3 Goal Setting Tips for 2021


We made it! 2020 is in the history books. 

After the crazy year we just wrapped up, talking about New Year resolutions and setting goals seems ridiculous. So much of life is out of our control, why bother?

I get it. After the year we’ve had, it’s tempting to coast along and make do with whatever scrap we get. Why contend?

But is that how you get the abundant life Christ promised us in John 10:10? Is settling for scraps consistent with God’s desire for us to be disciplined and advance His Kingdom?

No, it’s not.

Setting SMART goals.

Setting goals and being disciplined enough to make them happen is important. And those goals have to be SMART. (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.)

In year’s past, I’ve made resolutions to lose 10,000 pounds, get out of debt, stop being snarky and write the great American novel … but I didn’t complete those goals cuz they were too big or too vague or too crazy.

What if, instead of setting overwhelming year-long goals, we established the discipline of making 30 day goals instead? I can manage, tolerate or persevere through almost anything if I know it’s only for 30 days. Can’t you?

30 day goals are sustainable

Just think about your success rate with big goals. Can you really:

  • Lose all the weight you’ve gained since you were 13?
    Not likely!
    But eat no chocolate for 30 days?
  • Read the Bible in a year?
    Probably not!
    Read a chapter every day for 30 days?
    Easy Peasy!
  • Get completely out of debt?
    Maybe not, but could you put 10% of your paycheck toward debt for next 30 days?
    Oh yeah!
  • Give up Netflix or Facebook or Candy Crush till 2022?
    Cut back to 30 minutes a day for 30 days?
    Why not?
  • Workout for hours every day?
    Not likely!
    Walk around the block everyday for 30 days?
    Sign me up!
  • Never say another unkind word?
    Good luck with that!
    Fast from complaining for 30 days?
    More realistic!

Set 30 day goals for the win!

Truly, most of us know what we need to do or not to do. We simply lack the drive or motivation or stamina to do it for the long haul. Even our spiritual superhero, Paul says in Romans 7:15, “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.”

Whatever big desire you have for 2021, try tackling it (or a piece of it) with a 30 day goal! You’ll be pleasantly surprised at your results, and those results will perpetuate your momentum. After 30 days, you can recommit for another 30 days, or adjust the goals, or go on to something else.

God will lead you step by step to a life that works better. (John 14:26) Day by day and season by season, God draws us into a life of wisdom. Once a good pattern or discipline is established, he leads us to work on another so we become more like him.

3 Tips to set 30 Day Goals. 

  1. Pray for God’s will and strength to sustain and enable you. 
  2. Choose a realistic 30 day goal. Something to jumpstart you to a bigger goal or break a pattern that is unhealthy or unattractive.
  3. Write it down and tell someone. If you can find a partner to commiserate and celebrate with all the better.

My 30 day goal is to write new talks for all the women’s retreats and conferences I hope to book in 2021. (Is your church or camp hosting women’s event this year? Have the organizer call me, I’d love to see you again! 616 363 4608!) 

What’s your 30 day goal?  Leave me a comment and let me know. I’d love to be your cheerleader.

Prayer: God, I want to be the best version of myself possible. Fill me with your Holy Spirit a fresh so He can lead and guide me. Surround me with others who will support and encourage each other. Mold me and make me more like you. I know I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Phil. 4:13) Thank you, In Jesus Name amen. 


  1. Lou Ann Nay on January 4, 2021 at 12:41 am

    My goal is simple. It comes from Philippines 3. 2020 was particularly awful. I lost my son in January and my husband in February. Covid meant no memorials and grieving alone. Satan worked overtime to get me to surrender my faith. But my goal is to not look back, and press on to the mark God has set for me.

    • Robyn Dykstra on January 4, 2021 at 2:09 pm

      I have thought about you many times this past year, knowing you were hurting and isolated. Lou Ann, I am so sorry for your huge losses. I pray that you keep your eyes on Jesus, finishing every day knowing you are not alone in your pain and that each new day holds the promise of a better life and deeper healing. We know He is enough, but to lean into His strength when you’re suffering takes courage. I’m encouraged by your perseverance.

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