Dear Parishioners,
What are your goals for your life? Where do you see yourself in the next 10 years, or five years? A year from now, what do you hope to accomplish? What are you trying to achieve today? In other words: What are you aiming at?

Goal setting is something that people tend to think about at certain times of the year—New Year’s Eve, birthdays, or at the onset of a pivotal life event such as a graduation or wedding or turning 50!

While goals are often talked about, according to an oft-quoted Harvard study, only 3 percent of people have written goals. There may be many reasons for that. People are busy just trying to get through today; who has time to craft goals for the future? Many people believe that their fate isn’t within their control anyway, so why bother setting goals?

Well defined goals that are specific and measurable and attached to a timeline can also bring us a fear of failure. After all, if you never define what you’re aiming at, you’ll never fail to achieve it. Still others are so pessimistic about life that they find it difficult to muster the hope required to come up a goal worth striving for.

The thing about goals is that even those that are never achieved can provide value and meaning to one’s life. When a goal is set, it defines an improvement or ideal to aim at. As one begins taking steps toward a goal, mistakes will be made, lessons will be learned, and new opportunities may present themselves—any which may lead to the alternation of the goal itself. However, it was the effort directed at a particular aim that led to growth and development.

Here are some important ideas to remember setting goals:

Define Your Objective – to set a new goal, you must define what you’re aiming at. Clarity will give you momentum.

Brainstorm – once you know what you’re aiming at, you can begin brainstorming all the ways you can go about achieving your goals.

Schedule – once you settle upon an action plan for achieving your goal, make sure to lay out those steps on a timeline. Consistency is key to achieving any goal and setting up a schedule is the key to consistency.

Measure – as you move toward your goal, track your progress. Celebrate as you get closer

Rest – there’s a truth to the idea that we aren’t really in control of everything. As you work toward your specific aims, be sure to maintain an open heart and mind to the opportunities and lessons that life presents you along the way. Do your very best and leave the rest to God. This takes the pressure off any idea that we are fully in control of or responsible for fully designing every outcome of our lives and allows us to simply rest and do our best.

I hope you have found my simple ideas useful in setting goals

Fr. Monteleone

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