Goal Setting: 2019 Edition
We are almost a week into 2019.
The gyms are still crowded, the diets are still going strong, and people are still talking about a “new year, new me.” Unfortunately, for many people, the “new me” mentality will eventually grow stale, burdensome, or un-conventional.
Come February, the gyms will slowly become less crowded, people will begin ordering fries with their sandwiches again, and the old habits of 2018, and ‘17, and ‘16 will begin creeping up in people’s lives.
This is the bummer of a new year.
So many people have the best intentions, but they often proclaim huge resolutions without having a specific roadmap to follow on their path to a “new them.” This is why I do not set yearly resolutions anymore, I set goals. No, that’s not just me changing the name, but actually becoming more intentional.
Goals direct your focus and attention. They help you remain persistent in the face of adversity. They increase your self-confidence and help you develop problem-solving strategies.
Where a resolution might say that I want to lose 25 pounds in the year 2019 - a goal says I want to go to the gym 3 times a week and lose an average of two pounds a month.
Where a resolution might say I want to spend less time on my phone in the year 2019 - a goal says I want to charge my phone in a different room every night for a month and never be on my phone when I am in the car with someone else. See more about this type of intentionality here.
You get the idea. Resolutions are very general; goals are very specific. Set S.M.A.R.T (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely) goals for yourself and I guarantee your success rate will increase.
So, without further ado, here are some of my goals for the year 2019:
Read the Bible for 30 minutes, 5 times a week.
As a pastor, this is almost expected to be on my list. Don’t get my wrong, I read the Bible. . .a lot! My profession often demands it from me. However, because of my need to read it professionally, I often find myself failing to read it from a personally. There is a pretty remarkable app out there that I believe will help me with this goal (and can help you too if you have a similiar goal). It is through the Christian non-profit, The Bible Project, and is called Read Scripture. You can find out more about it at readscripture.org.
Pray on my knees 3 times a week for 10 weeks straight.
This goal is intimidating. I am not very good at praying. More often than not I simply forget. I am wired as a “go-getter,” so there is very little I feel I am unable to accomplish. I know, pretty prideful and pretty pitiful. I recognize it. Which is why I need to force myself to my knees. While I foolishly believe I can accomplish most things on my own, I recognize that I am unable to do anything without God. How I reconcile both things in my mind, I don’t know. However, for the year 2019 I want to take on a posture of humility. Literally.
Run half a marathon.
I use to be a cross-country runner, so it’s really hard for me not to go for the full marathon on my first try; that’s my competitive nature coming out. If I am going to be more realistic, a half marathon seems like a more reasonable and obtainable goal. I have not decided which race I would like to enter, but I know I would like to accomplish one by the end of 2019. I have my eyes on the Boston or Disney!
Regain a healthy body mass (BMI)
My current BMI is 27.3 with normal weight ranging between 18.5 - 24.9. So, I am scraping my head on the roof of “overweight” ranging from 25 - 29.9. OUCH. My goal for 2019, which will most likely be the result of training for a half-marathon, is to lower my overall BMI below 25, without losing muscle mass. How? Drink more water, sleep more, avoid stress, and pump some iron!
Graduate with Master of Divinity (MDIV) from Oklahoma Christian University.
This is a long time coming. I should already have a degree, that’s the saddest part of it all. However, with the move across country, and the lack of online options at my university, I had to go another route for my final few courses. By the end of 2019, I plan to walk the stage with my Master of Divinity. This is a degree that has taken me over 4 years to obtain, so this will be a very relieving moment.
Read 2 books a month.
I am an avid reader, so I am not too worried about completing this goal. In fact, I already do it. My goal for 2019 is to continue pace and perhaps delve into some books of different genres. What are some of your favorite books?
Write 5 posts a month.
I do not write for reads, or follows, or to build a “fan base.” I’m not that good and I have come to peace with that. Unfortunately, I use to write for these reasons. I found it draining. Every time I logged in I felt deflated when my numbers continued to plateau. So, I stopped watching and kept writing.
Go scuba-diving an average of 1 time a month.
I am embarrassed to say how long it has been since Darian and I last went diving. You would think moving closer to the ocean would double, even triple, our times going. It hasn’t, and for various reasons. Diving is special to us, however. It is our activity together, something we bond over and both enjoy. So, we have made a deal to attempt to go (as the budget allows) once a month.
Practice playing the piano for 30 minutes, 5 days a week.
This is a new found passion of mine. After owning a piano for almost a decade, but never learning to play, I decided this would be my year. I am going on about 2 months of solid practice, so I feel that the piano is here to stay for a bit. My actual goal is to play in public somewhere, sometime in the year 2019, but practice must come first!
The real key here is consistency. If you only work on your goals sporadically, you aren’t going to see results. Put in the work and it will pay off. You might not see results immediately, but don’t let that deter you from continuing to put in the work.
This year, if you absolutely must set a New Year’s resolution, make it to set a goal.