January is behind us and I don’t know about you, but I’m already sensing that New Year’s “blah” feeling. You know that feeling. It’s the one you have after you have laid out a billion of your goals in your new planner with your favorite pens. It’s that familiar feeling of looming defeat. You may have already missed a few days of working out. You might have had a glitch in your schedule so you didn’t have time to cook and there you were in a drive-thru picking up dinner, again. I have been there, and I have also learned that there is indeed a better way. I would love to give you some practical tips on how to make and keep your goals this year.
Start with your “why”. Why are you doing what you are doing? In order for you to get up at the crack of dawn to workout, read more, or spend quiet time with God, you need to know your why. It can’t be because you think you “should” do this or that. What you do needs to line up with your values. You might find yourself thinking “Chrystal, I don’t know what I value! I don’t really know why I’m making these goals.” It’s okay if you don’t have the answers right away. Just be committed to the process of discovering the answers as you can. Here is an exercise that might help. Take some time to answer these three questions:
Who do you want to be proud of at the end of the year and/or your life?
What do you want to accomplish? What will make you proud to say you’ve done?
What is the legacy that you want to leave? What do you want people to say, think, or feel about you after you are gone?
Dig deep. Put in the effort to learn about and develop your “why”. It’s okay if it takes you some time to figure it out. The time spent will be well worth it. Trying to make a change without purpose will certainly leave you with a pile of unfinished goals at the end of the year.
Change slowly. Some of you will have a million goals after answering those questions. You’ll get excited about your “why” and will want to jump headfirst into completing them all. I hate to burst your bubble, but that is not going to be practical or beneficial in the long run, friend. Ask me how I know. The problem with change is that we try to change too many things, too quickly and all at one time. You are going to have to prioritize one thing to work on for now. Yup. Just one thing. What needs to happen right now? What can wait until later? Focus on the area you know you need to put most of your energy toward. Start saying no to anything that distracts you from that one focus. Then, start saying yes to anything that will move you closer to where you want to be. By the way, you will need to use your “no” often to make room for your “yes”.
Exercise consistent discipline. When you have your why, and you have prioritized what needs to come first, the only thing left is staying focused How do you get focused and stay that way? This is where the hard work comes in. You need discipline.
Now, that fuzzy feeling that makes people flock to the gym on January 1st is not discipline; that’s motivation. Feeling motivated is awesome, but that’s just what it is; a feeling. You will not always feel motivated to keep up with your goal. That is where discipline comes in. THAT is a choice. And when you need to be reminded, go back to those three questions that you asked yourself earlier. Picture yourself being the person that you are striving to be at the end of the year. Only discipline will get you there. I know what you are thinking: “Chrystal, I don’t have any discipline.” Yes, you do. You take care of your children, you go to work, and you put gas in your car consistently. You even have disciplines in areas that aren’t so good for you, like automatically reaching for your phone first thing in the morning or gravitating toward junk food on a bad day.
Do you know why you do those things? Because there’s something in it for you.
There’s some reward in your patterns. So make NEW patterns and let the accomplishment of meeting those goals be the reward. The goals you are making have something in it for you; a legacy, a new mindset, or healthier habits. The next time you don’t feel motivated, remember how you will be paying yourself off in the future by sticking to it.
The beginning of the year can feel overwhelming. Now that January is over, you may even feel behind. But don’t let that feeling consume you. Start making small changes if big changes are too much for you right now. Instead of starting off meal planning for the week, try meal planning the night before. Remember that change comes from small decisions and small points of focus every day. I believe in you. I believe in US. We can crush your goals in 2020. How? By choosing to live a life we love, one baby step at a time.
Other Stuff to Check Out
- Check out my book, 28 Days of Prayer! Intentionally invest in your communication with God. Not ready to by the book? Take the free 5 Day Prayer Journey
- Did you know that my father, Dr. Tony Evans, has a Bible Commentary available? Click here to check it out! If you want to know more about my father’s ministry and the multitude of resources he has available to help you in your walk with God, go to Tony Evans.org
- Want to read even more of the Bible? Check out 20 Ways to Read Through the Bible.
- Did you catch the latest video I uploaded to my YouTube channel? I shared a message I gave recently at my church on the The Sword (The Word of God). Watch it by clicking HERE.
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