As an introduction to this post, I want to say that I take almost zero credit for the the majority of the content. A lot of what I am going to share was presented by Pastor Jayce Tohline in a message entitled “Steps To Creating Your Most Successful Year.” You can watch that sermon here (and I highly recommended taking the time to watch it, it dives deeper than what I am going to go below).

This may sound familiar with some of you out there, but new year after new year comes and goes and every year I make resolutions and every year I do not follow through on any of them. Some last a few days, some a few weeks… some only last a few minutes. This year, as the new year approached I made the normal internal resolutions and then immediately thought about how it probably was going to fall through like every year. It was then I realized that I had made some errors in my approach to change. Here are some examples of what I did wrong:

  1. I claimed defeat before I even started. You will never change if you don’t think you can change. You have to believe in yourself, before change can happen.
  2. I didn’t make S.M.A.R.T goals. I made goals like, I will lose every pound I need to lose this year or I will start a drastic diet that makes me cut out everything I love and eat only kale and almond milk. (hmm… a new hipster cereal idea?)

My wife reminded me of the above message from Pastor Jayce that talked about a fresh approach to making goals to bring the change you have always wanted. The ideology behind this method of making S.M.A.R.T goals instead of dramatic and unrealistic goals sounded interesting. So, my wife and I sat down right at the start of the new year, before making resolutions and watched the sermon again.

I don’t know why it didn’t stick with me a year ago, when this message was first given. I look back at 2016 and I think, “man, I could have accomplished a lot more than I did.” However, you cannot live in the past and be successful, so I moved on and with a fresh perspective my wife and I laid out our goals for 2017.

I want to share my goals with you, so that as I blog and update you with my progress, you will have proof that this methodology works and I hope that inspires you to start to make your own S.M.A.R.T goals. So below, you will find a quick overview of what S.M.A.R.T goals are, in case you are too busy to watch the above sermon (which I still think is one of the best things you can do with one hour of your time), and you will find my list of goals. Let’s go!

S.M.A.R.T stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely and each goal you make should match all 5 traits. For example, a goal of losing weight should really be, a goal to lose 20 pounds in the time period of two months. Or perhaps instead of setting a goal of reading more your goal should be I want to read 1 book every month so that by the time 2017 ends I will have read 12 books. These goals are specific and measurable, they are achievable because you take into account your schedule and set goals accordingly. They are realistic because they are do-able and they all have a time frame established (within x amount of days, weeks, months or by year end).

Once you have your goals, you need to find an accountability partner to hold you to these goals, someone who will be firm, but loving and understanding. Someone who wont let you excuse your way out of things, and meet once a week to share/update your plan for accomplishing your S.M.A.R.T goals. You should be prepared to give a paper with the following listed out to your accountability partner each week:

  • Statement of your S.M.A.R.T Goals
  • State what you commit to achieving THIS WEEK toward reaching EACH goal
  • State what you committed to achieve LAST WEEK
  • State what you actually achieved LAST WEEK
  • State what you did NOT achieve LAST WEEK and WHY

This may seem like a lot, but trust me, I am only a little over a week in and I have already seen results in my life. I can sense change this time. My wife is my accountability partner and it is amazing because she is tough yet loving about my goals. So, to sum up this post I want to share with you some of my goals for 2017:

  1. I am going to lose 100 pounds by 12/31/2017 by making smarter food choices, and working out four days a week.
  2. I am going to read 12 spiritual books by 12/31/2017, breaking it down to one new book each month.
  3. I am going to read (at least) 7 chapters of the Bible each week and spend (at least) two hours in dedicated prayer time each week with my Creator.

There are more, but these are the main 3. I will update you in the posts to come. Now go watch the sermon above and then post below some of your S.M.A.R.T goals for 2017 and let’s change together! Cheers to a better year.

P.S. If you want a more consistent update on my progress, follow me on Twitter @kifftastic