How to Write Personal Goals that Stick: 4 Steps to Succeed

ArynChristian Nonfiction, Faith, Family12 Comments

How much alike are we? Have you been struggling with how to write personal goals that you can stick with for more than a few days or weeks?

I know that for me, I spent years not even bothering to set personal goals in life. I didn’t see the point, or if I did, I assumed that I wasn’t capable of success.

Then I began to understand the value of setting goals and planning out the way. I started exercising and stuck with it for almost 2 months. Physically, I felt really good. I could see changes in my body and I was so excited!

Then something happened to shake my sense of self-worth. And I quit on myself again. Lost all the ground I had gained. It took me almost 3 years to get back on track.

But I learned a valuable lesson about how to set personal goals and stick with them. Full disclosure: Some of what is written here is from head knowledge, some from experience, and some come straight from failure.

Please note that this post contains affiliate links for your convenience. If you make a purchase through one of the links, I may make a small commission. I only recommend books and resources that I’ve enjoyed personally, or believe that you would like. You can read my full disclosure here. You will also find information on Scripture translations there.

How to Write Personal Goals that Stick

If you want to know how to write personal goals that stick, you have to know what you want. Sound too easy? Well, think about it. How often do you stand in the kitchen, knowing that you want “something” but have no idea what? Oh. That’s just me? Okay…

Knowing what you want, and WHY you want it will take you a long way towards making it happen. But that’s not all that matters.

Making your action points and mini-goals and timelines are also very important.

Visualizing the outcome, and the consequences of failure is another key factor.

But getting God’s input, making sure that you are following Biblical goal-setting practices, and having access to God’s power and favor in your follow-through?

Those things make all the difference in the world!!!

Breaking it Down: How to Write Personal Goals That Stick

Including God each step of the way is going to be a game-changer. Otherwise, when we are just doing things in our own power, we’re way less likely to succeed.

The actual process of setting personal goals in life can be broken down like this:

How to Write Personal Goals that Stick, Step 1: Evaluate the Past

Step 1: Evaluate the Past

Taking a good look at where you have come from can show you so many things.

  • What you value
  • What your tripping hazards are
  • How far you have come
  • What drives you
  • Who’s consistently helping you (or Not)

Taking the time to look back might just surprise you.

How to write personal goals, step 2: Envision the Future

Step 2: Envision the Future

Dreaming, and carefully considering what you really want is an important step in the process. Just setting a goal because it’s popular, without thinking about whether it fits your needs isn’t good.

We need to think about what is important, where we want to be, who we want to be. Even what we want to be known for. THEN we can consider how to write personal goals, goals that actually mean something.

How to Write Personal Goals that Stick, Step 3: Plan the Way

Step 3: Plan the Way

Okay, now you are ready to actually set your goals and make your plans. Taking the results of the first two steps, you can frame “realistic” and “dream big” goals. Break them down, strategize, etc.

Using that information, and a solid framework of Biblical goal-setting principles, figuring out how to write personal goals is not nearly as hard as it could be.

Setting Personal Goals in Life, Step 4: Take Action

Step 4: Take Action

And now, it’s time for follow-through. Where the rubber meets the road is usually the weakest link. We start out strong, with every intention of being successful.

But. We get distracted. Discouraged. Sidelined by a crisis.

Willpower can only take you so far. If you truly want to succeed, having God’s grace and favor in your corner is the way to go.

The Best Tool for Writing Personal Goals in Life

Grace Goals 2020 is the tool that I am using for this very reason. I got to work through my copy almost 3 months ago. The 2 goals I chose to start with, I can see a huge improvement in. I have plenty of room to go, but the distance from my starting point is significant.

Arabah Joy walked with me through these steps. It was part gentle nudge, part firm mentoring, part stern warning, part friends chatting about hopes and dreams! She taught me so much about God’s grace and favor that I didn’t understand before.

Hopefully, you’re feeling motivated now, and are trying to decide what goals to start with. Here are a few thoughts:

What are some personal goals in life?

Before asking how to write personal goals, you might be at a loss on where to start. After all, there are just so many areas that you can see need working on.

Or maybe you don’t have any ideas at all. What are some personal goals in life that are worth pursuing?

Ideas for Personal Goals

You can do a quick search and find countless ideas for personal goals. Faith goals, fitness goals, financial goals…

How to write personal goals in life: 4 steps to success

As a Christian/Faith Goals:

Of course the first area we should be setting personal goals in life is in our faith walk. Things like

  • A consistent meeting with the Lord. (I dislike the name ‘quiet time” because as a mom of little people, that’s nearly impossible and so discouraging!)
  • Confident and consistent prayer life.
  • Prompt obedience!
  • Delighting in Him and His word
  • Controlling your temper and your tongue
  • Taking every thought captive

I think we can all agree that we have God’s approval and are even expected to show improvement in these areas. But how to write personal goals like this?

