Last week I wrote about how to conduct a personal annual review. We discussed the importance of looking back on the year that has passed before looking forward and setting New Year's resolutions. I'd be remiss to offer advice on how to reflect without following up with some thoughts on how to move forward.

Fortunately, both processes follow a very similar diagram. In reflecting, we looked at four areas of our life: physical, mental, spiritual, and relational. We'll use these same four areas (and a few others) to set resolutions or goals for ourselves.

Most people set New Year's resolutions based on past failed goals, social media trends, or personal guilt regarding a bad habit they've developed. This method of setting goals does not set us up for success. What about the date January 1st will make exercising four days a week any easier than it being December 1st? Why do we believe that because they calendar has changed that our habits will follow suit?

I believe the reason that only 7% of people stick to their resolution is because they aren't starting with any true strategy. Instead they're blindly throwing progress darts hoping that one of them sticks.

The first step in setting a goal or a resolution is deciding which area of your life is out of balance. By narrowing down our goals to a specific category of our lives, we are providing ourselves a specific direction for our growth and declaring that our priority is that area, not just one goal.

Selecting Your Area

The simplest way to select the area you want to improve is to ask yourself, "What area of my life (physical, mental, spiritual, relational) have I neglected the most this past year?" Then set a goal to improve that area of your life.

If you'd like a more thorough method of assessment, there is a tool called the Wheel of Life. Zig Ziglar is credited with creating this tool and it is one of