Make 2019 a S.M.A.R.T. year!

Are the goals you set for yourself for 2019 S.M.A.R.T? Maybe you’ve been busy and haven’t yet taken the time to think about what you want to accomplish in this next year.. and that’s okay! It’s still not too late to think about your plans for 2019. I encourage you to take a few un-rushed moments over the next week and contemplate what areas of your life God may be calling you to change. Pray and ask God to give you wisdom for how to make progress with those goals.

Proverbs 19:21 New International Version (NIV)

21 Many are the plans in a person’s heart,
    but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.

As you sense God’s desire and leading in your life, one practical tool that can help you identify, track, and manage the success of your goals is the “S.M.A.R.T.” acronym:

Specific- What exactly do you want to achieve? Be as specific and detailed as possible.

Measurable- How will you measure the success of your goal? For example, the goal “spend less money on clothes” can’t actually be measurable unless you already know how much money you are currently spending and declare what amount you’ll spend going forward. Then you’ll be able to track your expenditures this year to ensure the amount is decreasing.

Attainable- Can you actually reach this goal? This means being realistic. For example, if you want to lose weight, trying to lose 20 pounds in 3 days is not attainable. However, you could make that a S.M.A.R.T. goal by attempting to lose 20 pounds in a longer time frame, like 6 months.

Relevant- Why do you want to reach this goal? Knowing why is important to give you the motivation you will need to overcome the obstacles in your way.

Timely- When do you want to accomplish this goal? By the end of the year? Over your lifetime? For some types of goals and personalities it may be too overwhelming to attempt a goal for the entire year. If that is you perhaps try setting some smaller deadlines to keep you accountable throughout the year. For example, if your goal is to save $5,000 this year, you’ll want your goal to indicate saving about $417 each month to get there.

S.M.A.R.T goals set you up for success! When “I want to save money in 2019” becomes “I want to save $X by the end of year by quitting cable and putting aside $X/paycheck so that I can take a vacation with my family in January 2020,” your chances of reaching your goal increase greatly. Of course, your goal doesn’t have to saving for a family vacation.. it could be to decrease debt, give more financially, go back to school, cut out soda, etc. Just make sure you develop the idea into something specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely.

I’m wishing you the best of luck in whatever journey you embark on during 2019! I pray that God will give you wisdom and grace along the way.

~Kara P.