week two: Create desire: For the next seven days open the Bible cover but do not read it! (Goals must start easy)
Week three: Create memorization: For the next 7 days only read the same passage. 2 Timothy 4:7, “I have fought the good fight; I have finished the race”. (Goals must not be forgotten)
Week four: Create commitment: Proverbs contains 31 chapters… read the proverb that corresponds to the date. (Goals must perform)
Week five: Create accountability: Continue in Proverbs but daily tell someone what you read. (Goals must be monitored)
Week six: Create a partnership: Invite someone else into the process. (Goals must be shared)
Note: 47 years later, many of those kids, now parents and grandparents, continue with this habit! How cool is that?!
How can you take the method I used with my youth group and apply it to the goals you set for the new year? All you have to do is plug in your goal and work the steps:
- Create a habit – schedule time to work on your goal regularly
- Create a desire – start small and with something you know you can easily do
- Create memorization – declare a mantra and repeat it daily
- Create commitment – commit to doing one thing for 30 days that is in service of your goal
- create accountability – reach out to someone and share what you did each day in service of your goal
- Create partnership – invite someone or a group to join you
Are you ready to apply this strategy to your New Year’s goals? If you’re interested in working with me to make this process come alive for you, contact me.
You can do this…Make it happen! Here’s to 20/20 vision in 2020!