Acceptance Concept #1: Avoid the All-Or-Nothing Trap
Old Way: We give our goals a “pass/fail” metric and we are disappointed with our results. Every time.
New Way: What if we purposely planned stages and milestones into our goal setting, and legitimately celebrated each of those along the way? I would highly encourage you to identify a quick-reach aspect of your biggest goal and tackle this first.
For example, if your goal is to lose 20 pounds, your quick reach aspect of the goal could be to lose 2 pounds as fast as you can. Once you’ve accomplished this, set the next quick-reach goal (perhaps that’s 5 pounds). These little victories will give you the confidence (and the habits) you need to meet the bigger goal.
Acceptance Concept #2: Separate Ongoing Goals from Short-Term Goals
Old Way: We beat ourselves up for goals that we set over and over. “Why can’t I just accomplish these?” we think.
New Way: Accept that some goals will never, ever be fully met and that’s alright.
Every year, healthy eating and regular movement are at the top of my New Years resolution list, and that’s because I continually have to battle to keep these a priority in my life. Accepting these as ongoing needs (and celebrating the progress that has been made over the years) has brought mental peace when I see these items on my New Years goal list each year. Striving for progress (not completion) of these ongoing goals is the key.
Acceptance Concept #3: Balance Improvement With Imperfection
Old Way: We sabotage ourselves by creating too many goals at once or by expecting ourselves to meet every goal perfectly.
New Way: What if we asked ourselves, “What are my limits in this season, and how can I use these to help realistically outline my goal’s completion?” We’ve got to accept what’s possible in light of other goals and outside life circumstances and celebrate that improvement, even if it’s not perfect.
Acceptance Concept #4: Leave Margin for Adjustments
Old Way: We believe, “I must identify exactly how I will meet this goal and stick to it.”
New Way: What if we considered that there are many, many ways to meet a goal? And then, what if we created a loose outline but left a lot of room for ways to discover how to meet that goal along the way?
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve successfully met a goal by simply staying flexible to new concepts, tools or ideas that I discover along the way. They may not be how I expect to meet that goal, but these new avenues fit perfectly as I’ve had to abandon what I thought would work for what is actually working.
Acceptance Concept #5: Joyfully Embrace What’s Out of Your Control
New Way: We outline our goals in a vacuum in order to ensure our goal-making success and get frustrated when outside circumstances “thwart” our plans.
Old Way: Here’s a newsflash: Life–real, messy, and unpredictable–will continue to happen as we plug away at our goals. Mentally, we must give ourselves grace in this area. We must also build margin into our goal-planning since out-of-our-control circumstances are inevitable.
Next Steps: A Great Way to Balance Acceptance with Goal Setting
Friend, none of this is easy, especially if you struggle with perfectionism and need to have control over every aspect of goal-setting.
It’s wonderful that God purposely created us with a relentless drive to be better and to strive harder. It’s a good thing to be hard-working, to be focused and to be driven to idealism.
And yet, we can’t let these concepts steal us from being satisfied with the goals we are able to accomplish!
If you’d like an acceptance-centered, biblically-based way to set goals for yourself this year, I’d highly recommend Grace Goals.
Consisting of 5 mini workshops, this downloadable, 48-page resource is a unique hybrid of a Bible study and a goal-setting course.
With Grace Goals you will:
- Learn why grace is the enablement you need to meet your goals
- Begin to recognize and appropriate grace in your daily life
- Set practical, godly goals
- Be confident of God’s favor and power in your endeavors
- Develop a doable, personal plan for change
Grace Goals offers relevant information and then the opportunity to immediately apply that knowledge to each person’s individual situation through hands-on work.
You’ll also get access to a private Facebook group where you can share goals, find an accountability partner, and be encouraged.
If you’re in the midst of setting some big goals, I’d highly encourage that you check out Grace Goals!
I’m praying for you as you learn to weave acceptance into your goal planning too!