When I think of the word “navigate”, my thoughts turn to my many good memories of canoeing the Guadalupe river here in Texas. This cool, blue-ribbon of water runs through the Hill Country of Central Texas and is the most popular canoeing destination in the state.
I would always take the rear position in the two-person craft, and handle the steering and navigation duties. During my many years on the water, I learned a valuable principle that greatly improved my navigation skills. I call it the Principle of the Current.
The Principle of the Current: A boat traveling slower than the current is controlled by the current, but the captain that propels his ship faster than the current can chart his own course by gaining the ability to navigate with precision and control.
You see, I learned that gaining speed, relative to the current, allowed me to guide our canoe down the best channels in the ever-changing river.
What’s this have to do with 2022? Well, the same principle applies to our lives. If we let the status quo of an unplanned future dictate our year, we’ll likely wind up “carried by the current” to places we would rather not be. Conversely, if we chart our year out with thoughtful planning, we will start the year with speed and a direction that will allow us to navigate a course toward our desired destination.
I have used the process of setting goals to plan my year, and, consequently, reach levels of success I never thought possible.
Everyone can live a better year by taking the following three goal-setting steps.
Step 1 – Pause and Reflect
Think about the last time you were in a shopping mall looking for a particular store. Most likely, you found one of those mall map kiosks to find the store location. But locating store #1138 on the mall map wasn’t enough information. An essential step in your search was identifying the “You are Here” icon on the map. Only then, could you plot your course toward your desired location.
The same applies to our personal goal setting. To chart our course with properly set goals, we need to pause and take a look back at the previous twelve months to see where we are and how we got here. I’ve published an article that explains more about this important step <here>.
Step 2 – Dare to Dream
After reflecting over the last year, it’s time to dream big about what we would like to see happen during the coming year.
Most children have grand dreams, but somewhere along the way, as we grow into adulthood, many folks lose their ability to dream. We can revive our ability to dream by asking these two questions:
1. What do I want to achieve?
2. Who do I want to become?
“Who you are becoming is more important than what you are accumulating.”
Considering what we want to achieve is fairly easy for most people, but pondering who we want to become can be more challenging. I’ve written a blog post about how to tackle this step <here>.
Step 3 – Write it down
At this point in the process, you are beginning to envision what you would like to do and be in the coming year. Many people let the distraction and busyness of life disrupt this important step. To get the most out of your goals, you need to pick up a pen and write them down.
In fact, a goal study conducted at the Dominican University of California found that we are 42% more likely to achieve our goals, simply by writing them down. WOW – who wouldn’t want to boost their odds of success by 42%!
I love the quote by Melody Beattie:
The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written. We can help that story by setting goals.
This is the time to think through the major areas of your life and develop goals for each area:
You can find more guidance on this process in an article that I wrote <here>.
“So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” Ps. 90:12 ESV
We are nearing the end of the river named “2021” and advancing toward the uncharted, unexplored waterway named “2022”. Personal goals can allow us to leverage the Principle of the Current and navigate the new year with confidence and control.
What if you could accomplish more in 2022 than you've ever dreamed possible? We've created an online course to help you set meaningful goals AND achieve them! This course guides you through my proven goal-setting process – complete with workbook and templates. Check out my Goal Planning Success course and grab it at a 50% discount!
Do you usually set personal goals? When do you typically set them? Do you have a grand dream for 2022? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.