Is this what each new year boils down to?

A string of big dreams, followed by exhaustive exuberance, promising promises and exciting launches that all fizzle into discontent, failure or frustration?

Stop making New Years Resolutions!  I stopped making ‘New Years Resolutions’ several years ago.  I’ve found resolutions are a great way to become completely frustrated and discontent by mid-February.

Do you remember the story of the Tortoise and the Hare? Who wins?

Big goals are not achieved overnight. We reach our destination by placing one foot in front of the other, one day at a time in the right direction. It is the determined march every day through the pain and resistance. It is a marathon, not a 5k.

Don’t get distracted

The key is not to get distracted by the mob of over-excited yay-hoos running around in circles. Let them buy gym memberships, vitamins, crash diets, and self-help books as they begin on their frantic run down the road to Fail-ville.

Think Strategically: A successful strategist wins the war in his mind before setting foot on the battlefield.

This means he plans his steps, counts the cost and defines victory.

Don’t Give in to hysteria: Instant gratification plays a huge role in the New Years Resolution mania. We want to get started and get done as quickly as possible. We get a lot of pleasure from beginning new things. Don’t give in to starting something for the sake of starting. A lot of people start a marathon with great intentions. But, they never finish.

Set your Mind: Start thinking and praying about a big goal for yourself and what it will be like when you achieve it. One of the biggest problems with New Years Resolutions is the we unconsciously allow the mob to influence what our real goal should be. We may end up pursuing a goal we don’t own because we got caught up in the hype. Let the hype pass. Remember, you are being intentional and strategic.

Life Has a Time Limit: Whatever your goal, make sure it is significant.  Please don’t set a goal like getting the best score on a video game or watching every episode of Downton Abby.  You only have so much time in this life.  You are a heart-beat away from eternity.  Make it count!  If you can set a goal that impacts others, go for it.  Maybe you want to volunteer once a month for a year.  Perhaps you want to run a marathon and thought it would be impossible?

Set a Date: Pick a time in mid-February, go to a quiet place with a pen, paper and calendar. Forget resolutions, its time to settle on the GOAL or building a habit.  FYI – I set my goals for the year in the beginning days of March.

  • What is the one thing you would do if you couldn’t fail?
  • What would you do if you weren’t afraid?

Goals Must: be specific, be measurable, be in writing, have a deadline, and you must OWN them (relevant to your life).

While everyone around you is exhausted and on the verge of giving up, you will be focused and strategically pursuing your goal one step at a time every day.

Enjoy the journey!

“The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.” (Prov 16:9)

Edited and Updated: 12-31-2015