I challenge you to believe that the fruit God has for you to produce is immeasurably more than all you can ask or imagine (Eph. 3:20). We just need a plan to get there. In my experience, goal setting makes you 99% more successful at whatever you do. This Complete Guide to Goal Setting, Commitment and Time Management will make you more fruitful than you’ve ever been before, it’s another Super, Simple Step to Health and Wellness. I’ve even included a downloadable worksheet to make it even more Super Simple!If you don’t know where you’re going, you may not like the place you end up. Click To Tweet
Health and wellness is a journey to somewhere. You decide where that somewhere is. Are you trying to get yourself and your family eating better, or are you going to work on your own eating habits first, then tackle the family? Do you want to create that sleep routine, or overcome spiritual obstacles?
Fruitful Goal Setting for Health and Wellness
Just having some goals floating around in your head isn’t going to cut it. That’s an inefficient and unsuccessful way to try to achieve anything!Goals are the stepping-stones that lead you to where you want to go. Click To Tweet
The question is, where do you want to go? Well if you want to go nowhere farther than you are now, then you can stop reading. But I wouldn’t recommend it!
As moms we always see room for improvement, perhaps because we have so much hope for what God can do in our lives, and in the lives of the people we love. We see the potential while still being grateful for where we are. Do you do that? If so, then read on. I’m about to give you the tools to make you successful at whatever goals you set!
Step One: Write All of Your Goals Down
Decide in what areas of your life you are ready to move forward. Do you want to eat better, sleep better, think better, be more present, more energetic? Do you want to be a better wife, better mom, better daughter, or a better friend? Do you want to learn something new, start a business, start a learning course, or to read more? Do you want to make your devotional time more meaningful or your prayer life more powerful?
Yep, you have a lot of options, but don’t feel overwhelmed. The point of this exercise is to hone in on what is really important to you. Once you define your goals well enough to write them down, you have a clear picture of exactly where you feel led to go.
Take pen to paper and write down all of your goals. Don’t get freaked out by how long the list may be. We’ll get to that in a second.
Here is a free downloadable PDF worksheet I built to help you create your fruitful goals! I wanted fruitful goal setting to be as easy a possible. Click on the image below. The PDF will open. Print. Fill out the tables as we move through the steps!
Step Two: Pray Over Your List
Ask yourself what goals out of the list you just made are God’s goals. It is dangerous to allow our wants, desires and personal ambitions to cloud this list. It’s also dangerous to allow other people’s wants, desires and personal ambitions to cloud your list.
Seriously pray over this list, often. God will guide you and provide external validation with time. I’ve provided a place for Prayer Notes on Table 1.
For instance, for many years I felt the strange need to begin writing though I have never been much of a writer. Then suddenly, the call seemed louder. I continued to wait because I thought the idea impossible and certainly not one of my strengths. During the spring of 2016, it seemed everything around me pointed me to writing. Finally, I couldn’t ignore the call…it was everywhere!
This kind of external encouragement solidifies what you know God is calling you to do.
Don’t assume that just because you have troubles, God can’t do amazing things through you. I have found that the more focused I am on God’s goals, the less important and daunting my own troubles become. Life is imperfect and hard – that is never an excuse to not live intentionally.
Step Three: Adjust & Prioritize
Now that you’ve prayed over your list, God might be telling you it’s too big or too small. Or you might, after looking over your list, find some goals that seem different from the others; they stand out as mismatched. In this step, we prioritize and adjust.
Reduce and/or expand your list of goals after careful meditation and prayer.
Once your list seems just right, you might still feel overwhelmed or just not up to the task. That’s because God doesn’t want you to do it all today!
Are any of your goals something that can be accomplished in the next 3 months? Are there other goals that might take 12 to 18 months? Perhaps longer? That’s okay because now it’s time to prioritize.
Pray about which goals on your newly refined list are more important and urgent than the others. Then list your goals in order of importance. There’s a place to note any adjustments and the number you’ve assigned to it on Table 1, under Adjustments/Prioritize.
