Wouldn’t it be great if you could put everything you’re aiming for on one page! To have a tool that is short, concise, and condensed to help live each day successfully while aiming for your best . . . Instantly accessible . . . Something to carry on your device wherever you go. Or to print and keep a visible copy at your desk. This kind of tool – a 1-Page Goals Sheet – would be a personal development and self-accountability resource. It’s purpose? To help you be the best “you” possible and keep track of your progress as a healthy, balanced individual.
I’m delighted to tell you – this tool exists. And it works. I have been using a 1-Page Goals Sheet for decades, and it’s helped me focus and grow. Now I’d like to share this tool with you.
Don’t Waste Your Life – Not Even A Day
January is the time people often think about their life purpose and goals. They may re-visit regrets or dreams they once had. It helps to set up a 1-Page Goals Sheet to live intentionally.
I’m guessing you want to live with purpose and not waste your life. Because life is challenging, feeling overwhelmed is pretty normal for many people. God allows life to stretch you, but He intends to kindle hope by walking closely with you. God gives wisdom, counsel, and power to help you aim for fresh practices.
You need a plan with practical action steps to keep from floundering. It is never too late to set goals. Follow these simple steps to set up a 1-Page Goals Sheet to stay on track. It’s not complicated, but it is laid out in detail so you can see exact steps. That’s why this article is a bit longer than my regular articles.
See an Example of a 1-Page Goal Sheet
Here is an example of a 1-Page Goals Sheet. (Sections have been blurred until we develop them.)
Exploring the Idea of a 1-Page Goals Sheet
I have some simple questions for you:
- Have you developed goals for the New Year?
- Have you thought about a life theme for the year?
- Did you identify areas in which you need to grow or develop?
- Do you have reasonable, measurable objectives in place to help you get traction?
How God Made You
God cares about your dreams. He planted things in your heart when He created your unique design, personality, skill sets, and abilities. God wants you to have a year of forward momentum. And He wants to help you live simply, flexibly, focused, effectively, and freely – intentionally. God wants your life to have impact on others.
There is only one way to do this well: put God first in everything. Ask Him for wisdom. He promises He will give it to you. (Js. 1:5-7)
It’s Not As Hard As It Seems
Don’t let this 1-page exercise be overwhelming. Invite God to guide you through this exercise, and let hope rise as you take steps to reclaim the management of your life.
Before you start, explore and brainstorm. Get ideas that are inside you to the outside. Think yourself onto paper (or electronic file). I’ve included links to worksheets to illustrate each step.
Think Yourself Onto Paper
If you are a pen and paper person, start jotting. If you are a computer or ipad kind of person, pull up a doc and start typing. Most of what you write at this step will not go on your Goals Sheet. Use the 4 concepts below to develop thoughts. Just start writing to prime your pump. Once you start, you will be surprised at how much comes out. Here is a downloadable blank worksheet you can fill out on your device or print and fill out by hand. You will use this worksheet through all the steps. (Download, save first, then interact with and fill in the form, then save again to prevent losing your work.)
To manage your life, you must establish 4 Basics:
- Approach – How you approach a new year “makes or breaks” daily living. What has your approach been?
- Perspective – This sets the tone for everything. Attitudes, thoughts, dreams, hopes, experiences, etc. What’s your perspective?
- Priorities – Your priorities determine how you spend resources, especially time. Have you taken time to identify and prioritize your life?
- A Plan – A plan keeps all the moving parts working properly. It needs to be clear, yet flexible. Achievable and measurable. Do you have a plan?
Click on the worksheet below (ESTABLISH BASICS) to see an example of a person interacting with these 4 Basics in their current life.
Now it’s your turn to interact with these 4 Basics by using the downloadable worksheet link above.
ASK GOOD QUESTIONS
Next step, ask yourself these kinds of questions to help identify where you want to make progress. You may have additional questions to ask yourself.
- What is on your mind these days?
- What is broken that you’d like to fix?
- Specifically, what do you want to work on?
- Have you identified hopes in your heart?
- What do you want to accomplish or change?
- How . . . . .
- When . . . .
- Why . . . .
