How to Set Goals Effectively

People usually start thinking about their goals for the new year on December 31st. Let’s get ahead of the game and start talking about how you can set goals effectively.

The first step is the one everyone ALWAYS misses, but in my opinion, it’s the most important: partnering with the Lord.

Today I am going to break down 5 steps to setting goals that will help you reach them this year!

Resources Mentioned:

Renew180 Coaching:

Highlights From the Episode:

We all have goals that we wanna meet in our lives. It seems like January is always the time whenever we sit down and try to come up with goals. I want to give you guys a head start on that because it’s one thing to set goals. It’s another thing to set goals effectively.

I wanna show you how you can start thinking about your goals now to give you a chance to prep yourself. Change your mindset around your goals so that whenever January 1st comes around, you’re ready and raring to go. I also wanna remind you that you can start your goals anytime.

If you’re watching this video at another time than just the beginning of the year or at the end of the year, I want you to know that you can always set goals at any time. You don’t have to wait for the next Monday, the next first of the month, or the next first of the year. So let’s jump in on how to set goals effectively.

Hey there my friends, and welcome or welcome back to The Renewed Mind. I am your host, Ashley Varner and I’m so thankful that you’re here. Let’s jump right into how you can set goals effectively. On this channel, I talk a lot about transforming your life by renewing your mind. We really take a biblical and Christian perspective on everything to do with our lives. Because if you care about it, God cares about it.

Partner with the Lord

The first thing that I want to share with you whenever you’re wanting to set goals effectively is to partner with the Lord. We are not going through this life on our own. We have the source of the Holy Spirit. And we have the Lord to show us and guide us to where He wants us to go.

As you are looking at your own goals. It’s really important to think, okay, is this something that maybe I wanna do? Or is this something that the Lord has put on my heart to do? As you are looking at your goals, make sure that you partner with the Lord. And really seek His direction and guidance as to where you’re supposed to go.

I know that there have been some times in my life when I have set a goal and looked back and thought, you know, that really wasn’t inspired by the Lord. That was really just something that I wanted. And while it’s okay to have fun goals and things like that. Realize that if there are true transformational goals that you are wanting to make and hit. Those things need to be, you need to be aligned with the Lord on those things because if you’re not, you’re gonna kind of be working an uphill battle.

We know that in everything that we do. If we are partnering with the Lord and we are working for Him. He is going to make our effort so much more productive.

Be Specific

The second tip that I have for you in regard to setting effective goals is to be specific. So it’s one thing to say, I wanna get healthy, or even I wanna lose weight. It is a completely different thing to try and get specific with that goal. To say, okay, I am going to lose 20 pounds this year, or I’m going to lose 10 pounds in the next three months or even the next month. Whatever your specific goals are. Just remember to be very clear about it.

If your goal is really vague, it’s gonna be hard for your brain to jump into action and start to come up with solutions to meet that goal. If you’re goal specific, then your brain can start working on specific tasks to take to meet that goal. It’s really important whenever you are being specific to make sure that it’s something that can be measurable.

Make sure that it’s something that you can tell if you are actually meeting the goal, right? We’re gonna talk a lot more about goals all of this month but I really want to remind you that goals are great, but they have to be backed up by action.

Plan Actions Steps Immediately

And that’s my third tip for you today. Planning action steps right away, is the next tip. So if you are planning out your goals, and that’s why I really recommend doing this not on January 1st. But giving yourself some time to think through what you wanna do to really pay attention to the goal and the action steps that you wanna take so that you can meet your goals and set goals effectively.

I also want to mention that whenever you are setting your goals, it’s important to really brainstorm and come up with those actions that you’re gonna take right away. So it’s not enough to say, okay, this is my goal and I’ll figure it out as I go along, or I kind of have an idea of what I want. I want you to have a goal and then plan action steps immediately. If your goal is to lose some weight, maybe you wanna meet a nutritionist, maybe you want to meal plan every Thursday, or whatever it is, make sure that you are setting actionable steps right away.

Expect Obstacles

The next thing that I want to teach you is about goal setting effectively. This is something that I teach my clients a lot. And I really think it’s a missing piece for a lot of people. So if you wanna set goals effectively, it’s really important that you expect obstacles to come.

You are always going to have obstacles no matter what program you set up for yourself. Whatever kind of action steps you plan to take, whatever your goal is, obstacles will always show up. And I’m not trying to be pessimistic in this regard. But I think it’s important for us to expect them to come and then prepare for them.

So if you know that there’s an obstacle that probably will come up, say if you are, let’s go back to that example of losing weight. If that’s your goal and you know that your day gets really busy after work then you need to plan for that obstacle. And say, all right, I’m going to have my workout clothes in the trunk of my car. I’m gonna have all, my yoga mat, or whatever it is, I’m gonna have everything ready to go. I’m gonna put a reminder, like a sticky note, on my steering wheel so that I know not to miss this.

