Many times when we start a new year, we have new year’s resolutions. This may be getting out of bed early, working out three times a week, saving money, or spending more time with God. All of the things, right? But if we want to have a successful year, resolutions are not enough.
A resolution is defined as a firm decision to do or not do something, which is why we find ourselves at the end of the year in the same place we were the year before.
Yes, it’s important to make decisions. It’s important to make a firm decision about whether or not you will do something because we have to decide what we want before we can execute. But even more importantly, we have to put goals and systems in place in order to get the desired end results we’re looking for, which is the entire point of this blog post.
If you’re looking to set your year up for success, look no further. In this post, I will provide you with the first two tips to do just that and next week, I will provide you with the third tip. Let’s jump right in!
Have Clear Vision
Have you ever felt lost? Like you weren’t sure what you were going to do with your life or where you were going? I’ve been there AND done that lol.
To avoid that feeling of being lost or not being sure what to do with your life, it’s important for you to spend time with God and ask Him to reveal His vision for your life.
The Bible says in Proverbs 29:18, “Where there is no vision, the people perish,” and Habakkuk 2:2 says, “Write the vision and make it plain.”
Before you do anything this year, take some time to sit by yourself and decide what it is that you want out of your life, and more specifically, what it is you want out of your upcoming year. Take time to really dream and think about what is deep inside your heart.
James 1:17 tells us, “Every good and perfect gift is from above.” If you have dreams to be a millionaire, to travel the world, to make a difference, host a conference, own real estate, have a private jet, more times than not, you’re not crazy and those dreams are not crazy.
God put those God-sized dreams inside of your heart. Honestly, if there’s any crazy part to all of this, it’s that God has given you every single thing you need to have His desires for you by faith.
So I want you to do a little exercise for me. I want you to take out a journal, or a piece of paper and pen. Then, I want you to ask yourself these questions and write down the answers.
- Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
- Dream big now. Where do you see yourself in 20 years?
Write down what you see yourself doing. Ask yourself what your family dynamic will look like. Think about your financial status. Think about your home. Take 10 to 20 minutes to journal everything you see for your life.
Nothing is too crazy! Write it all down and don’t leave anything out. Seriously, go right now and write it all down, and then come back to this post once you’ve finished the exercise.
*waits for you to come back* LOL
So now that you have clear vision for your life, ask yourself and the Lord: what should you be doing this year in order to walk in the purposes and plans that He has for you? Write this down on the same piece of paper.
Now take this piece of paper and post it somewhere where you can see it. Continue to look at this list every single day so you can keep God’s vision for your life at the forefront of your mind. Doing this allows you to stay focused and keeps you from being distracted from things that aren’t important.
If you want help in this area, I encourage you to download the free worksheet at the end of this post.
Important Reminders About Vision
Something to remember when you’re creating vision for your life is that vision is always evolving. Some things may change over time. Some things may look a bit different, and some things won’t always look the way you thought they would.
Doing an exercise like this simply gives you a clear idea of what you want, what you don’t want, what you will allow, what you won’t allow, what type of boundaries you’d like to have in place, and what will help you make wise decisions.
It will help you know what to do when distracting opportunities present themselves in your day-to-day life.
In addition, your vision should always impact other people. If it doesn’t, there’s a strong possibility that your vision isn’t large enough because anything that God would ask you to do is going to help impact and affect someone else.
If you don’t have a vision that impacts others, I would encourage you to go back to the exercise. Keep digging even deeper until you pull out those dreams and visions that God has put in your heart.
Create A System
Once you have clear vision, it’s time to take it a step further and create a system. Many productivity experts recommend that our focus should not be on goals, but rather the systems and processes that help us achieve our goals.
Now if you would like to learn more about how to dominate your goals, check out these three tips here. But James Clear says in his book, Atomic Habits, “Goals are about the results you want to achieve. Systems are about the processes that lead to those results.”
If we take some time to think about it, goals are momentary and task-oriented. You write down what you want, you achieve it, and then you check it off your list only to move on to the next goal. But if we’re looking to experience real change in our life, we have to implement systems also known as habits.
This is the difference between someone who has a goal to make a million dollars and someone with a system in place to keep making a million dollars.
Why are Systems Important?
As James Clear says, “You don’t rise to the level of your goals, but you fall to the level of your systems.” When we talk about the importance of systems, God is the master creator and master strategist of systems.
He built the whole entire world to function on systems. There are solar systems. There are atmosphere systems. There are biosphere systems. I know you didn’t ask to have a science lesson today, but God not only built these systems to overlap, but he also made them interconnect. One affects the other.
God made the entire world to function on a system, and he also built man to function on systems too. Our bodies have respiratory systems, cardiovascular systems, digestive systems, and skeletal systems on top of all the other systems that are in our body. Again, you didn’t ask to have a biology lesson, but let’s make it a little bit more practical.
If you look at any successful business like Apple or Google, they have systems or different departments that help them run effectively and successfully. If we want to experience success in our lives, or if we want to set our year up to have success, we have to create systems that will help us be productive, efficient, and prosperous.
This doesn’t just apply to our careers or our businesses, but it also applies to our personal lives. We should want to have successful systems in our health, our finances, our emotional wellbeing, and our spiritual life. Not in a way that makes us feel like robots, but in a way that helps us be more productive and have the time to do the things we really love.
Where Should I Start?
I know this can easily seem so overwhelming because you just created vision for your life and now you’re like, how in the world do I even start?
A good book to read on this topic is Mini Habits, by Stephen Guise. My answer to this question is always start small. Sometimes we get so overwhelmed with where we should start that we don’t do anything at all. We become paralyzed.
For example, the idea of losing a hundred pounds is so overwhelming, so we don’t work out at all. The idea of writing an entire book is too much, so we never start. The idea of starting a business seems too big, so we don’t even try.
But one of my favorite quotes is “Doing a little bit is infinitely bigger and better than doing nothing at all.”
Start by starting small. For example, if you’re someone that wants to start eating healthier, start by drinking one glass of water a day or eating one piece of fruit a day. Find something that requires minimal effort, and keep doing it until it becomes a mindless task.
It’s kind of like brushing your teeth. Hopefully you have made brushing your teeth a habit to the point that you don’t even have to think about doing it. When you wake up in the morning, you know you’re going to brush your teeth because it’s a habit, and if it’s not, step into my virtual office because we really need to talk about personal hygiene LOL.
The point is you want to start with one small habit that doesn’t seem overwhelming. Once you’ve gotten to the point that it’s mindless, then that’s when you can add on an additional habit.
So if you want to write a book, maybe you can start by writing a hundred words a day or if you want to learn a new language, start by learning a new word every day.
Before you get too overwhelmed, remember that it all starts by taking one single step! Maybe your small step is downloading the worksheet below and discovering vision for your life. Or maybe you already have vision, so your step is discovering the habits you need to implement to be successful.
Whatever it is, focus on one small step you can take today!
So I want to hear your thoughts. What single step are you planning to take today? How else are you planning to set up your year for success? Let me know in the comments. Or download these reflection questions that can help you think about your life goals.