Simplified Goal Setting / by Rachel Nordgren

Simplified Goal Setting | Rachel Nordgren Here's the deal.

I feel like May is a really good time to do some simplified goal setting for the next year. Because, let's be honest, trying to cram a year's worth of dreaming, planning, and vision-casting into the six days between Christmas and New Year's just doesn't work. We're all in a turkey coma and our eardrums are just barely returning to proper working order after being assaulted by the piercing, deafening shrieks of nieces fighting over an Elsa outfit.

Oh? That's not what your Christmas looked like?

Well, six days still isn't enough time to properly set goals for an entire year, busted ear drums or not.

I'm a goal-setting junkie. I get my kicks off of making lists and gold foil stationary. One time my husband was foolish enough to ask me why I couldn't just buy whatever pens were on clearance at Target. Bless him, but the man just doesn't know that a good pen is akin to a finely-tuned musical instrument.

Good goals can be a guiding lighthouse in the distance and the map we need to get there. They can be intentional anchors we hold to in this swirling mess of a world. They can also get, well, messy.

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Complicated goal setting strategies don't work for me, and I'm guessing that they don't work for you either. So, here are some ways to have a simplified goal setting process.

Simplified Goal Setting Tip #1 - Choose ONE system

Whatever tool you use to set goals, do one and do it well.  Whether it's the PowerSheets from Lara Casey or her Goal-Setting Series, the Authenticate Challenge by Whitney English, working through this blog post from Michael Hyatt or this one page article from MindTools, or using some sort of app or guided journal, pick ONE system.

I've tried to use too many goal setting tools and systems at the same time, and all I end up doing is spending more time working on the systems than I do on the goals. Find a system that feels good and intuitive, and remember that what works for that trendy person on Instagram might not work for you.

Simplified Goal Setting Tip #2 - Dig Deep

Simple, clear, and purposeful goals are born out of intentional introspection. I process things through quiet mornings before the LORD in His Word and in prayer-journalling, and all of my goals for 2015 came about as a result of that time. I trusted in what Jesus was leading me to do and what plans He had for 2015.

Whatever it is for you, get to the core of why you want to accomplish certain goals. If you don't know the purpose behind your goals, they will be short-lived.

Simplified Goal Setting Tip #3 - Stay Small

At the beginning of the year, I embarked with ten massive goals that I wanted to accomplish. As it turns out, I am a fallible human being with limited energy and resources, and there was no way I could accomplish everything on that list.

So, at the beginning of this month, I scaled back to five main goals for the remainder of 2015, to something that feels more manageable. Keeping a small list of BIG goals allows us to focus more of our time and energy on those things, instead of spreading ourselves too thin.

Simplified Goal Setting Tip #4 - Break it Down

It's not enough to put your goals on a sticky note, slap them up on your bathroom mirror, and call it good. What does each goal look lived out on a daily basis? For example, if one of your goals is to become a more faithful friend, maybe you make a list of people to send cards to every month. If you want to know Jesus, maybe you commit to 15 minutes every morning in His Word and prayer.

Know what your goals look like broken down into small, actionable steps and then take action on them!

Simplified Goal Setting Tip #5 - Prioritize

After you've been introspective and worked through your goal-setting system, prioritize your final goals. My main five goals for 2015 are listed in order of importance: God's Word, my marriage, weight loss, finances, and online life. The first two are the definitely the most important, so they take priority over everything else. I will skip an evening of blogging if it means my marriage will suffer, and every morning starts with time with Jesus because oh goodness do I need that grace. Having finances as a higher priority than blogging means that I don't spend our money on fancy design services or coaching, as much as I'd like to.

Having prioritized goals makes it much simpler to make day-to-day decisions. It's a decision-making framework that you can quickly and confidently evaluate every choice against.

Goal setting isn't something that's reserved for January 1st. What a shame it would be if we were only allowed to dream and cast vision on one day of a year!

Whenever you start your own simplified goal setting process, I hope these tips help! Give me a shout in the comments or on social media if there's any way I can help :)

[bctt tweet="5 Tips for Simplified Goal Setting"]

What tips for simplified goal setting do YOU have? Share below!

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