10 Tips For Effective Goal Setting

(Image Credit: National Archive)

Here are 10 tips for effective goal setting and my goals for 2017 as an example.

  1. Success motivates, failure demotivates.

    Start yourself off with some goals with a high probability for success.  A lot of people set themselves up for failure by starting off too big.  The small wins will motivate you for the bigger.

  2. Goal setting without faith is goal setting without heart.

    Your heart wasn’t meant to live for the possible.  Do it a favor and give it something to shoot for that’s impossible without God.  That will keep your heart in it.

  3. Set faith goals, not foolish ones.

    There’s a difference between faith and foolishness.  Set goals proportionate to the measure of faith you’ve been given. (Rom 12:3)

  4. Do a few things and a few things well. 

    One thing I’ve noticed is that every year my list of goals gets shorter.  Year by year I’m learning how to set goals proportionate to my faith reality.

  5. Get your goals for the year by the 31st of January, not the 1st.

    I know conventional wisdom says to start the year off running on January 1st with your New Year’s resolutions, but I think January is a much more conducive month for goal-setting than December.   The hustle and bustle of the holidays, and the unreality of time off and partying, don’t lend themselves to effective goal setting.  Let the cold of January and the reality of returning to your job, smack you in the face with a little goal-setting sobriety.

  6. “A goal without a plan is a wish.”  Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    Setting goals is step one.  A plan is step two.

  7. You can’t manage what you don’t measure.

    Take some time each year to evaluate how you did, so you can tweak things accordingly.

  8. If you notice that the same goal is not being met year after year

    You should probably change the goal, the plan, or the amount of goals

  9. Focus on what you got done, not on what you didn’t.

    It’s not necessarily about the percentage of goals you meet, but about what you got done by having goals that you wouldn’t have gotten done had you not set goals.  If you only meet 25% of your goals, that’s still 25% more you got done than if you had not set any goals at all.

  10. Set goals every year.

    I started setting goals for the year in 2009.  I continued in 2010 and 2011.  I never got around to setting goals in 2012 and I definitely noticed a difference.  Keep at it.

Here’s an example of a list of goals.  These were my goals for 2017.

Category Goal
1 Spirit Read and/or pray daily
2 Spirit Fast regularly
3 Personal Stick to a weekly schedule
4 Personal Be less busy
5 Study Read the entire bible
6 Marriage Win my wife’s trust that I care more for her than for me
7 Marriage Regularly connect emotionally with my wife
8 Marriage Regularly date my wife
9 Children Regularly engage with the kids more spiritually
10 Children Regularly take kids on individual dates
11 Children Make sure that my two oldest daughters get their driver’s license
12 Family Take the entire family on a trip to Mexico
13 Church Focus primarily on training and equipping leaders
14 Church Multiply missional communities
15 Blogging Release new content on a somewhat regular basis
16 Job Quit or go part-time at my current job
17 Business Start Airbnb on my 3rd floor
18 Business Finish the game I created with my kids
19 Money Generate $30K in new yearly revenue
20 Money Invest money from my home refinance
21 Possessions Wait to do projects until my wife is ready
22 Body Work out regularly
23 Body Lose my gut

About Josh Christophersen

Josh is a software engineer, church planter, and blogger with a passion for helping people do their life well. He lives in KC with his wife and 7 kids.

3 Replies

  1. Lisa

    I don’t see call your mom more

  2. Andy

    I think calling Mom more was cut out when you got married right?

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