A couple weeks ago I talked to you about setting goals (Your Best Year Ever). One thing I ran out of room in that post to talk about was sharing your goals. When you put yourself out in the public eye and you have the guts to share what it is that you are planning to do, you immediately gain accountability partners. These are people who can help you along the path to achieving your goals. As soon as you talk to someone about what you’re planning to do they are automatically recruited to help you on your journey. They become stakeholders. They are now a part of your fellowship.
As such, they have the right to ask you how you’re progressing on your goals. They have the authority to ask for updates and expect the truth in return. Imagine if once a week you had to report on the progress of your goals to someone else (or many “someone else’s”). That would be a powerful motivator to stay on track with your goals, wouldn’t it?
So that’s why I’m sharing my goals for the coming year with you now. I want … no, I need … your help in achieving the goals that I have set for this next year.
I’ll be honest, it’s a little scary to share my goals in this way. What if I fail? That’s a big, public, everyone-knows-I-failed kind of deal. But I can’t let the idea of failure stop me from trying, right? Knowing that you are here to keep me accountable and to help me along the way makes this feel a lot less like a lonely one-man-show. I can’t do this without all of you, and I’d be foolish to try.
I’ll also be documenting my journey. At least once a month I will post a sort of “check in” to let you all know how things are progressing. I need to be willing to shoot straight with all of you about how things are going. You are my new accountability partners after all.
Okay so … here we go. Let’s get to those goals, shall we?
My Goals for 2019
There are many areas of my life that I want to improve, but I can’t focus on all of them. I have to narrow down the list. So I’ve picked three main categories: Health, Finances, and Writing/Business. What I’ve listed here are the largest goals in each category.
This one has to get the most focus from me this year. My success in this area will fuel my ability to be successful in the rest of the goals I will share below. For many years I have relegated my health to the back burner and every year that passes without me taking responsibility for it is another year that I don’t operate at my best. If there is one thing I definitely need this year, it is to be at peak operating performance. To that end …
“I will exercise 3 days per week and eat healthy foods 80% of the time” Now, I could have set a weight loss goal (I want to weigh 200 pounds) but I find that what the scale says isn’t a very accurate picture of how healthy I really am. If I just stopped eating then I would get to my goal weight, but I wouldn’t be healthy at all. Weight is what is called a “lag indicator.” It is something that happens as a result of something else. A “lead indicator” however, is the something you do that leads to the lag indicators. In this case, if I exercise a little bit and eat healthier foods then I will eventually get to my goal weight, without the need for creating unhealthy ways to get there.
Heather and I have some big plans for the future and in order to see them come to reality, we are going to have to actually, really, finally get our finances in order while working toward those goals. It’s time for us to make our finances a priority. I’m the spender in our relationship so financial goals in general are particularly hard for me. I believe that if what we have planned comes to fruition then the sacrifice these goals will have required will ultimately be worth it. So our big financial goal for this year is …
“We will pay off 1/3 of our current debt this year” Two of our longer term financial goals are to be out of debt except for our mortgage and to have enough money in savings to live on for a year by January 1st, 2025. That’s only 6 years from now. This is a really big goal that will stretch us in many ways. It’s scary. Sometimes though, I think it’s the scary ones that end up being the best ones. They get us out of our comfort zones and motivate us to get moving.
We had originally thought that we would try to save the money we need and pay off the debt at the same time but the more we thought about it, the more we realized it wasn’t a smart thing to attempt. There are a few reasons for this.
First, it makes us double minded. I’m always preaching focus and this would split our financial focus in two.
Second, the debt that we have would earn more interest over time than the interest we would gain on what we were saving. So we’ll actually be spending less money to get out of debt by going this route.
Third, we need to make less “extra money” than we would have needed to if we would have tried both goals at the same time. It would require more income to save 1/6 of our yearly salary AND pay off 1/6 of our debt than it does to just pay off 1/3 of our debt. That means that, while still incredibly scary, we can ease into the whole “making more money” thing a little more slowly.
