Target Practice: Being a High Achiever in 2014

January 4, 2014 | Posted in Professional Development, Purpose | By

Why should we have a high priority to focus on goal setting for 2014?

Well, it’s all about setting your sight and hitting the target. Here are a couple of very important reasons why goal setting is valuable.

First, studies show that we are grossly more effective in our personal, professional and even spiritual lives when we have a target or goal that is set in front of us. High achievers are goal oriented. If you want to make the most of your year and really achieve great results, this is a simple truth, SET GOALS!

Second, we tend to get what we focus on. When we focus on timeless goals that make an impact in our development, we tend to see positive transformational growth for our personal, professional and or spiritual lives. Think of this as setting your sights on a target. If you do not set your sight on a good target, you will decrease the likelihood of hitting anything.

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Each year, I spend a week or so before and after the new year to reflect on the previous year’s goals as well as what I need to focus my energy on in the future year. It is during this time where my mind is flooded with all sorts of items, tasks and desires for the future. It’s during this time that I spend consistent time in prayer bringing these ideas to God asking Him to outline for me how he would like me to grow this next year.

When setting your goals for this next year, here are a couple of important things to keep in mind:

1) Make SMART goals.

When I mean SMART goals, I mean the frequently used acronym for goals setting which are Specific, Measurable, Assignable, Realistic, and Time Related (SMART). Make your goals with SMART in mind.

After I start thinking through my ideas for the next year, I make sure that all of my goals eventually fit these characteristics. Here are few examples of my 2014 goals for this year using the SMART guidelines:

  • Become a basic conversationalist in Spanish by completing the level 1 and 2 courses by Rosetta Stone.
  • Loose 30lbs and be in the best shape of my life.
  • Develop and grow as a teacher of the bible by leading a Men’s bible Study for College Students and young men at DBU.
  • Maintain my Website and Blog, actively post new knowledge and engaging content weekly.
  • Develop as a Public Speaker; evaluate and commit to speaking at 6 different public speaking events this year.

2) Write down your goals.

By writing down your goals you engage yourself to really think about what is important to you during the next year. If you do not take the time to write out your goals, you will be less likely to achieve them.

Michael Hyatt shared on his blog this week about a conclusive research study by Dr. Gail Matthews, a psychology professor at Dominican University in California. Her study on goal-setting with 267 participants found that you are 42 percent more likely to achieve your goals just by writing them down.

3) Get accountability and regularly discuss your goals with others you trust.

After I develop my goals for the year, I share them with a group of close men whom I trust. One of them is my friend Sam, who recently shared with me the following reminder about goals setting and accountability:

“The ultimate outcome we want is to go through life together and get each other’s back so that we can successfully keep moving in the direction God is calling us to. So, spend some time just thinking and praying about this next year … Remember, Community is God’s answer to defeat. Ecclesiastes 4:10 says, “If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.”

Remember, you can try, but you can’t live life well on your own. We all need other people to walk with us, work with us, and watch out for us. Be sure you share you goals with someone you trust and ask for accountability in how you are working to achieve your goals throughout the year.

4) Do not get discouraged when you feel that you’re not meeting some of your goals.

This past year I personally missed achieving about half of my 2013 goals I set for myself. In fact, most high achievers frequently miss their goals, but think of how many goals they would have achieved if they did not set a yearly goal and put an action plan in place? Probably none. Goal setting for the year is key; but realize you may not achieve all that you set your sites on and do not get discouraged.

5) Do not be afraid to re-prioritize your goals throughout the year.

An exciting part of goals setting is that they can be changed. Frequently I will go through the year, stumble upon some additional information or be led by God in another direction. During these times some of my yearly goals will change.

Given that we desire to constantly learn more, our aim or goals will frequently change. Do not be afraid to tweak your goals, this is not admitting defeat, but rather applying additional knowledge that you received to improve your aim.

Remember, if you do not pick up the bow to set your sights on the target, you will miss the mark 100% of the time. If you wish to be a high achiever for 2014, be sure you take time to set your yearly goals.

God Bless in 2014!

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