Take A.I.M. at Your 2024 Goals
by Tracie Nall
January 1 is a fresh start, a new beginning, a clean slate. It’s the time of year to take stock of last year’s victories and defeats; assess how each was accomplished; and set goals for the days, months and year ahead.
As the clock chimes at midnight, we are filled with hope, excitement and possibility. Our view is looming, and our list is long of ALL that potentially lies ahead. For most of us though, the lofty goals we set die a languishing death, slow and quiet. They are tossed aside along with party hats and noisemakers or swept away with confetti.
Our resolve withers with the Christmas poinsettias because we haven’t planned to succeed, and as January winds down, so does motivation, energy and even desire.
Goals are easy to make but harder to make real. The difference between setting goals and accomplishing them is the plan.
This year let’s “take A.I.M.” at our 2024 goals.
Zig Ziglar said, “If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.” “Aim small, miss small” is a favorite movie quote of mine. The idea isn’t that we minimize our goals, but we narrow our target.
To “aim” is defined by Oxford Dictionary as, “to point or direct at a target, have the intention of achieving, a purpose or intention toward a desired outcome.”
Your desired outcome or goal may be to write a book or submit a monthly piece for publication or start a blog. Regardless of what your goal is, I’d like to share with you three ways you can set goals that you will accomplish by taking A.I.M.
1. Make Yourself Accountable: Accountability is key.
Writing a goal makes it real; sharing it with another makes it a reality.
Being accountable to others or sharing your goals will:
Build community — Invite others along; share with a trusted friend, a fellow writer, a support group, or others who will invest in your success and encourage your achievement.
Promote consistency — Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 reminds us, “Two are better than one … If either of them falls down, one can help the other up” (NIV). Sharing your goals with others helps you “get back on the horse” when distractions or difficulties deter you.
Provide celebration and comfort — The Apostle Paul exhorts us to “rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn” (Romans 12:15, NIV). In sharing our goals with another, we have a cheerleader and a confidant.
For example, when submitting to a COMPEL challenge, share with a fellow writer who can check on your progress toward submission.
2. Make Your Goal Incremental: Eat the elephant one bite at a time.
One of the biggest mistakes we make when setting goals is not distinguishing between our goal and the steps necessary to reach the goal. Each step we make toward our goal is an accomplishment. In the same way, don’t allow a small stumble to sabotage you; learn from your setback and keep taking steps forward.
For example, if your overall goal is to write a book in 2024, then each word, each page and each chapter written is also a goal achieved or a lesson learned.
3. Make the Process Motivational: Reward your successes.
Don’t wait until the end of the year to tally and celebrate your accomplishments with one large hoorah. Celebrating weekly or monthly achievements will help keep you motivated and moving forward.
For example, I have a friend whose goal is to go to the gym Monday through Friday of each week. If she achieves her weekly goal, she rewards herself with coffee from a coffee shop. Does she drink coffee at home every day of the week? YES, but she rewards herself for her accomplishment with a weekly incentive. It motivates her to keep going.
The new year has only just begun; you have 363 days ahead, so take A.I.M. at your 2024 goals.
For His Kingdom,
Tracie Gunther Nall
What is one of the goals you are “A.I.M.ing” for in 2024, and what is one step you can take today, this week and this month toward achieving it?
February 6, 2024
December 26, 2023
December 19, 2023