3…2…1…Happy New Year!!! And with that the clock for this year’s New Year’s Resolutions began. Being now a couple of weeks in, how are you doing with those age-old aspirations? With the begin of every year this is the topic of conversation.
I find it funny that 1/3 of everyone polled made a resolution to not make a resolution. Goal setting can be difficult and not everyone has a predisposition for them; yet, they are a good thing.
In the quest to accomplish your resolution, developing new habits is perhaps the hardest part of keeping your heart-felt commitment. I’ve always heard that it takes 21 days to form a new habit. Which doesn’t sound that long until you actually set out to do it. The first couple of days and weeks you are really focused but something always seems to come up that hinders you or distracts you from your new routine.
James Clear, a writer of habits and human potential, states that this 21-day length of time is not completely true. In fact, new studies show that it actually takes 66 days. And depending on the individual, it may take longer than that. But there is great hope! The studies also show that missing a day or two does not disrupt the habit-forming process. This is not “an all-or-nothing process.”
Yet the frustration and discouragement that disruptions cause likely convince most people to stop the process. Business Insider reported that 80% of resolutions fail by the second week of February. So, it seems that the cards are stacked against us. How can you and I be a part of that 20% who continue on and actually see these resolutions become reality?
Whether you have committed to healthy eating, exercising more, saving money or giving back by volunteering or helping with a charitable organization, there are some simple ways that we can remain focused on our goal. Knowing your resolution is a year-long journey, let’s break it down into bite sized pieces, week to week.
Name your goals for week
Make smaller or shorter attainable goals just for this week. Things that you can accomplish this week. Every 7-days is different, so give yourself the flexibility to adjust so that you can meet your goals.
Schedule your time
The “time-eaters” are out there and they are hungry to eat up all your time and energy. Thus, schedule your time. Victor Hugo said, “He who every morning plans the transaction of the day and follows out the plan, carries a thread that will guide him through the labyrinth of the most busy life”.
Life is not meant to live or walk alone. We need those who can help us along the way, and who can hold us to our commitments. Who is helping and holding you?
Journal your progress
Much is learned about yourself as you journal your thoughts and experiences. It sheds light not only on your past but also your future. Your present course will lead you somewhere. The question asks, is that your intended destination?
Write it down. Learn from your mistakes and successes.
Celebrate your accomplishments
You never see the winning team of any championship stay subdued and melancholy at the moment of victory. Let the celebration begin!
The old adage is true…how you end one thing is how you’ll begin the next thing. So, build on your momentum. Celebrate and move forward!
Paul the Apostle set the best example with his words in 1 Corinthians 9:
24 Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! 25 All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. 26 So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. 27 I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified. (NLT)
He purposed every step. At the end of his life, this was his victory cry:
6 As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God. The time of my death is near. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. 8 And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing. 2 Timothy 4:6-8 NLT
When we have accomplished our resolutions, created new habits, and achieved our goals may these be our words:
Fought a good fight. Finished the Race. Remained Faithful.
How are you staying focused to achieve your goals? Let us know in the comments below.