It seems like I was just completing last minute Christmas shopping, wrapping gifts and packing for Christmas last month! 2016 has flown by and although it has been filled with some “downs”, I can say there has been many “ups” to be thankful for.
As we approach the end of the year, my husband and I typically begin planning for the upcoming year. We write out our goals for the new year (normally in the car on our way back from traveling for Christmas), but last year we were able to do an “overnighter”, spend some quality time as well as discuss what we accomplished throughout the year, reviewed the goals we set, and we planned what we wanted to accomplish for the new year.
Why plan? Because planning:
- Gives you direction and acts a guide.
- Significantly increases you chances of actually accomplishing a goal, particularly when you write it down.
- Sets you up for success in the areas you plan for. I mean really, as the saying goes “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” It’s inevitable. If you do not plan to save $1,000, honestly, how likely are you to actually save $1,000?
Planning gives you focus, direction and a means to measure success.
So, over the next few weeks, my husband and I will take some time to write down goals for 2017 for our marriage, our family, our finances, our career/business, and our faith. We will discuss what we need to do to make our marriage stronger in 2017, whether it is having at least one date a month or reading a marriage book together. We will discuss where we want to go on our family vacation next year and what we need to do as a family together each week, month or year to ensure we creating family memories. We will write out which bills we will pay off in 2017 as well as how much we will save. We determine what we need to eliminate or modify in our careers and businesses as well as discuss what we need improve in our spiritual lives and set measurable goals to accomplish them (i.e. this year my husband suggested our family faith goal would be to pray together as a family and read a story out of our Children’s Bible Storybook every Sunday. And because we planned it, we did it every Sunday evening before bedtime).
Please note, these plans are definitely not the “end-all, be-all” for 2017. What we have learned this year and in previous years that plans change! At the end of the day we know “the Lord is the one who establishes our steps” (Prov. 16:9). So before planning, pray! Pray about what to plan and ensure your plans align with the Lord’s steps. And then “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans” (Prov. 16:3).
So over the holiday season, sit down with your spouse and begin praying and planning for 2017.
I have created a 2017 Family Goals Sheet you can download. Print it out, write your plans on the sheet, laminate and hang up in your home. Throughout the year review and check off the goals as you accomplish them.
Praying you have a fabulous 2017! Now get to planning!