Are You Ready for 2007?
January 3, 2007

Setting Your Goals - Easier Said, Easily Done

As you embark upon a new year, many of you will take some time to set goals for 2007. That’s a fantastic idea and exercise. Goal setting is an open secret known by top-caliber athletes, successful businessmen and businesswomen, as well as all types of achievers in all the different fields. This definitely includes moms at home! You have the most important job of raising the leaders of tomorrow, so be prepared by setting and achieving your goals - both for you and your children.

The basics of setting goals give you as a Mom focus for each day. Goals also provide short-term and long-term motivation as you plan your day, week and month. The goals I set also help me organize my time and resources so I will stay focused. This allows me time and resources to educate myself and share that new-found knowledge with my children.

WHY SET GOALS?

You may be saying to yourself, why do I need to set any goals? God will show me what to do each day and I rest in Him. You have discovered a great truth as you rest in your faith and this is necessary as you follow God’s direction. BUT, setting clearly defined short-term and long-term goals will enable you to measure your progress as you raise your children and grow in Christ. As you achieve your goals, you will be motivated to follow God.

Don’t you feel great when you cross something off your list?
I sure do! It’s the same way with goals. As you complete short-term goals, you begin to see accomplishment that leads to that fantastic feeling or realizing your final goals.

Do you ever go through the day, feeling like you’re not sure what else needs to be done or feeling like you wasted your day away?
Goals eliminate that feeling of a long and pointless grind. I’m sure you know what I mean by pointless grind throughout your day & week.

BASICS OF GOAL SETTING - HOW DO I BEGIN TO SET GOALS?

1. Decide what you really want to do or what you need to do as you raise your children to be Godly leaders. These are life goals for you and your children.
2. List short term and long term goals necessary for you need to achieve lifetime goals. Make a chart with each person at the top of your chart.
3. Break down goals into the smaller and manageable targets that you must complete. Put these sub-goals under the primary goal for each person in your family.
4. Write down daily activities so you can achieve your goals. You might start with just the first month, breaking this down to weekly activities. On Sunday or Monday, list your daily activities for that week only.
5. Once you have your list waste no time in tackling your goals.

PUTTING GOALS INTO REAL ACTION

A good way to have a manageable list is to have a daily and weekly set of goals. By doing this you will be always in the position of going towards you life plan goals. Everyday will give you the opportunity to fulfill a certain goal - giving you the fantastic feeling of accomplishment.

Here are some pointers that should be taken into consideration in setting goals and achieving them. I’ve marked resources for some of these areas for you to study further.

 

Prayer and Bible reading play a very big role in setting and achieving your goals. You must ask yourself if there is anything in your goals that does not follow God’s Word. If so, your plans will turn into disarray! If you are unsure about your goals, spend time on your knees praying for God’s direction for you and your family.

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat o fth scornful;
But his delight is in the law of the Lord
And in His law he meditates day & night.
Psalm 1:1-2

Education is key in achieving your goals. If your goals require you to have a certain kind of knowledge, make plans in getting the appropriate knowledge and education. Set aside a specific time each day to work towards that education. I usually try to read at least one hour per day to educate myself. WHY??? So I can mentor my children to be great leaders as we discuss great ideas!
Raising Leaders, Not Followers click here

Many of you desire to quit your job and work at home. That’s a GREAT goal!!! If working at home so you can gain freedom for you and your family is a goal of yours, write it down. Or, maybe you want your teens to have a choice between working for themselves or waiting for someone else to give them their paycheck. Wherever you sense God leading, write it down! Begin researching how you can set up a family business so you can eventually replace your day job.
To Avoid mistakes of Self-Employed Business people click here

Your family should never be left out of your plans. At the end of this week, write down the goals you have drafted. Share these with your spouse and discuss the pros/cons of each goal. Be sure both parents are in agreement with the goals you have set. If not, go to God and pray for His wisdom. God may want you to submit to your husband’s direction which you should do cheerfully. Continue to pray about the difference, but be sure you are always submitting to your hubby. God will reward you for this. I know…from experience :-)

Personal financial situations also play a major role in achieving your goals. Have a realistic goal on how much you really want/need to earn. Look at the debt you have accumulated and develop goals to help you eliminate your debt. You also must be able to create plans or stages by which you will be able to reach your earning potential. Be creative (& Biblical) and you will be surprised how God will see you through any financial difficulties.

Health & fitness should be included in your goals. We live in a society that spends most of its time in front of a screen (TV screen, computer screen, movie screen). We must “make the time” to keep our bodies physically fit. Jot down goals to exercise, eat healthy and enjoy your family through games and play.

Physically gifted children may be able to achieve sports related goals like playing for the local homeschool basketball team or high school football team. Determining your children’s physical capabilities should be one of your priorities. Sports are a great way for your children to learn character lessons and grow in Christ. But, you must be careful to guard your family time so that sports doesn’t become the highest priority in your family. In other words, don’t forsake family time and family devotions for too many basketball and softball games.
As the saying goes -’All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’, or something to that effect, is by all means true down to the last the letter. Giving yourself a little pleasure: should be included into your plans. Plan this year to get away with your spouse for at least one weekend. Begin planning now…get the grandparents to watch your children.

The above discussion sums up the categories you can use to prepare your goals: Spiritual, Education, Family, Financial, Health-Fitness, Career/Job and Leisure.

Although it is best to have some very long-term goals (20+ years), go ahead and start right now with shorter goals. I’d suggest 5 year goals and 1 year goals. Then break these down to 6 month plans then monthly plans, then weekly, then daily.

DAILY LISTS

Then create a things-to-do list for today and the next day and the next! Every morning I keep a blank piece of paper next to me as I read my Bible. When ideas or tasks pop into my head, I write them down. This keeps me focused on God’s leading in the Bible and lets me move past some simple tasks. When I finish my quiet time, I evaluate my list, comparing it to my weekly goals.

I don’t know about you, but when I get to mid-afternoon, I sometimes have a brain-drain! I can’t remember what I am suppose to do that day. All I have to do is find my early morning list and see what hasn’t been crossed off. It’s a great memory tool as my mind forgets.

Always review your plans and prepare for contingencies. As a mom, you know there is always a need for contingencies. When my oldest was born, I heard that moms should list “to do” tasks on multiple days. If you don’t get a task done the first day it is listed, you still have time to complete it on the next day AND…you don’t feel guilty for taking 2-3 days to complete a task and ultimately fulfill your goals.

This is the first week of January and many of you will be more relaxed with your schedule, whether or not you homeschool. It is the PERFECT TIME to set goals for 2007. Get some blank paper and start planning. You will be glad you did!

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(c)  Kerry Beck
If you want to reprint this article, you may do so as long as you include the following bio with the reprint.

Kerry Beck is a homeschool mom and wife! She is the author of Raising Leaders, Not Followers, which encourages parents to train their children to be leaders who rule wisely. She would like to give you a free report about Leadership Education in Homeschool Curriculum

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