Some goals aren’t that super important, like say, decluttering the house. But don’t cross it off the list just yet. Just remember that you shouldn’t sweat it when it goes to the bottom of your To-Do List each day. Maybe you just work on it here and there.
Goals that are important will get priority. So for instance, you feel God calling you to pray over your day each morning. That goal you work hard to achieve and spend more time on it because it’s most or more important than other goals.
Step Four: Define Each Goal
Going back to the example of praying over your day each morning, you need to define what that means to you. Is that a quick prayer before you get out of bed because that’s all the time you have? Or does that mean praying over each thing you know you have to do that day? Or maybe something in between.
Define what each goal means on your prioritized list. Write that definition on Table 1 under Define.
Step Five: Allot Time to Each Goal
Your list is prioritized. This helps you decide how much time each day, week or month, you’ll devote to that goal. The higher up on the list, the more time you’ll spend on it. Your “pray over your day each morning” goal, will occur daily and you defined what that looked like, so you’ll know how much time to spend on it. Decluttering the house is at the bottom of the list and it’s soccer season. You know you won’t be getting to it each week, so you allot some time on the Saturday’s that soccer is rained out. No sweat.
Take your best guess on the time to allot to each goal, then double it. We always underestimate how long it takes us to do something. Write the time down on Table 1, under Time Allotted. Be sure to note next to the time if it is a daily, weekly, monthly or rainy day time slot.
Step Six: Create Tasks to Reach Each Goal
Like I said, your goals won’t all magically happen tomorrow. Your goals need to be broken down into actionable tasks. Back to “pray over your day each morning” goal, let’s break that down. First, perhaps you decide you just need some kind of reminder. Your task is to pop a post-it on your mirror in the bathroom before you go to bed tonight. That becomes the first task you complete to ultimately reach your goal.
The biggest mistake we make when trying to reach our goals, is believing that starting tomorrow we’re going to achieve everything immediately! Rarely does that happen. I’m not trying to discourage you. In fact, I’m helping you to be realistic which sets you up for success!
Expect some setbacks. Maybe your post-it idea didn’t work. Remember that great military saying? No plan survives first contact with the enemy. In this case, the Enemy is your enemy. He doesn’t want you to succeed! The idea of you getting to where God wants you to be makes him just plain angry.
Once you’ve figured out how to remind yourself each day to pray in the morning, you move on to the next task. So task #2 might be simply praying over your day. Then maybe your next task is to pray using a list you created or your daily planner.
Every task you create for each of your goals should be Super, Simple. For each task, go back and ask yourself, can I break this down into something even simpler? If you create your tasks this way, you’ll succeed waaaay more often than not. And that is very encouraging and rewarding!!!
Take a minute to fill out Table 2. Then write your tasks under Simple Tasks.
Step Seven: Schedule Each Goal
The very last step? Schedule it! Zippo gets done at my house if it doesn’t make it on my daily planner or digital calendar (complete with alerts).
Just like you schedule play dates for the kids, soccer practice and doctor’s appointments, you also schedule your goal tasks. There is amazing power to writing those tasks down into your calendar. They become just as important as making that doctor’s appointment.
Have grace for yourself and your schedule. You will not nail this every day. Somebody vomits in the minivan and your schedule is wrecked. Your friend calls and she needs your ear and prayers. Schedules aren’t carved in stone; their purpose is to make the best use of your day. Decide right now, that your schedule doesn’t control you or determine your level of success!
Commit to Fruitful Goals
You’ve done all this work and have a stellar list of goals, complete with actionable, easy tasks and they’re on your calendar. Woo hoo! You go girl!
But what if you aren’t feeling all…woo hoo? Maybe your schedule looks jammed packed and you’re starting to feel claustrophobic. Let’s be sure you want to actually commit to everything on your list.
Your commitment comes from your goals. If your goals aren’t something you’d commit to, then it needs to come off the list. I know, you just made this fantastic list. But it’s okay to adjust it.
