2016. The year I learned to stop striving for perfection and find satisfaction in making progress instead. The year I faced the reality that I can’t do life in my own strength. The year my heart refocused towards desiring the future God has set before me rather than one that “could have been.”
With this in mind, reviewing my incomplete 2016 S.M.A.R.T.Y. goals didn’t bring about the same stress of “failure” like it may have in the past. I made progress, therefore, I was successful. So here’s my challenge to you: as you reflect on 2016 and look to the future, don’t focus on last year’s inadequacies; instead, see the progress you made and look expectantly into 2017. You’ve got this!
Here’s the PROGRESS I made on the three personal S.M.A.R.T.Y. goals I shared in 2016:
Goal 1 (Physical): Walk 70,000 steps each week by wearing my FitBit for an ultimate goal of 3,640,000 steps in one year.
This was a huge goal for me. One that I really wanted to achieve... for the first half of the year. And then I got bored. And frustrated. I would achieve my daily step goals only to forget to daily “sync” my results – which meant by the end of the week I’d sometimes only have 4 of 7 days documented. So halfway through the year I threw this goal out and made short-term exercise goals depending on the week (and the weather).
What I learned: Primarily I created this “physical” goal to stay active. While I didn’t achieve this goal in it’s entirety, I made PROGRESS by realizing that I need a little variety in my life and exercise routine. So this year, instead of boring myself or stressing out if I fall behind in a unreasonable, large goal (a.k.a. walking 3,640,000 steps in a year), I’m reevaluating my physical activity goal on a quarterly, monthly, and weekly basis.
Here’s one of my new exercise goals: Attend a 90-minute prenatal yoga session once weekly in January and February.
Goal 2 (Intellectual): Read at least 2 books per month (at least 1 nonfiction) for the yearly total of 24 books.
Unfortunately, it’s hard to determine if I made it quite to this goal. While I completed multiple nonfiction books, I hesitated adding skimmed or unfinished books to the list. I guess I didn’t want to “cheat” myself. (I know, I know. This isn’t graded…) As for fictional books, I think I read one. Yep, one.
What I learned: I realized I really enjoy reading again! That’s PROGRESS. However, I’d like to read more fictional books for pleasure. Also, I’m reducing the goal to one finished book per month and keeping a running list of books on the go.
Here’s a simple worksheet I made to track what I’m reading. Nothing fancy, but it will get the job done!
Goal 3 (Spiritual): Have 50 select Bible verses committed to memory by December 31, 2016.
After revising this goal partway through the year, I’m now choosing a Bible verse, word, or phrase to be my focus on a daily or weekly basis. Read more about this on my post “The Balanced Life: Faith Comes First.”
What I learned: The number of verses or chapters you can memorize isn’t the only thing that matters when making progress on a spiritual goal. Sure, the more Bible verses you can commit to memory, the easier you’ll recall them when you need them. PROGRESS is allowing the head knowledge from God’s Word become heart knowledge with the Holy Spirit’s help. Likewise, this year I learned first-handedly of the joy that follows sharing the life-giving power from God’s Word with others.
So will you join me this year and focus on progress instead of perfection? How did you do on your 2016 goals? Let me know in the comment section below!
Hello, I'm Erin – a follower of Christ, wife, mama of two, and registered dietitian. Welcome to my blog where I write about intentional motherhood, intuitive eating, inspired discipleship, and whatever else I feel like!
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