With a new year just around the corner and just coming off a week of thanksgiving, it is a great time to start reflecting on this past year and contemplating what you want to accomplish in the coming year. 

Getting Started

Reflecting on the past year is always a good place to start. I encourage you to think about things such as Health, Finances, Career, Relationships, Personal Growth and Spiritual Growth. If you have others that are meaningful to you, feel free to add or take away. 

In each of those categories, if you were to rank yourself on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being a complete miss and a 10 representing you have mastered it, where would you rank yourself? 

Now, looking ahead to 2019, in those same categories, if it were 12 months from now and  you were looking back on 2019, where would you like to see yourself ranked? 

Subtract 2018 score from 2019 score and the categories with the largest number jump is most likely what is of the highest priority for you in 2019! 

In each of those categories, ask yourself some pointed questions to help trigger thoughts about what may end up being a goal for you in 2019:

  • What do I really want?
  • Why is it important to me to achieve? 
  • What has prevented me from achieving this in the past? 
  • How will I get it? 
  • How will I know it worked? 
  • What can I do more of? 
  • What can I do less of? 
  • What do I want to continue? 

I am confident that this exercise will get your mind working and thinking about what is truly important to you over the next year. Speaking of thinking… unfortunately, we tend to get out of the gate strong when it comes to new goals and as time goes on, or something happens that knocks us off our trajectory. David Rutherford likes to call this the “Negative Insurgency” that invades our daily lives. (David Anderson is a former Navy Seal who you can hear on a podcast called Team Never Quit. www.teamneverquit.com or you can find more about him specifically at his website http://www.teamfroglogic.com )

Change Your Thinking

One of my favorite quotes is from Joe Vitale who says, “A goal should scare you a little and excite you a lot!” Let’s be honest, it is that FEAR that tends to squash our goals and dreams. Fear of failure. Fear of rejection. Fear of “fill in your blank.”

Let’s stop thinking about “what if I fail?” and start thinking about “what if I succeed!”

Identify the barriers that have held you back in the past. Identify barriers that could trip you up going forward. There will be set backs. That is ok! Adjust your plan accordingly, but do not give up. Be stubborn about your goals, but flexible about your methods.”

Setting Goals

I wrote an article about a year ago that spoke to a lot of what you see in here. In fact, I believe it so much that most of this post is almost word for word what I wrote last year. This section is going to be different…

Last year, my entire message about setting goals was to ensure they were S.M.A.R.T. goals. 

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Timely

My tune has changed slightly in that while there is still a place for SMART goals in this exercise, that is NOT a “one size fits all” prescription for achieving a goal, or keeping someone motivated until they do. 

SMART goals started back in the 1980’s. Back when everything was a numbers game. SMART goals make sense when you are trying to hit a specific quota or a certain number of widgets. Where they tend to fail us is when we begin to fall behind, we get discouraged, we get angry, we get frustrated, or we just give up on that goal and take the loss. 

What I think is missing is that in today’s environment, the journey to the goal is just as important as the end result in a lot of cases. In the long run, is the purpose of the goal to hit a quota or is it to help us grow and mature in the areas of our lives noted above?

“I never lose. I either win or learn.” – Nelson Mandela

I came across a couple of other goal setting acronyms that I think may help round out the toolbelt for 2019. Q.U.A.L.I.T.Y. goals and H.A.R.D. goals. 


Source: http://www.theinvisibleauthor.com/goal-setting/

  • QUANTIFIABLE – Measure and evaluate progress
  • UPLIFTING – Will the journey benefit or enrich me as much as attaining the goal?
  • AMBITIOUS – Will it push me outside of my comfort zone?
  • LASTING Consistency – Will it require me to work consistently or would a break or setback derail me from attaining the goal? 
  • IMPACTFUL – How significant will the impact of attaining this goal be on me? Others?
  • THRILLING – Does the prospect of achieving it keep me motivated and driven?
  • YOUR True Value – Will attaining the goal bring me closer to my sense of self?

HARD Goals

Source: http://www.leadershipiq.com/blogs/leadershipiq/35353793-are-smart-goals-dumb

  • HEARTFELT – This goal will enrich the lives of someone other than me.
  • ANIMATED – I can vividly picture how great it will feel to accomplish!
  • REQUIRED – It is absolutely necessary for the success of the company
  • DIFFICULT – It will challenge me to learn new skills and leave my comfort zone

To summarize, I think that all three of these, or any version thereof can play a role in helping us set goals that we can get excited about and ultimately grow and learn from. In the end that is ultimately what we want right? 

Feedback can be a tough pill to swallow sometimes. We absolutely want it, but we also want the person to like us and/or respect us. Where those two intersect, there is a tension that we are not comfortable with. How can we get over that? 


The #1 reason for success in anything you do. (In my humble opinion)

What is accountability? Accountability is simply giving an account of what you have done, or not done, and taking responsibility for it. Nothing to be afraid of! (Read my post from June about this topic: https://myski143.com/2018/06/06/i-accept-full-responsibility/)

Checking in with someone on a regular basis will help you stay accountable to making progress on your goals. In identifying someone to be an accountability partner, make sure that you trust they are on your side, that they understand your “why” behind the goals and are willing to make the commitment to you to push, pull, drag and give you the tough love you want and need in order to come out on the other side of this where you want to be. 

YOU must empower them to be able to speak freely and truthfully into your life. 

In closing, I hope you have found this encouraging and inspiring. I would love to hear some stories on how this process went for you and should anyone need a kick in the pants over the next year or so, please do not hesitate to reach out to me! 

Here is to what we learned in 2018 and the excitement and anticipation of what 2019 has in store for us all!

Be blessed!


1 thought on “Goals

  1. Always great comments – and a practical path to follow. I’ve been working a little more high level lately and asking myself “What is God’s dream, vision, purpose, and mission for ME?” It’s been a tough to answer and I’m still discerning. Maybe practicality and getting a little lower in the weeds with some goals is what I need. Thank you Sir!


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