Make setting goals go from frustrating to fun with these three simple steps.
The beginning of a new year can be great, with family time, parties, tasty food … and goals. Some people love goals—they rank right up there with watching fireworks and counting down to midnight. Other people, well, don’t. It can be terribly frustrating to set goals and then not achieve them. But whether you love setting goals or dread it, setting goals can be different this year! Here’s how:
1. Know what God wants for you.
When you seek revelation to know what goals to set, you’ll likely be more committed to them. As you seek that revelation through prayer and ponder what Heavenly Father wants you to accomplish, remember this counsel from President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency: “The holy scriptures and the talks given at general conference are an effective mirror we can hold up for self-examination” (“Lord, Is It I?” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2014, 58).
Don’t think this principle applies only to spiritual goals, either—God can help you see how to improve physically, in relationships, in your job, and with your education too.
2. Know that God can help you succeed.
In the October 2014 general conference, President Thomas S. Monson said: “Although we are left to find and follow that path which will lead us back to our Father in Heaven, He did not send us here without direction and guidance. … He will assist us as we seek His help and strive to do all in our power to endure to the end and gain eternal life” (“Ponder the Path of Thy Feet,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2014, 86). Remember that the Atonement of Jesus Christ provides enabling power to do more than you think you can at first.
3. Know that God loves you, even if you feel like you have failed.
So what happens when you set goals and you don’t reach them?
President Uchtdorf has said: “God loves you this very day and always. He is not waiting to love you until you have overcome your weaknesses and bad habits. He loves you today with a full understanding of your struggles. … He knows of your remorse for the times you have fallen short or failed. And still He loves you. … He wants you to achieve your destiny—to return to your heavenly home in honor” (“Living the Gospel Joyful,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2014, 123).
God will continue to help you. Even if you didn’t achieve your goals perfectly, you’re still growing from the effort of trying to get there! Whatever progress you make leaves you better than before you started. And if you miss your goal, don’t get discouraged; just start again where you left off. Look to Heavenly Father and to others who love you for support. Also, check out more ideas in “The Best Time to Plant a Tree,” and the following chart to help you make this year different from any other!
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This article originally appeared in the January 2015 New Era.