As the new year begins, things kick into high gear. Gyms are full, budgets are set, fridges are stocked with fruits and veggies and plans are made.
Some of us love the idea of resolutions, while others have grown cynical and see right through the falsity in these vows.
There have been many years where I’ve come up with my own overachieving list, and there have been other years where I’ve decided to abstain from the disappointment.
These New Year’s Resolutions symbolize something very important that so many of us chase after.
They symbolize newness, a fresh start. Maybe you can relate to me when I say that a fresh start in anything feels good.
A new job, a new car, a new space, when given the chance to forget our messes, we experience a freedom in starting over.
This can be paralleled to our spiritual lives. God allows us a fresh start, over and over. And yet we continue to mess it up, it’s in our nature.
So what is it that keeps us from reaching these goals that we set? What keeps us from following through?
The first thing that is crucial to keeping in step with the goals that you set is your focus. Oftentimes, the new year begins and our focus is on what we want to change. But as time goes on, we become burdened with the tasks that fill our everyday and we lose sight of the very goals we set out to accomplish.
Keeping your focus on what is important to you is essential to following through with your goals.
So how do you keep your focus in a time where life begs you to focus on everything around you?
Simplify. First, you must decide what is important. Many people do this at the start of a new year or at the beginning of a new life phase. We all have goals when we go into something new, but in order to attain these goals, they must not be too complex and far reaching.
Decide what is actually achievable for you and choose that.
Remove Distractions. It is hard to reach your goals when you are looking at everything and everyone else around you. If you set a goal to be healthier and more active, get rid of junk food, Netflix and join a gym. If you set a goal to spend more time reading the Bible, set up a distraction free time, find a reading plan and set your Bible out before you go to bed so you see it first thing in the morning.
Don’t let distractions dictate your focus. Be proactive in removing them and placing your goals right in front of you.
[bctt tweet="Don’t let distractions dictate your focus." username="NicoleAKauffman"]
Maintaining motivation can be one of the most difficult things in following through with a goal. When you set out to achieve something, your motivation will likely naturally be high. But don’t let that fool you.
The feeling of motivation will fade, it will wax and wane and sometimes even disappear completely.
Motivation to achieve your goals needs to be cultivated and nurtured. You can do this by discovering what keeps you motivated.
I know that for me, writing down a to-do list everyday keeps me motivated. I like to see things crossed off and it helps me to stay focused on my priorities. I write to-do lists for my month with my biggest goals and to-do lists for my days with the smaller, achievable tasks.
[bctt tweet="Find what keeps you motivated and do it." username="NicoleAKauffman"]
Find what keeps you motivated and do it. Motivation will fade, but when it does, don’t give up. Rediscover your goals and seek to nurture the desire to attain them.
Finally, when you set out to achieve a goal, you must find some sort of accountability.
Our minds have a way of watering down the things we set out to achieve. If you decide to read your Bible everyday, soon your busy schedule will threaten this goal. And your mind will follow. You’ll start to think things like “I don’t need to do it everyday to grow closer to God” or “If I skip this one day, I’ll get back on track tomorrow”. These thoughts are sparks to a flame that will slowly devour your focus and your motivation.
In order to fight these thoughts, you need accountability.
You can find ways to keep yourself accountable. Sometimes, I’ll post my goals on my bathroom mirror or write them in my journal. This helps. Sometimes I’ll set reminders for the next week or month to check in on whether or not I’m staying strong.
But ultimately, accountability from others is one of the strongest fighters against losing focus and motivation.
When you tell another your goal, it becomes real and sparks the motivation to follow through. They can follow up with you and check in occasionally. When you start to think up an excuse, they can call you out and fight the lies your mind creates to distract you.
[bctt tweet="Accountability from others is one of the strongest fighters against losing focus and motivation." username="NicoleAKauffman"]
I encourage you to find accountability in your goals. You can find a friend, mentor, family member or online group.
There are so many resources out there to help you fight for your goals.
When you decide to set goals for this year or if you already have goals that you have been trying to reach, be sure to stay strong in your focus and your motivation. Find accountability and you will find a way to follow through.
I have several resources in my Free Resources Library to help you follow through in areas such as spiritual discipline, finding your calling, prayer and more. Subscribe below to get access or if you are already a subscriber, you can find them in the tab above.