Before the Goal: 6 Things To Consider Before You Craft Your 2020 Goals

“People may spend their whole lives climbing the ladder of success only to find, once they reach the top, that the ladder is leaning against the wrong wall.” -Thomas Merton

Since 2009, my family and I have followed a steady system that’s helped us become pretty good at kicking off each New Year with a clear vision. We usually start by agreeing on a word of the year and reviewing our family mission statement. We also choose a theme song, a scripture, and a quote to carry us through our year. Then, we invite our friends and family over to create our vision boards! 

If you’ve used my goals journal in the past, this will sound familiar. That’s because, along with a small group of committed individuals in my mastermind group, my family and I have followed this Goals Journal closely every year. As you can imagine, I’ve learned a thing or two on this journey, especially as I’ve watched my daughters adopt this goal-setting approach.

As a parent, I’ve always encouraged my kids to follow their passion. It seemed like the best path toward discovering their life’s purpose. After all, they’re young enough to make mistakes and still have plenty of room to start over.

Then, they became high school seniors, and everything changed. Everything. Years of complete confidence in their futures turned into “I have absolutely no idea.” Wait! What? I’ve always given my girls the gift of freedom. They’ve been free to decide and change their mind, about school and career. Even still, I really didn’t see this one coming.  The place of uncertainty they found themselves in was confusing to all of us. I really didn’t know how to help them figure it out. 

I struggled to understand it. We had set the goals, read the books, done the research, visited the colleges, and put in the work. They’d both planned to go to UCLA to play basketball together, and then play in the WNBA. That was their plan. Their only plan.

This experience made me realize that there are all kinds of reasons why people write goals. And there are also all kinds of outside influences that can interrupt the process. Ideally, the goals you set will be truly yours, based on things you really want. But sometimes they might turn out to be your parents’ goals for you. Or, maybe they just sounded like good goals in general, looked good on paper, or made you feel important when talking about them with your friends. If you settled on goals that didn’t really feel like you, maybe you just didn’t know you had other options. It could be that your confidence level has not quite grown to the size of your real goals. It takes a lot of courage to set and achieve your own goals. 

I’d like you to reflect on the following before you start crafting your 2020 Goals.

Brag:  Before you  get started on future goal setting, take a look at your past accomplishments. Having a mental picture of what you’ve already done well will help you build confidence as you focus on achieving your current goals. This is your chance to list every win, no matter how big or small. If you aren’t sure what to include, contact a business partner, colleague, family member, or close friend. They’ll often view your work differently than you do, and can give you more credit than you think you deserve. This is a great opportunity to visualize, as well. Consider keeping photos and awards, et cetera, on display throughout your home or office. Surrounding yourself with the tangible evidence of your past triumphs can be a great source of encouragement to keep moving toward your next goals!

Examine who you are now: One thing’s for sure – working on your goals is going to change you in big and small ways. If you used my goals journal last year, for example, I can guarantee you are not the same person you were when you started. Especially if you stuck to doing the work, created your routines, read the books, and took on the challenges. One new friend, one new book, one new course or conference, can change the direction of your life. Resist the urge to simply transfer your unfinished goals from 2019 into 2020. Take a moment to sit quietly and reflect. Do you really want that goal now? Is it still relevant? If it’s not, let it go.

Forgive yourself: So, you set a goal to lose twenty-five pounds, but you only lost five. Maybe you did all you could; maybe you cheated. Maybe, you just simply failed.  It’s okay! Before you go into a new year, forgive yourself and start over. Achieving your goals should be challenging, yet exciting. They should not be stressful. Don’t spend more time beating yourself up than appreciating the journey. When you know better, you do better. Now that you know, forgive yourself, and keep it moving. 


Own Who You Are: Several years ago, I was  required us to take a few personality and spirituality assessment tests because I accepted a staff position at my church. One was the Spiritual Gifts test, and the other was the Myers-Briggs test. The results were life changing for me. I came to realize why I was so compassionate about certain things. I also discovered for the first time that I was an introvert. The information I discovered was a game changer for me.  I got so much out of these exercises, that I’ve never forgotten their impact. I want to encourage you to do the same. Take some assessments to get to know who you are and why you do things a certain way. Don’t get overwhelmed. Stick to a few that can give you the most insight into yourself. I’ve recommended below a few key assessments I feel are most relevant to goal setting. Some are fee-based; most are free.

  • My Love Language




  • My Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

  • My Top 5 CliftonStrengths: You are stronger than you know. Discover and maximize your most powerful natural talents with Top 5 CliftonStrengths. Use your unique access code to complete the CliftonStrengths talent assessment and unlock personalized results and resources for your CliftonStrengths 1-5  
  • My Riso-Hudson Enneagram Type Indicator: 

The Enneagram is a personality tool to help you gain incredible self-awareness. It can also show you how you best work. Download this free tool to discover what the Enneagram has to say about your productivity style.  

  • Career: InSight™: Career: InSight™ will help to clarify and prioritize your values as they pertain to your working life. Tools such as this inventory are used in career planning, or may also be used for selecting a company or position. The more your work life reflects your most highly regarded values, the more fulfilled you likely will be.  
  • The SHAPE acronym has been around for a while now, and I think it’s a highly valuable piece of evangelicalism. SHAPE is an acronym that summarizes five aspects of how God has wired us to serve. It stands for: S – Spiritual Gifts. H – Heart, which refers to our God-given passions and interests. A – Abilities, which can often include non-spiritual, natural gifts. P – Personality – the unique ways we think and relate to the world around us. E – Experiences, both positive and negative, that provide us a context from which to empathize with and minister to others.
  • Spiritual assessment: Shape by eRick Rees :

  • Finding Your Spiritual Gifts Questionnaire: The Easy-to-Use, Self-Guided Questionnaire by C. Peter Wagner (Author) 

Remember Your Why by Creating a Visual: Remember to refer back to the section on visualizing your goals at the beginning of your journal. Whether it’s a big vision board, a photo collage on your desk, or just one photo that you take with you on the go, create a visual representation of your goals for 2020. Anything that you can look at every day that reminds you of what you’re working for is ideal. 

Expect to Change: If you really win the lottery, are your financial affairs set up to adjust to that lifestyle? Do you need a trust fund? A tax attorney. A lawyer. A security team. Start researching those things now. Get ready for the change you are expecting. 

Sheréa VéJauan is the author of  the 2020 Goals Journal, as well as several other books and journals. Sheréa resides in Southern California, devoted wife of twenty-eight years to her husband Brian, and mother to their three children, Reginald, Jasmyn and Kennedy. Visit her blog at  Web at