Let’s say the whole decluttering goal just makes you depressed. Your heart just isn’t in it. Fine. Scratch it off. Now look at your list again. Are the remaining goals items you feel good about committing to?
Great, then commit. Say out loud, “With grace and baby steps, I will work towards these goals for the next 12 months”…or 18 or whatever works for you.
Every week, pull your goal list out. See where you are. As you check off tasks you have successfully completed, create your next tasks. This process keeps you continually moving forward. This process is not a time to beat yourself up. If you are still working on a task, that’s considered progress.
Once you’ve completed each step, take a moment to celebrate! You are closer and closer to making successful strides toward doing all you were created to do. Have the kids make some confetti to throw at you!!!
Okay. Fun is over. The kids need to clean that up…
While they do that, let’s talk about self-sabotage in the form of time management.
Fruitful Goal Setting & Time Management
Here is the secret to time management that will get you to the fruitful place you are called to go.
Secret Step #1: Conduct an experiment.
Every time you: jump on FB, Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest; check your email; read a newsletter; play a game on your tablet or phone; and watch a YouTube video or the television – start a stopwatch. This experiment doesn’t have to be perfectly timed, but I promise it will shock you.
It shocked me when I did it. I was spending 4 to 6 hours per day staring at some kind of screen! Wow.
Serious sabotage to my fruitfulness.
On page 5 of the Complete Guide to Fruitful Goal Setting, I’ve provided you a place to record your experiment under Time Management.
Secret Step #2: Evaluate the Results.
Ask yourself, “Is this fruitful time or distracted time?” So, in my example, I was spending 4 to 6 hours per day at the screen. Some of that time was necessary; I need to check my email and I use FB to connect with different groups I’m involved in. You have reasons for screen time too. But is every minute you spend on Pinterest or FB or YouTube, really fruitful?
Let’s say your answer is yes. Write down each app or tool you are using on the screen. Next to each one, estimate how much time you are spending each day and why you are spending that time there.
Here’s an example:
Email: 30 minutes – talk to friends, read e-newsletters, get notified when your favorite store is having a sale
Pinterest: 1.5 hours – redecorating house, looking for recipes, inspiration
FB: 1 hour – to see what my friends are up to, post pictures of the kids, find out when your Women’s Ministry is volunteering at the food bank
TV: 2 hours – watching your favorite shows, learning DIY
Now it’s your turn. Fill out Table 3 to evaluate your results.
Secret Step #3: Discover the Power of Time Management.
Once you’ve written all this down, you may discover there are a few things that are distracting and time-wasting.
Looking at the example list again, you probably don’t need to read every newsletter in your inbox, so unsubscribe to some. Once you have an idea of how you want to decorate because you’ve pinned 10 pictures, do it already and be done. It’s great to see what your friends are doing, but a lot of junk you aren’t interested in comes through your news feed, so remove some people and/or groups from your news feed. Pick 3 or 4 television shows you really enjoy, and DVR them. Then you’ll never get sucked into watching something you didn’t even want to watch in the first place.
You just gave yourself how much extra time a day?!
Secret Step #4: Schedule It.
Now that you’ve decided what is worth your time and what isn’t, you have a plan. Schedule that time in your day for the screen. So maybe each day at 10am and 8pm you set a 45 minute timer, and get online. Then every Thursday and Saturday night for 1 hour, you watch what you recorded on DVR.
And all the extra time you gave back to yourself, can now be put to achieving the amazing things you were meant to do!
Fruitful goal setting with commitment and time management tools, changes your day and ultimately changes how you live your life. It has worked insanely well for me. You’ll be surprised at how much you can accomplish, and how little you miss that screen!
I just wanted to provide a few more tools for you. There are two very popular ways to manage your time. One is Bullet Journaling. I haven’t used this method but a lot of people love it. The second is Time Blocking. This is the method I use. I find it helps me focus throughout my day. If you haven’t tried either one, I recommend you check out the links.
Please comment below and let me know what goals you’d like to accomplish using The Complete Guide to Fruitful Goal Setting, Commitment and Time Management Worksheet!