Goals for the New Year - 5 areas of focus
So here we are, we survived 2020! Planning for the future might have been a daunting task last year. We had many unexpected challenges and obstacles to navigate through that tested our health, relationships, careers, and finances. With the new year, we have a chance to press the reset button and begin again on a positive note. Many people focus on new year resolutions and often give up within a few weeks. I find that setting goals gives you long-term vision and short-term motivation so that you can make the most of your new year.
I have made a list of 5 areas of your life to focus on for the year 2021 that will help you start strong with a plan in mind. These 5 originated from Zig Ziglar's Wheel of Life.
Being healthy should be part of your overall lifestyle. Living a healthy lifestyle is more than just loosing weight, which is generally a resolution's focus. A healthy lifestyle is more about feeling good about yourself and accomplishing things more than just looks - although looks are a piece of it. Maintain a healthy lifestyle by doing what is right for your body - which involves goals to get adequate rest, physical activity, and choosing healthy foods; not just weight loss.
All the relationships in our lives need nurturing to thrive. No matter the relationship, whether it is family, friends, or coworkers; the relationships we form with other people are vital to our mental and emotional wellbeing. A positive relationship can be shared between any two people who love, support, encourage, and help each other practically as well as emotionally. This is an area I can personally struggle in due to my natural unbalanced focus in other areas; so having a goal in this area is extremely beneficial for me. This year, for example, I am choosing to focus more on intentional date nights with my wife, "boys nights" with Griffin, and inviting friends over for dinner more often. This intentionality creates balance for me that would be missing otherwise.
A career is a very important thing in one's life. Whatever career path you choose to follow, it will impact your life greatly. Having a career plan can help you design your future the way you would like to see it. Yours may be to grow and set deeper roots in your current job, or it could be to change your industry entirely. Either way, set your goals this year with a focus on where you want your career to be heading by the end of the year and then work out the steps you will need to make that happen.
Spirituality is linked to many important aspects of our lives - such as self-esteem, optimism, charitable-giving and purpose. Spirituality is that part of yourself that helps you find meaning and connectedness. Whatever your walk of faith, with the challenges we faced in 2020 this may be an area of your life that is hungry for intentional focus. Personally, I have set a goal of increasing my quiet time in the mornings. For more on this, read the Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. It was a game changer for me about 5 years ago, and has had positive effects on my health, relationships, stress levels, and spirituality.
Setting a financial plan is essential to financial success. Set goals for your budget, adjusting your spending habits, eliminating credit card debt, saving a set percentage of your income, and/or establishing your emergency/rainy-day fund. Try saving enough to cover 3-6 months of your expenses to create a fallback in case of emergencies. As Dave Ramsey has always said, you can wander INTO debt, but you can't wander OUT of it. It takes a plan, but it is worth it. For more on this, read the Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. Reading this book in 2004 is what set me up to have the financial ability to open TMLC.
Take some time to review your 2021 Goals to make sure you’re still on the right track, and don't hesitate to re-write some if you want to make a change. Consider what you want to achieve, and then commit to it. I plan on starting this year off strong with these goals in mind and reflecting on the lessons I learned in 2020. Happy New Year! Let’s make this the best year yet!