I decided years ago that December 26–31 would be filled with more than Christmas dinner leftovers. Yes, this is a time of year to enjoy the season and celebrate, but I have found that it’s a wonderful week to get ready for the year ahead.

Typically, I begin jotting down ideas for my new year goals as early as November. But after Christmas, I schedule some time to prayerfully go over each role in my life (Christian, husband, father, grandfather, pastor, college president, etc.) and make specific, measurable goals for growth in the year ahead.

Scheduling this time is key—otherwise, it won’t get done. Most of us feel that we need to be in a particularly reflective mood or create an ambiance to effectively set goals. The truth is, we just need to make the time and seek the leadership of the Holy Spirit.

And one more tip: I recommend using the SMART acrostic to position your goals for success.

Action oriented  (not just philosophical)

I challenge you to take the momentum of the last week of this year and let it carry you into the new year with renewed purpose and focus.

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