Useful Strategies For Sticking to Your Goals - Geneva College, a Christian College in Pennsylvania (PA)

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January 23, 2017

Useful Strategies For Sticking to Your Goals

A new year presents a new beginning and a new opportunity to chase after your most ambitious dreams. Goal setting is only natural when a new year arrives, but unfortunately, most people find it equally natural to ditch their goals after a few weeks or months. A report from the University of Scranton indicates that 92 percent of those who set New Year's resolutions fail to achieve them. With the right approach, however, you can be part of the hallowed 8 percent of people who actually achieve their resolutions.

Write Down Your Goals

Have you set your New Year's resolution to paper? If not, you are essentially dooming yourself to failure. The simple act of writing down your goals significantly increases the odds of you actually achieving them. This is evidenced in a groundbreaking study carried out by Harvard's MBA program. Only three percent of those involved in the study had written out clear goals, but after ten years, they earned ten times as much as the remaining 97 percent of the study's participants. Your goal doesn't have to be monetary, of course, but writing it down can give you a sense of intention you might otherwise not possess.

Ask Others to Hold You Accountable

It's easy to back out of a goal if nobody else knows about it. Depending on the nature of your goal and the likelihood of your loved ones supporting your mission, it may help to keep them in the loop, or even to share your goal -- and your progress -- on social media. Accountability does not merely need to involve lectures or cheerleading from your loved ones. Simply joining forces with a like-minded group of individuals from time to time can make a huge difference. For example, if your goal is to pray more or spend more time with your Bible, consider joining a prayer or Bible study group. If you are determined to exercise more often, sign up for intramural athletics -- you'll have a blast, and that necessary accountability will feel more like having a good time.

Turn to Scripture and Prayer

When the burden of pursuing your goal seems too great, have faith. Regular prayer can help you remember why you set your ambitious goal and why you're capable of achieving it. You'll find many inspiring passages in the scriptures about sticking to your goals, even when the going gets tough. One of the best examples is 2 Chronicles 15:7, which states, "But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded."

In addition to examining brief passages about goal setting in the Bible, you can also read longer passages detailing Biblical figures who set goals and accomplished great things. For example, Nehemiah set an ambitious goal to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem -- and he achieved it! Let his story serve as inspiration for your own resolutions.

It's easy to be discouraged by past New Year's resolution failures, but believe it or not, your goals are well within reach. All you need is a sense of intention, the guidance of your faith, and a strong support system that will keep you accountable, even when you're ready to give up. Tackle these critical elements of goal setting and you will be unstoppable.

For more information on how Geneva College can help you pursue your career goals in a faith-based setting, contact us at 855-979-5563 or