Happy January 8th! Can you believe a full week of the new year is already behind us?
I love a new year, a clean slate, a fresh start. Don’t you?
As is typical, I spent the last few weeks of December reviewing my goals from last year and revising a plan for 2018. Then, when the new year rolled around, I attacked the first day with excitement and enthusiasm.
Then, my days began to unfold…
Day 5, 6, 7—(The jury is still out.)
As I processed my first week of the year, I wondered where had I gone wrong. My goals seemed clear enough, but why wasn’t I able to consistently hit them?
Fortunately, some time on the tennis courts this past week and one simple quote helped me find clarity. (Yes, of course, I played indoors!)
A few months ago, a group of men invited me to join their tennis league. When recruited, I heard these men played in skill divisions well above mine. I knew this new group might be a challenge for me but I decided to give it a shot.
At first glance, this group of men—all retired, some of them well into their 70’s, one shuffling as he walked and another groaning as he bent to tighten his shoelace—might lead one to believe that our court time would be slow-paced, even dull. But in life, like in tennis, action depends on the player’s desire to succeed. Those same men who shuffled or groaned at a more meaningless task like getting from Point A to Point B transform before my eyes the second that little yellow ball snaps against the server’s racquet. Next thing I know, they burst into a flurry of activity, running, pounding and angling their shots with laser sharp accuracy. Matter of fact, sometimes I’m so mesmerized at how fast and furiously that ball is moving between my fellow players that I forget I’m part of the equation until, of course, that ball comes flying straight at me.
So what was the difference between the court side activity and the court play? I suspect it has something to do with the passion and/or urgency for accomplishing the task. For example, in tennis, the goal is crystal clear: The player wants to win the point. But, in order to accomplish that goal, the player must think and react quickly with a series of action steps. If he really doesn’t care to win the point, he probably will not get moving quite so fast nor will he accomplish. But, if he wants to win, that desire becomes the catalyst he needs to get moving. I’ve learn to call this my “why.”
While doing one of Michael Hyatt’s online courses called 5 Days to Your Best Year Ever™, he shared a quote from his wife, Gail, “People lose their way, when they lose their why.” I have found this to be true in my own life. If I just go about setting goals or resolutions, but I never really examine “why” I want to achieve those goals, I never spring into action or get momentum going to accomplish them. I feel sluggish and apathetic about them, easily able to rationalize why I can skip today. However, when I take the time to dig deep and find purpose behind my goals, they become more desirable because I feel passionately about my reasons for wanting to achieve them.
If you are finding yourself stuck (already) with your 2018 resolutions, I encourage you to do the following:
A. Give yourself some grace. You are only human and it takes considerably more than a week-long streak to make a new routine. Pick yourself up, dust yourself up and keep trying, but before you do…
B. Review your list of goals/resolutions which, by the way, should be limited to 3-5 key goals. Spend some time praying about each and ask yourself, “Why do I want to achieve this goal?” Brainstorm your reasons by listing 5-10 reasons why you want each goal to become a reality. You’ll notice as you list each new point, you’ll find yourself getting closer to the deep, passionate reason behind your goal—your why!
C. Now, restate your goals with your purpose or why attached to it. Read those purpose statements every day and allow that to be your driving force over the next few days and months as you inch closer to achieving those goals..
Here is an example of how my goals shifted:
Goal: Exercise at least five times a week and take all supplements daily.
Revised Goal with my Why: Exercise at least five times a week and take all supplements daily because I love my family deeply. I want to obtain optimal health so I can be there to support and enjoy them.
Once you’ve spent some time revisiting your 2018 resolutions, please stop back and post below at least one of your goals and your passion behind it. I will pray for you as you continue to take each new step toward achieving your goal, and I look forward to hearing about your progress later this year.
God bless! And make today a great day.