The worst part about New Year’s resolutions is I continuously lie to myself. I’ve found that over the years most of my New Year’s resolutions end up being a three to seven day fad that disappear more elusively than the time I spent conjuring the resolution in the first place. So, why should I have a New Year’s resolution? The answer is I probably shouldn’t. But, resolutions are easy. “I want to lose weight this year”. “I want to manage money better this year“. “I want to be a better person”. None of these “resolutions” has any real substance to them. So, it’s easy for me to flippantly say I want to do them. But, it doesn’t work. Choosing to forego resolutions, in recent years I’ve decided to set goals instead.
None of us wants to talk about goal-setting. Talking about a resolution is so much easier. The reason why is because no one is holding you accountable for your resolution, not even yourself. With a goal you are holding yourself accountable. You are saying and putting in writing, I’m going to lose 15 lbs by March 31st. You are declaring, I will pay off $7,000 in debt by June 30th. That’s the difficult and great part about setting goals. The greatness is you are now setting your goal in stone (or on your hard drive) so you can work towards the goal. The difficulty is when we write a goal down, we tend to feel like a failure when we don’t accomplish it. Or, we feel there is no point to set a goal as goals are really unattainable wishes that strangle our opportunity to seek anything outside of our goal. And, if we fail to reach our goal then why did we set it in the first place? Tell me, how do you feel when you don’t reach a goal? Post below.
As “The Christian Financial Planner”, I’d like to offer a couple of things I believe are God’s take on goal setting. Proverbs 21:5 says “The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty”. So, if I want “abundance” in my life, I need to plan for it? And, if I don’t make plans, then that leads to being without? Interesting thought. The next one, “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.’ Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand?” I really think this one hits home for why some people won’t even attempt to set a goal. The idea that we will be scoffed at and people around us would say, “Well, it looks like Jose couldn’t hack it” “He set a goal and didn’t make it” “It looks like we can’t trust him for anything” is paralyzing for some of us. That’s the dialogue we tell ourselves, but it’s just simply not true. Alfred Tennyson wrote “Tis better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all.” Just replace the words loved with “set goals” and you have a powerful statement to combat almost any excuse we have for not setting a goal. One last Bible verse…”The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps”. This verse could quite easily be manipulated to say “what’s the point?”, “even if I set a goal, God’s going to do what He wants”. But, I don’t think this verse says that at all. I think this verse says “You need to have a vision, a thought, a goal, a desire. And, once you do, God will help you”. The Lord will establish your steps! Think about that for a moment.
This New Year you can make a resolution because it’s easy and there is no real commitment to that resolution. Or, you can take some time over the next couple of days and think about what you’d really like to accomplish over the next twelve months. You can choose to have a goal and start to make your first steps towards that goal and I believe God will help you accomplish it. And, once you do, celebrate. I remember some friends shared with my wife and I that they paid off all of their debt and they were taking a weekend trip downtown to celebrate the win. Celebrate. Jump for joy at the fact that you accomplished something you set out to do. What is a goal you’ve recently attained that you’d like to share with the world? Post it below.
Let’s have a better year striving towards things that matter in 2017. Let’s set some goals that are going to help us become better people, to manage our money better and to be healthy. But, let’s have some substance to those goals. Let’s have a target. I’ll share one goal with you that I have for 2017. I will sit for the CFP examination by Nov 14th, 2017. What is one goal you are willing to write down and accomplish for 2017? Share below.
P.S. If one of your goals revolves around money management, give me a call at 847-290-0753.