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Where all New Year’s resolutions go to die

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by Kat

Kat Lee is a writer, speaker, and the reigning CandyLand champion in her home. She blogs at Inspired to Action, where she helps overwhelmed moms become focused and purposeful. Kat and her husband live in Texas with their three children.

Some people call it February. I call it the month where all New Year’s Resolutions Go To Die. It’s a longer name and it doesn’t really fit on the date fields on the forms at the doctor’s office, but I think it’s more accurate.

Year after year, I would set goals, start with a bang, spend a small fortune on all the “necessary” gear to help me reach those goals and then BAM…February hits and everything slowly or not so slowly falls apart.

This year has been different for me, though. February is approaching and I’m still going strong with my goals. I’m getting more and more excited about them each day and choosing to start fresh each day, regardless of whether the previous day was a “success” or a “failure”.

I’m confident this is the year that February will be where my goals go to thrive, and I have one simple daily action and two simple daily questions to thank for this turnaround.

So how do we redeem our goals and the reputation of an innocent month?

How To Redeem Your Goals

Here are three simple things that have had a profound effect on me this year: one daily action and two questions I try to ask myself throughout the day.

1. Choose Excuses or Stories
He thought it was all over. His athletic career and all his dreams were done. After all, how can you play basketball, a sport that relies heavily on peripheral vision and depth perception, when you only have one working eye?

Isaiah Austin was discouraged, but his mother was the strength he needed, and she challenged him with what is now my favorite quote of the year. She said to him,

“You have a choice. You can make this your excuse or you can make this your story.”

Wow. What a powerful, powerful statement.

He decided to make it his story and the Baylor University player is now one of the top players in the nation. His excuse story has been plastered all over ESPN and sports websites for weeks, inspiring everyone who hears it…including me.

Now, when I face an obstacle in my journey toward my goals, I ask that question, “Will I make this my excuse, or will I make it my story?”

What about you? What obstacles have stopped you? What choice will you make?

Goals | TheArtofSimple.net

2. Write Your Goals Down Daily
This one has been huge for me. I started writing out my goals each day. Yep, each and every morning. I’d already been writing out books of the Bible (don’t be impressed, I just write a few verses each day) and that habit has been revolutionary in my life.

I figured writing out my goals daily would be just as helpful, keep them at the top of my mind, and allow me to refine them each day. It has been a powerful practice for me. It does take some time, about 15-20 minutes (I have a paragraph or so for each area of my life – Faith, Personal, Family and Work), but it has well been worth it.

When we commit to goals and fall behind, it’s easy to just stuff them under a pile of papers. Knowing this, I never committed to my goals this year, but I did commit to writing them out each day. It’s hard to hide from your goals when they are there to greet you every single morning.

3. Make The Ultimate Decision
The final bit of inspiration that has helped me to persevere in my goals this year is a quote I read recently:

“Discipline is choosing between what you want now and what you want more.” – Unknown

When I want to hit my snooze button, I ask myself, “Am I choosing what I want now or what I want more?”

When my kids ask me to play a game at the end of a long day, I ask myself, “What do I want now and what do I want more?”

Answering that simple question is like a jolt of clarity and self discipline.

Goals | TheArtofSimple.net

Jump Start Your Resolutions

So if you want to jump start your resolutions and make 2014 the year that your life changed, try these three things:

  1. Write down your goals in a notebook every single day. Review and refine them as you write.
  2. Ask yourself if your obstacles will be your excuse or your story.
  3. Ask yourself if what you are choosing is what you want now or what you want more.

Come on friends… This could be the year that your life transforms. This could be the year when all of your excuses become stories that inspire others.

You’ve got this. You can do this. Now, go be awesome. {fist bump}

Which of these actions will you begin? What is one excuse that you want to make your story?

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Comments

  1. I really need to write my goals out daily. Just the act of writing them down and taking that minute to think and pray about it would put them in the forefront of my mind. Then I won’t have the excuse of a foggy memory!

