January is about to close and most of us has already forgotten that we have a goal or a resolution, a habit to break, or a fitness goal we want to achieve. Whatever goals or resolutions you have set, it is bound to be forgotten if we don’t have a system that will keep it.
I always have my goals written in paper or Evernote but I still find myself forgetting it along the way. Especially when life happens — Somebody in the family got sick, or I got stuck in traffic or my baby started crying. When these pressures and challenges come, it is so easy to give up and fall back to my old “good” routines.
However, we picked our goals and resolutions because we want a better life, a better way of living it and also a better way of representing Christ to other people. So this year I started building this system that has been helping me continue and stay motivated to execute what I have planned to do. Of course, any system will fail if there is no intention to achieve the goal. That is the “why” behind the goals that we set. If the “why” is set in place, the “how” will have the power to move. Here are my 4 effective steps to keep myself motivated.
Write it down and post it everywhere where you can always see it. I have mine posted in my study table. Some people post it in their refrigerators, some in their mirrors in the bathroom. Wherever it is, it’s important that you see it everyday.
Translate your goals into a calendar. What I mean by this is that you put it in your daily schedule. When our goals are not connected to a schedule, it is bound to be forgotten and eventually fail. We give time to anything or anyone we value. Whether that’s a date time with your wife or study time for your academics, it needs to be written in a calendar.
Get a coach. There will be times that your will to win will not be strong enough to do what you intended to achieve. Someone has to encourage you and challenge you to continue with your plans and goals. It can be your friend who is not necessarily an expert but someone who can speak strength and challenge your status quo. That can be your wife or husband who always sees you. It can be your pastor. Whoever you choose to be your coach, it is important that they’re willing to lift you up and challenge you to keep what you have set.
Celebrate. Our brains are wired for rewards. We all want to feel that we are winning and celebration is one way to feel we are winning. If we don’t get rewarded we usually get tired and stop doing what we plan to achieve. It can be a day were you can eat a cake after six days of hard physical training or it can be a planned day were you can sleep longer after six days of waking up very early. Celebration should be planned and consistent.
The good news is we still have time to improve and achieve what we have set. We can’t perfect the whole journey but we should not stop. God has given us the grace and strength to have self-discipline and experience life to the full.
What has been your biggest challenge accomplishing your goals this year? How do you plan to improve it?