by Cari Terracina, Publications Manager

The small decisions we make today matter. What story do you want to tell? What decisions do you need to make today to move boldly in that direction?

Take a look around. How are you feeling at this point in the year?

Tired? – It’s been a journey since January.

Excited? – New opportunities wait ahead in the last few months of the year.

Overwhelmed? – Not where you imagined you’d be by this point in 2019?

You may feel like you’re too late to make progress on your goals for the year, but here’s some truth: today can be your January 1. Often times, good change starts with just one tiny step forward. Good things grow little by little, and it’s little-by-little that you can cultivate the good life for you and your family.

Want to finally move forward on your goals?
My hope is that you are entering this new academic year energized in mind, body, and spirit for all that the coming months have to offer. Many of us exit the summer season in a flurry that’s equal parts chaos, excitement, sunburns, and sand, and it can take a moment (or a month) to feel grounded again. Here are some steps to help you refocus, and remember that all you do is ultimately for God’s glory.

Start in prayer
Spend some time in quiet prayer, either in your home or in front of the Blessed Sacrament. Ask the Lord to fill you with His peace, and clarity as you sit down to work on your goal setting.

Clear your brain
Set a timer for ten minutes. Play some calming music, and sit down with a blank paper and pen. For the next ten minutes, write, draw, or doodle whatever comes to mind. Maybe it has to do with your goals and maybe it doesn’t. Simply dump out everything on your mind: worries, hopes, fears, and even grocery lists.

Write out your goals and evaluate
Go back to when you last set goals. Rewrite each goal, leaving a little underneath each one. Write down what is or was working for that particular goal, and what was not.

Imagine December
Now, write a few sentences about where you see yourself in December in conjunction with your goals. What has changed? Are there any new goals? What in your life would be different if these goals came to fruition?

Tweak your goals
Now, rewrite your goals and your new game plan. Are there goals that are no longer relevant? Are there goals that are still important but don’t require as much time as you previously thought? Do you have a particular goal that you’d like to focus more on? Remembering where you would like to be in December, write down a new game plan for each goal. Include a few small steps you can take to help you get started.

Make it visual
Writing our goals down and keeping them insight makes them more tangible. To help you reach those goals, find a Bible verse or saint’s quote to help keep you focused over the next few months. Put it on your nightstand, on the bathroom mirror, next to the coffee pot, or anywhere you’ll see it daily. Or create a brand new Pinterest board, dedicated to your goals for the next few months, and include some quotes that inspire you and will keep you motivated.

Our ultimate goal
Whatever your goals may be, do not be defeated. Focus on what you can control and do not waste energy on the things you can’t. Lay your goals at the foot of the cross and give it all over to the Lord.
We can dream and plan all we want. But, if we aren’t trusting in Him, we will ultimately find ourselves disappointed.

How are your goals for this year going? Are you setting new goals with the start of the new school year? Share them with us on Facebook – we’ll pray for you!