One thing I enjoy about new seasons are new opportunities (goals).
I have made goals that were never presented in prayer and have absolutely nothing to do with my faith. When I worked towards those goals, I did it out of my own strength. When I talked about those goals, it was for the approval of others or for self-seeking reasons. When I met those goals, I never felt full. Those goals showed me everything. For me, the one thing, the only thing worth working towards is God.
Because of this, I personally pray over every goal I set for myself. I pray for discernment if that specific goal will bring glory to Christ, will be me and those are me joy, and if it is something I should actively work towards. With the goals I do move forward with, this is my personal process of goal setting...
STEP ONE: Write it all down
Basically, this is a huge brain dump. Anything and everything that comes to mind, write it down. Whether it have to do with relationships, health, work, faith, hobbies, education, or fitness - write it down. Anything you want to do, see, or learn is fair game.
STEP TWO: Prioritize
Think of this as a process of elimination. Personally, I like to highlight or circle the top things I have written down (from Step 1) in each category. Then, I take those selected items, write them down on a separate sheet of paper, and prioritize (rank) them using a traditional number system.
STEP THREE: STATE THE GOAL
Once you've prioritized the areas you want to focus on, you can then state your goal. For example, if you want to use your hours outside of work for effectively, your goal could be something along the lines of "Be purposeful with my personal time".
STEP FOUR: GOAL Create action items
For each goal you have (i.e. land the promotion, learn a new skill) list a minimum of two action items which are related to your goal (i.e. improve current skills through _____; take on additional responsibilities). These action items are what you do on a regular basis to work towards achieving your goal.
STEP FIVE: Reevaluate
Every month or quarter, set aside the time to track your progress. An good way to accomplish this is by referencing your Goals List, along with your related Action Items, and evaluate your current status with your goals. If you haven't reached them quite yet, don't panic. Adjust your action items or the goal itself and proceed. If you've reached your goal, congratulations!
If you have a process that's worked well for you, please share in the comments below!