Well, starting with this free assessment might help. It’s kind of like an outside perspective on where you are.

Next, don’t beat yourself up for not being perfect. You’re not, and God doesn’t expect you to be!

I’m a big believer in making small changes. Don’t expect to go from 5 minutes every other day to 2 hours daily overnight. It is not likely to stick.

As a Wife (or Husband)

As a spouse, knowing how to write personal goals you can stick with is so important. We’ve been married for almost 9 years. I can’t imagine how much better we would have handled situations that have come up if we had spent time setting goals together, to grow and communicate, and support one another. This is naturally easier if you’re both on the same page, but it is totally possible if you’re the only one interested in the nuts and bolts of setting personal goals in life (Romans 12:18).

Having healthy communication, boundaries, and respect will go a long way. Finding joy in the Lord.

Marriage Fiction Book Recommendations

As a Parent

As parents, we need to remember first off, that our children are a gift from God, and a reward (Psalm 127:3) Whether we had a say in their conception or not, that child is a gift, a responsibility, and loved by God.

Parents who know, or want to know how to write personal goals for themselves, to improve their parenting and discipleship are doing great!

Ideas for personal goals as a parent:

  • Communication-Discussing instead of commanding or assuming you know why they did whatever it is they just did
  • Character Training and Self Discipline
  • Faith Training
  • Life Skills
  • Teamwork
  • Financial wisdom
Grace Goals 2020: This time it can be different...

As an Employee

I was fortunate to work for a church most of the time that I worked outside the home. The environment, though not ‘entirely’ healthy, did have a LOT going for it. But my father, brothers, and husband have all been employees in ‘the real world’ as they would call it. And I’ve read tons of books.

I know that it’s not easy to do the right thing sometimes. Whether because it could cost you your job, or because you’ll be made fun of. Sometimes, doing the right thing means you’ll end up doing 3-5x the work that you should be. It’s also possible that doing the right thing may mean saying no to a project, promotion or trip. It definitely requires setting boundaries.

For Your Business

If you want to honor God in your business, taking the time to know how to write personal goals that matter is critical. You have to set your priorities and your non-negotiables up from the start. Things like stewardship, honesty, and integrity need to be more than just slogans.

Are you going to tithe off the profit, or off the income? Are you going to offer discounts for ministry/military/first responders/widows/orphans? What about when someone asks you to do something that ‘no one will notice’ or ‘everyone else does’ whatever it is??

Those are some questions to consider. As the business owner, you get to decide.

Business Book Recommendations

What are Your Personal Goals?

So, what are YOUR personal goals? Are you prepared to look back and then move forward? How do you think having the right tools might help you with your follow-through?

Comment below and let us know what personal goals in life you’ve chosen, or if you need some more ideas for personal goals!

Until Next Time, Love God, Love Books, Shine The Light!!

12 Comments on “How to Write Personal Goals that Stick: 4 Steps to Succeed”

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  4. Great ideas and breakdown. Setting goals can be such a discouraging thing but you set a foundation for success with the steps you gave. Thanks!

    1. You’re most welcome! I’m trying to follow these steps of how to write personal goals and stick to them myself. When I do, it’s amazing how well they work!

  5. I love this! You outline some great ways to make goals for our life. Thank you for the suggestions, too! As an empty nester, I’m having to look at my daily life differently. While I’m still very much involved in my kids’ lives, not having them in the home day in and day out gives me freedom to make new goals and stick to them. But you are correct, sometimes distractions can be my biggest obstacle. I have to reign them in, and keep my head focused. One goal I do have for this year is to discipline myself to focus more on the vision God has planned for me. This requires saying no to good things. And saying yes to only what God has called me toward. Great post!

    1. I wish I knew how to write personal goals that were distraction-proof. That advice would sell like hot cakes!! ? ?

      There’s a lot of good books that talk about saying no to good things so that you can say yes to the best things. Lysa Terkeurst’s The Best Yes, Blackaby’s Experiencing God…

  6. Excellent tips on setting personal goals. I am goal oriented by personality, but I struggle with being realistic. Apparently I believe I can achieve waaay more than I actually can! ?

    1. ??I think we tend to over estimate the amount we can do in a day, but we often underestimate what we can do in a year!

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