Ephesians 5:23 "Throw off your former way of life and let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes...."
Happy New Year 2014! By now I hope that you have taken the time to review the past year. I mean really review what it was like for you personally.
My husband and I have a yearly family tradition of getting together with our children and their spouses and sharing the answer to this question: "what was the best thing that happened to you during the last calendar year?" Even if you have a had a really rough year; financially, physically, or spiritually; there is still a "best thing" that happened to you. I guarantee it. Most of the time this question opens the flood gates of memory and connects all of us to multiple occasions of joy and accomplishment.
The next thing we do is we share a few of our goals for the new year ahead. We like to focus on goals instead of resolutions because goals indicate that you are taking responsibility and are going to do something (proactive) where as a resolution usually says that you are resolving to discontinue something that you have been doing (reactive). Lastly, we encourage one another to write down those goals and place them in a prominent place where we can see them.
Most of the time my goals include 7-10 things that I would like to achieve in the new calendar year. I include spiritual goals, physical goals, family goals, social goals, and business/financial goals. This is my time to write down what I want to accomplish, regardless of the economic climate, my family issues, my present state of mind, etc. I think you get it. I want to encourage you to do the same.
In his book, Change Your Brain, Change Your Life (1998), clinical neuroscientist and psychiatrist Daniel Amen says that “being goal-directed helps keep our behavior on track” (p. 134). His “One-Page Miracle” is a goal-setting exercise that he shares with his patients. Here’s how it works.Take a sheet of paper and write down your primary goals. For example, Amen suggests four main headings: “Relationships, Work, Money, and Myself.” Under “Relationships,” Amen suggests the subheadings of spouse/partner, children, extended family, and friends. Under “Work,” he suggests the subheadings of current and future work goals. Under “Money,” he suggests the subheadings of current and future financial goals. Under “Myself,” he suggest the subheadings of body, mind, spirit, and interests.
Then, beside each subheading, write down what’s important to you in that area; what you want, or feel like you need. This process may take several days. Once finished, post this One-Page Miracle sheet where you can see it every day. This will help you stay focused on what’s important, and what’s not.
Briefly, in review, here’s what Dr. Amen suggests:
- Write down all of your goals on one sheet of paper.
- Write goals for all areas in your life.
- Keep the goals short and succinct.
- Place your your goals somewhere highly visible where you can see and read them several times a day.
- With your vision and goals highly visible and engrained in your brain, before making decicions for your life, ask yourself, “Is this action helping me reach my goals?”
- Tweak your goals as you go.