  2. I think sometimes it’s also about finding how the goal should be working for you – sometimes the first thing you try doesn’t work but that doesn’t mean you should give up! Just keep trying to make it work for you.

    • Vanessa,
      Great point! I think the process of writing out my goals daily has helped me see that as well. Each day I change them just a bit as I realize what works and what doesn’t.

  3. I love the discipline quote! This last week I’ve been having a hard time sticking with our routine – even though I know it works wonders for the kids and I when we (flexibly) follow it. I’m going to start asking myself, “Is this what I want now? Or what I want more?”

    • Isn’t that a powerful quote? I wish I knew who said it. The first place I saw it listed Abraham Lincoln as the originator, but I couldn’t find any evidence of that online. Most sources said it’s “unknown.”

      Whoever said it, they’ve certainly give us a powerful tool for our self discipline!

  4. This set me into action:-) I just wrote out my goals on my to do list. This is so smart!

  5. Such inspiring yet practical advice! I love the idea of writing out my goals everyday. I think I’ll add this to my daily routine. It’s a way to connect with them regularly even if it’s just for a minute or two. It’s also a great way to check-in and decide–Is this goal really what I want, need, etc. Thanks, Kat.

  6. I really love this post and have a feeling the quotes will find their way to the bulletin board in my kitchen. Thank you for being so incredibly practical!

  7. avatar
    Christine says:

    This was so helpful to me at just the right time. I shared it with my father in law who asks for our goals each year as his only Christmas present. Thank you!

    BTW, I’ve had a hard time not reading only from Tsh each day but this changed my mind!

    • Christine,
      I’m SO going to copy that. I love that your father in law just asks for goals for Christmas….brilliant.

      I’m honored by your compliment and deeply thankful I’ve been able to bring you something of value. I hope you rock 2014!

  8. Wonderful post – very thought-provoking! I’m following through on (most of) my goals this year, too, and it feels great! I started writing out my goals weekly about six months ago and it made a huge difference in what I’ve accomplished. I write my goals weekly, and a to-do list based on those goals every day. It really helped me start moving forward and keep the positive momentum. My biggest challenge so far has been exercise. I did great with exercise last year when I got up and exercised first thing in the morning. This year, I decided that reading my Bible was my biggest priority and I moved that to the early morning time. Now I’m having trouble being consistent about exercise. I’ll make it work, though. I just need to figure out what the obstacle is to getting it done later in the day and come up with a solution. If I’m totally honest, the obstacle is probably that I don’t want it (the results of exercising) enough.

  9. What a great post! And I really like the idea of writing out goals daily. I think I’ll give that a try for the month of February. TFS!

  10. I love this! I thrive and love organization but so often now after having kids I feel like its survival mode. I can’t seem to roll out of bed before them for a quiet time because I feel exhausted but I know missing that early time with Him is what sets my mind for the day. I LOVE these quotes and I’m looking forward to getting on track and living a more meaningful and purposefully life. I really want to do the Hello Morning challenge too! Thanks Kat! Really enjoying your blog! God bless!

  11. “There are two types of pain you will go through in life, the pain of discipline and the pain of regret. Discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tonnes.”

    ― Jim Rohn

  12. Thanks for sharing these pointers for keeping your goals. This year I decided that I would have three small goals each month, and then the next month add three more. So at the end of the year, I will have thirty-six habits that will benefit myself and others.
    I really appreciate your highlighting: Will it be your excuse or will it be your story? And am I choosing what I want now or what I want more?
    Thanks for using your giftedness to encourage others!

  13. I’m big on accountability too. Writing goals down for me has to be take one step further and I need to share it with someone who can help keep me on task. Thanks for this great post.

  14. I love that quote, too. I’m definitely a goal-writer. Always on paper, and sometimes multiple times a day…maybe I need to simplify my goals. :]

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