Or if that continues to be an obstacle, maybe you need to plan and figure out a way to work out before you go to work. There are always going to be obstacles, and I think that sticking our heads in the sand about obstacles or thinking that we’re gonna have this perfect plan and everything is gonna go smoothly, I think thinking that way can sometimes mess with us because we think that unless it’s perfect. Then it’s not worth it.

And I don’t know about you, but I am someone who likes to check off all the boxes. I like to see a workout every day. I even list rest days, things like that, or I used to. And once I realized that progress was better than perfection, I started to be able to expect obstacles and then plan for them.

If you have an obstacle where after, like say, on Tuesday nights after work, you’re super tired and you don’t wanna make a healthy meal, maybe you can plan for that obstacle and then put some food in the slow cooker before you leave for work. That way you don’t even wanna go out to eat, you don’t wanna grab the drive-through because you know that you have food at home.

I know that I’ve been using examples of losing weight, but this really applies to any goal that’s in your life. It applies to things like your spiritual walk with the Lord. It applies to things like relationships. There are always going to be obstacles that you face that you can plan for.

Do It Whether You Feel Like it Or Not

The last tip that I have for you on setting effective goals is really just a, it’s not a suggestion or a tip as much as it is a mindset. And that is do it whether you feel like it or not. Sometimes whenever we set goals and put things on our calendars. We plan it all out and do all the steps that I just talked about. Partner with the Lord. We are specific in our goals and plan our action steps. And expect obstacles. And when it’s time to actually do the task, we don’t feel like it and so we don’t do it. I want you to get into the habit of doing things whether or not you feel like it.

Now on this channel, I talk a lot about how your actions come from your emotions, and your emotions come from your thoughts. And so I want you to know that at any time that process, so just for those of you who aren’t familiar with that process, I teach that your circumstances are very much detached from everything else that happens.

So it’s all about your thoughts. Your thoughts about your circumstances are what dictate everything else all the rest of the results. So if your circumstance is wanting to lose weight, and your thoughts about that are, well, I just don’t have time, or, I’m really busy tonight, I don’t wanna have to go to the gym, that’s gonna lead to an emotion of not feeling motivated or just even an emotion of being tired or even lazy maybe, and then that leads to the actions of not working out.

It’s not that you’re busy because you could think about being busy as, you know, I really had a busy day. I know that this workout was gonna help me calm down and de-stress, which leads you to feel motivated or excited for your workout which would lead to you working out, right? And the outcome of your day is determined by your thoughts. And so as you are working on your action steps, realize that your emotions are sometimes not gonna be conducive to actually doing the task.

I don’t know about you but there have been times when I haven’t wanted to work out. And as soon as I get going and get going on my workout, then I enjoy it. And I always am thankful at the end of the workout that I’ve done it. At the end of a workout, I’ve never regretted working out, but I have regretted not working out.

What I want you to do is get into the habit of doing things that you’ve planned for yourself whether you feel like it or not. Because we live by more than just our emotions. If you can learn how to harness your emotions. And say, yeah, I don’t really feel motivated right now to do this but I’m gonna do it anyway. That’s when you start to mature.

I teach this a lot in my programs, one-on-one work with clients and coaching them to really help them see that they can control their emotions. They can take their thoughts captive. That leads to actual transformation and change that they never thought they could experience.

If that is something that you are interested in if you need some help. What I always like to say is it’s way easier to read the label and the instructions from the outside of the bottle. You are right in the middle of your life, you might be struggling. Sometimes we just need someone who is on the outside to help us and guide us. It doesn’t mean that you can’t do it on your own. But it can save you loads of time and loads of energy to have someone walk alongside you. Help you learn how to take control of your emotions and really finally see the results that you wanna see.

I do all of that in Renew180. It is a great six-month program where there is an online teaching and then there is coaching each month. So make sure to check that out.

Renew180 Coaching:

I just want to encourage you to start thinking about your goals now. I know that it’s not January 1st yet. We’re still kind of dealing with the holidays and things like that, but really start thinking and praying about what goals you wanna set in the following year.

Think about the things that you wanna accomplish or the things that God has placed on your heart. Because most of the dreams that are on our hearts are things that God has placed there for us. Maybe you have a vision to really impact people in your community. Those who are hurting in a certain way, that may have come from the Lord. So that’s why the very first step in this whole lesson was to partner with the Lord. Because He’s gonna put dreams and goals in your mind and in your heart that really line up with where He wants to take you this year.

I really hope that this lesson helped you and I am going to be talking about setting goals all of this month. And I really wanna set you up for success come January 1st. I know a lot of people post videos and teachings around January 1st. I want us to have a head start and really come into the new year with a very intentional goal-setting plan. Let’s start thinking and praying about that now. And be ready and primed for what God wants to do for us next year.

All right, I will see you guys next time. Have a great week.

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- Ashley Varner

it’s my goal to reach every Christian mom with the truth that God wants to transform their life by renewing their mind.

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