Achieving Descriptive Goals in 2015

setting-goals“If you don’t know where you are going, every road will get you nowhere.”
— Henry Kissinger.

The arrival of a New Year provides inspiration for setting resolutions and goals.  I was enjoying a New Year’s party at a friend’s home, and I was chatting with another friend Greg who stated how much he enjoys the coming of a new year.  For him, it was a time of “out with the old, and in with the new.”  I usually don’t give much thought to New Year’s, but Greg’s passion interested me.  As a result, I have decided to use Greg’s enthusiasm to ensure our readers have an opportunity to get the most out of 2015.

Goals help us identify what success looks like.  Unfortunately, many of us develop “normative” goals in our minds rather than descriptive goals that we write down on paper.  Normative goals are conceptual, difficult to measure, and highly subjective.

Here is an example of a normative goal: “I should read more good books this year.”  How much is more?  What is a good book?  Normative goals aren’t particularly inspiring because they are so ambiguous it is hard to find a starting point or an ending point that signals success has been achieved.  A descriptive goal, on the other hand, is measurable and achievable: “I am going to read at least one book per month.  I will read each book for 30 minutes every day before I get on Facebook, and I will track my daily progress on Evernote.”

Studies have shown that merely writing descriptive goals down on paper increases the odds the goals will actually be attained.
Descriptive goals are important because:

• They keep us focused
• They give us purpose
• They help us succeed

Setting and achieving goals help us grow Spiritually, Physically, Relationally, Intellectually, and Financially.  At Coco Enterprises, we believe incorporating spiritual, physical, relational, and intellectual goals can help you achieve a life of the greatest human flourishing without the fear of regret.  If you are lacking goals for the New Year, consider a few options based on our S.P.R.I.F model:

Spiritual

• Commit to reading the Bible each day for 15 minutes
• Volunteer at your place of worship at least 3 times each quarter
• Attend a small group or Bible study each week
• Pray daily – for those you love, and those who frustrate you
• Practice forgiveness and become a master of it

Physical

• Walk or ride a bike to close destinations instead of driving
• Sleep 8 hours a day
• Ditch the soda and drink 32 ounces of water each day (use a filter for taste if you prefer)
• Stretch frequently throughout the day, each and every day
• Shovel snow when the snow blower is overkill

Relational

• Commit to talking with your spouse or partner for 1 hour each day, uninterrupted
• Send thank you cards when you feel grateful
• Catch up with friends you haven’t seen in awhile – call, email, visit
• Mend that broken relationship, because life is too short not to
• Set an example at work – rise above the negative tactics of others

Intellectual

• Take an online class or audit one at a community college
• Read 1 hour every night before bed
• Challenge yourself to master public speaking
• Learn a new language
• Journal every day

Financial

• Pay off a credit card
• Create a budget that you can follow each week and month
• Save 10% of each paycheck into a savings account
• Donate to charities
• Buy used instead of new

By setting goals, you can achieve great things and develop good habits.  What other goals can you add to our S.P.R.I.F. list?  Share with us, we would love to hear from you.

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