*Side Note: I’ll be very up front with you here. We barely make our budget as it is currently. So we are going to have to just about double my current income if we’re going to meet our financial goals and stay within our budget and fund all the things that are coming up this year and in the years to come. If you have any great ideas on how to do that, I’m definitely listening.
I feel like this is the goal that will end up fueling our financial goals above. This is the goal that will help my family to reach their goals this year and in the years to come. Most importantly, this is the goal that will allow me to fund my writing’s mission of helping people live better lives. Lives of passion, mission, and purpose. To make that happen …
“I will turn my writing into a business this year” This is the main overarching goal of many small goals I have with my writing this year. I’ll lay all my cards out on the table for you: I don’t want to put undo pressure on something that doesn’t even exist yet, but I feel like this writing thing has to work. It just has to. I am praying big prayers and dreaming big dreams and expecting big things. Outside of my full-time job I am putting all of my eggs in this basket. I quite literally have to pull off being successful as a writer over the next 6 years.
I want to go ahead and list out a few of my smaller goals under this larger goal just so that you can see what we’re cooking up. This is going to be a big year, friends.
- “I will write and publish 1 blog post per week”
- “I will guest post in other places at least 6 times this year”
- “I will start an email newsletter by the end of Q1”
- “I will write two ebooks this year”
- “I will create and launch a 5-day email course this year”
- “I will write a book this year”
“Okay, what? Did he just say he’s going to write a book?”
Yeah, I did. I’ll be honest. I didn’t want to write that one down. But … here’s the conversation I had with God as I was processing this:
Me: “Do I really have to write this one down?” God: “Yep! Isn’t it exciting!” Me: “Actually, it’s horribly frightening. I think I might be sick.” God: “Yeah, there’s that too. But it’s exciting!”
So there it is. My biggest goal of the year in 7 words. I’ve known that I have a book (maybe multiple books) inside of me for a while now. I just didn’t know what they were and I was afraid to find out. I didn’t want to just start writing (which is what I felt like I needed to do). If you know me then you know that I pretty much want to have all the answers before I start anything. What I’ve found though is that just by starting to write, just marching out in faith, that God has shown me what it is that I need to write about. The more I write, the more ideas I get. Which is scary for the guy who has been fighting this whole writing thing for a pretty long time now.
I have no idea how long the book will be. I have no idea if anyone out there would even want to publish it. But I don’t think that’s really the point. I think the point is the writing. The publishing and all that can (and I believe it will) come later.
All By Myself vs. Better Together
I can’t do all of this on my own though. That would be an impossible task. Whether it’s writing, getting my finances in order, becoming a healthier version of myself, or any of the other things that are on my list of things to accomplish, I know that I need others to be involved if I have any chance of succeeding.
First, I need God. I believe that God is in this and that He has already blessed it. I know in my heart that writing is my next step and a mission that He has placed in front of me for this time.
I need my family to be on board. Heather is my biggest supporter and the first person to ever tell me that I should write. She is also my business partner and fellow adventurer. She is wise and a perfect compliment to my weaknesses. We make a great team.
I also need all of you. I literally will not be able to pull this off without you. Hopefully you find what I write to be helpful and encouraging. If you read what I write then you are already a part of my team. You are my tribe, my people. I want to thank you right now for helping make this dream of becoming a writer a reality.
These are the largest of my goals for 2019 and as you can see, it’s going to be a big year. I have many small goals in lots of areas, but these 3 are the main ones I will be spending the majority of my time and effort on.
I want to thank you for coming along on this ride with me. It means the world that you would read anything that I write. I’m super excited to have you along as my team and my accountability partners. I’ll keep you updated on the progress we make throughout the year.
Lastly, I hope that you will take some time over the next few weeks to set some direction for your year and what you want to accomplish. Without vision, the people perish, the Bible says. Set some vision for your life. It’s one of the most important things you could possibly do.