Goal Setting and Finishing Strong
by Steph Beth Nickel
This is the time of year when we may 1) be tempted to abandon our goals altogether or 2) buckle down and finish strong.
While I intend to choose the second option, it will require modifying my goals.
I’m content to push out self-imposed deadlines and plan to “do better” next year, next month, even next week. Others consider it a failure if they’ve bitten off more than they can chew or if the unexpected happens.
Instead of giving up altogether, let’s be kind to ourselves and set a limited number of goals that we’ll likely be able to accomplish—even if things don’t go exactly as planned.
As we’re setting, or adjusting, our goals, let’s ask a series of questions:
- Am I trying to accomplish goals in too many areas of my life at the same time?
- Is this something others are counting on and am I the only one who can accomplish this task?
- Is there any hard and fast reason I can’t push out the deadline for this particular goal?
- Are there items on my To-Do List I can abandon, ask someone else to do, or reschedule to make room for the goals with firm deadlines?
- Have I left some goals on my list that are “just for me”? (Achieving these goals is important and can energize you for the non-negotiables.)
These questions, among others, will help you set and achieve your goals.
And what about finishing strong?
Finishing strong doesn’t necessarily mean achieving all the goals we set for ourselves way back at the beginning of the year or even at the beginning of October, for those of us who set quarterly goals.
Finishing strong means taking an honest look at those non-negotiables I mentioned and choosing one goal we’d still like to accomplish. For example, although I set the goal of hitting the 50K-word mark during November (National Novel Writing Month) combining words reviewed and new words edited in my YA spec fiction manuscript, I likely won’t be able to hit that goal.
But that doesn’t mean I can’t finish strong and write 1,000-1,500 words each day until the end of the month (and beyond).
So, go ahead and adjust your goals as needed. Choose one goal/adjusted goal you’d like to accomplish and aim to finish strong.
I’d love to hear what questions you ask yourself when you’re setting goals … as well as in what area you plan to finish strong—even if you’ve had to adjust your original goal.
Please note: Some of you have had tragedy strike and making it through to the end of the year is the most you can hope for. My prayer for you is that the God of All Comfort will hold you close, enable you to set aside goals you had hoped to accomplish, and sense His love, which is not dependent on what you can achieve.
Steph Beth Nickel is an editor, writer, and birth doula. If you would like more information about her services, you can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org;
join her Facebook group:
or visit her website-in-progress: nurtureandinspire.com.
Very helpful, Stephanie! I’m one of those whose goals have gone by the wayside, and it’s far better to accept it and regroup than to give up or burn ourselves out pushing for the impossible. Amen to your closing prayer. God knows His plans and His timing for each of us.