Start your Year with Goal-setting

Target by Jasper Johns

If you aim at nothing, you’ll be sure to hit it. [Target by Jasper Johns (Photo credit: cliff1066™)]

If you haven’t written goals for the year, I highly recommend you do so.

I’m a relative newcomer to goal-setting. I’ve only been writing personal goals for the last four years or so. My goals before that were more… abstract. The process has helped me to define what I am working toward with more precision and persistence. In many cases, my goals have provided an impetus for getting started in a new or risky area that otherwise would not have been there.

For my goals, I use a resource from Dan Miller, one of my podcast sources for inspiration. He recommends setting goals in seven different areas of your life: financial, physical, personal development, family, spiritual,  social, and career. If we neglect one or more areas of our life we will end up with problems in the long-term. For instance, one of my personal development goals is to read 24 nonfiction books this year. This as been one of my more successful areas the last couple of years. I also have some physical goals for exercise and eating right. These have been a little tougher for me to follow through with, but I need to continue to give them attention.

I try to use Zig Ziglar’s advice to track my goals, in fact, getting better at tracking is one of my goals. I’ve noticed that the goals I track regularly have a much higher chance of getting accomplished.

Finally, I try to be specific and measurable in my goal-setting. Dave Ramsey says a goal has five characteristics. A goal is specific and measurable, has a deadline, is owned by the goal setter (not put on them by someone else), and is written down.

If you haven’t already, take some time to think about and write down some goals for your life.

Here’s to a great new year!

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Waking Up

I started working in public education over 10 years ago. I wanted to make a difference in children’s lives. I had a serious faith in Jesus, but I simply did my job and kept quiet about my faith and convictions. I avoided political issues related to school. When it came to politics or union involvement I kept my head down and did my job. Now I realize that I and many other sincere conservative Christian teachers have done exactly the same thing. We have kept quiet with our heads down and do our best in the classroom trying to love children and teach our students. Unfortunately through this practice of avoidance we have allowed ourselves to become marginalized. By staying quiet and not speaking up, I have allowed wrong policies to become entrenched in the rules and culture of our schools and workplace.

I began to wake up from this broken, weak, retreating position when I began to listen to WallBuilders Live! as a podcast about four years ago. I found someone who was talking about America in a way that I hadn’t heard before, talking about our founding fathers and their faith, and having evidence of original documentation to show their faithfulness. I started to hear a group of people talking about not just fighting a desperate, losing battle against the liberal slide of our nation but actually pushing forward into and winning battles for our nation… a group of people who are optimistic and positive about taking back the land. I’ve become encouraged to take a stand, to speak up, to begin using my sphere of influence to take back the land. For me a big part of the journey that was beginning to get the positive and encouraging input from WallBuilders, from Dave Ramsey, from Chuck Colson, from Zig Ziglar. That’s why I include links to their programs on my resources page and in this post. I want to encourage you to start listening as well.