Refer to the example worksheet below (ASK GOOD QUESTIONS) to see how to use good questions to get good answers.
Now that you’ve seen an example, write your questions and answers on your downloadable worksheet.
SHORT LIST FOR YOUR GOALS SHEET
Review your brainstorming on your own worksheet up to this point. Highlight, circle, or underline the main ideas you want to address. Use these main ideas to develop a short list of areas you will work on this year. Here is the example worksheet to click on. (SHORT LIST)
This short list goes on your Goals Sheet. But it will go a bit further down on the 1-page document. So wait till I tell you to do this. For now, just write out your short list on the worksheet.
Take a step back and look at everything you’ve written, highlighted, listed. Notice common themes. What stands out from your observations and ideas? How can you funnel this information into 3 – 4 words to become your theme for this year? How will you live in your life domain, using your will, to live your daily life?
Here are a couple of examples to help you see how to choose a theme:
Example 1: if you are lonely – or just had a loss – or you don’t know what is going on with your friends – maybe choose a theme like “Comforter and Friend.” Repeat that tiny phrase in your mind as you navigate your circumstances this year. It helps you regain balance. Jesus is your Comforter and Friend.
Example 2: Perhaps lots of people place expectations on you. You hear many voices telling you what to do. Your own voice – and even God’s voice – gets lost in the noise. So, choose a theme for the year like – “His Voice Only.”
Example 3: You may have suffered great losses and feel so discouraged. You may decide you need to focus on living in the JOY God promises to His dear children.
Look at the example worksheet (THEME) to see a theme developed and selected.
Now it’s your turn. Choose a theme for yourself for this year by putting your thoughts into a short phrase. Your theme is the first item you actually enter on your 1-page document.
We are now ready to begin creating your own Goals Sheet for this year.
Create Your 1-Page Goals Sheet
From this point forward, we will move back and forth between the downloadable blank worksheet (above in ESTABLISH BASICS) and this downloadable template of the 1-Page Goals Sheet. (Download, save first, then interact with and fill in the form, then save again to prevent losing your work.)
The Goals Sheet will become your final product, but continue to use the worksheet to formulate and organize your ideas. Then you can transfer your developed work to the Goals Sheet template.
SO NOW YOU BEGIN!
First, place the year and your theme at the top of your Goals Sheet. You should repeat your theme every day and pray through it, applying it to your life by faith.
God’s Word is powerful. You need this power. So, it’s time to claim at least one verse for this New year. First, pray. Ask the Lord to give you what you need to carry out your theme. Brainstorm with your new approach, perspective, priorities, and developing plan. Now use your worksheet to jot possible verses to choose from. Look at the example worksheet (VERSES) to see the development of a verse to claim.
Now, it’s your turn to select. From verses you considered, choose at least 1 verse to claim for this year. This is the second thing you add to your 1-Page Goals Sheet. Repeat this verse every day. Ask God to build the verse(s) into your life.
On your worksheet near the top, you addressed 4 basics: approach, perspective, priorities, and plan. Read what you wrote for perspective. Pray over what your perspective should be according to Scripture. Sometimes, it will be almost opposite of what you wrote when you first identified your current perspective on the worksheet.
Then, read the worksheet example of developing a new or better outlook. (PERSPECTIVE)
Now write a new perspective for yourself. – Perspective is the third thing that goes on your Goals Sheet. This is the only one of the 4 Basics that will go on your Goals Sheet. Perspective affects everything.
With all these ideas you’ve developed, it is time to develop a prayer that expresses what is in your heart. Hold yourself to high standards and reverence as you direct your statements to God. Speak positively in faith. Yet be honest, transparent, and submissive. For an example of a prayer, click on this portion of the worksheet. (PRAYER)
This is the fourth item for your document. Enter your prayer on your Goals Sheet template.
You’re Half-Way Done!
By now you have done about 1/2 the work to propel you into this year. In the next article, we will finish your 1-Page Goals Sheet by developing Step 2.
Take this week to pray over what you developed today. Ask God to prepare you for Step 2 so you can finish your 1-Page Goals Sheet. Stay tuned for Step 2!