Families, communities, and nations are strengthened when individuals know how to set goals and achieve desired results. It is one thing to set a goal; it is another thing altogether to actually meet that goal.
I have known about the importance of setting goals for many years, but I learned how to set SMART goals last year in my first Pathway class. I felt that I had revolutionized my life because all of a sudden I was achieving much more than I had previously accomplished. I had several lessons over the year about setting goals where the instructor would tell us to set a SMART goal to achieve something significant in the following week.
I quickly learned to set a goal for something I had to do any way but was failing to accomplish. For a lesson on finance, I chose to set up a new filing system for my financial file. My finances were in order, but my files were almost unusable. Because I set a SMART goal – and had to report to my instructor, I was able to accomplish something really important that had a great effect in my life.
SMART goals have clear and reachable goals. To be a SMART goal, each goal must meet the following qualifications: (1) Be specific (simple, sensible, significant). (2) Be measurable (meaningful, motivating). (3) Be achievable (agreed, attainable). (4) Be relevant (reasonable, realistic, and resourced, results-based). (5) Be time bound (time-based, time limited, time/cost limited, timely, time-sensitive).
Setting SMART goals is very simple but can make a big impact in one’s life. I know that setting SMART goals has made a significant difference in my life. The main reason for this change is that I now set specific and significant goals that are relevant, can measured, and must be accomplished in a given time period.
As you consider your goals for 2017, may I suggest a goal that can have the greatest impact in your life? I suggest that you obtain a copy of the Book of Mormon – Another Testament of Jesus Christ (or go to this site for an online copy) and set a goal to read it. Your goal may be to read a chapter or part of a chapter every morning and be finished by the end of the year. I know that this goal is completely attainable because I usually read the Book of Mormon twice every year using this method. As you consider making this one of your goals for 2017, please pay attention to this counsel given to us by a living prophet of God, even President Thomas S. Monson.
“Brothers and sisters, have you read the Book of Mormon? Have you put to the test the promise found in Moroni chapter 10, verse 4, asking your Heavenly Father with a sincere heart, with real intent and having faith in Christ whether or not that which is found in that book is truth? …
“You may already know that the Book of Mormon is true, that Joseph Smith is indeed a prophet, and that this is the true Church of Jesus Christ. Some of you, however, may still be living on the testimony of others – your parents, your friends, your Church leaders. May I suggest that … you set aside time every day to find out for yourself if the Book of Mormon is a true book, for it will change your heart and change your life. If you seek this knowledge with a sincere heart with real intent having faith in Christ, I promise that you will receive an answer [emphasis added]. And once you know that the Book of Mormon is true, then it will follow that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. You will have that burning testimony and knowledge that this Church is true.
“Such knowledge, such a personal testimony, is essential if we are to safely navigate the sometimes treacherous paths through life, with the adversary attempting to deceive us at every turn. As you keep the flame of testimony burning brightly, you will become a beacon of righteousness – even a light – for all to see. Said the Savior: `Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’”
If you have already read the Book of Mormon and have a testimony of its truthfulness, when was the last time that you read it? When was the last time that you felt your testimony confirmed by the Holy Ghost? If you will set a long-term goal to read the Book of Mormon every single day, you will have continual confirmation of its truthfulness. I know this is true because I read and receive confirmation every day.
Setting SMART goals is very simple but can make a big impact on a person’s life. I know that setting SMART goals has made a significant difference in my life. The main reason for this change is that I now set simple, significant, and attainable goals that I can measure and that must be accomplished in a given time period.
As you practice setting SMART goals, I know that you will become more productive in your life and have greater self-confidence. If you will read from the Book of Mormon every day, you will receive power in your life to discern and avoid the temptations of Satan. As you become stronger spiritually, I know that you will strengthen yourself, your family, your community, and your nation.