Ok, my dear, I’ve got New Year resolutions, too. I go through this very intense, very nerdy process every year where I take a lifescore assessment developed by Michael Hyatt, I go over my life plan (yes, I have one), and then I set about seven goals for the year hitting different areas of my life. This year, one that I’m both excited and nervous about is starting to do daily Bible study time with my daughters. My eldest was baptized last summer and she is so curious and anxious to know more about her Savior. I actually had to get help on this one and reached out to a youth ministry leader to ask for ideas and she suggested a little routine we could do everyday.
I’m excited. I have lots of motivation. This is an area that as a parent I would really like to dig-in and do a little better. What I don’t want to happen is that come June I have a vague memory of the concept and a dusty children's Bible to show for this dream of studying alongside my daughter.
Real change is hard. We know that. So, if you really want to stay the course, I suggest that you follow the four steps to holding on to this motivation and reaching that goal that you are hoping for.
1. Write down your why.
Your why is so important. The big picture “why” for your goal might be front and center now, but when you really get into the weeds of this journey, you might not remember why you are going through all this trouble, unless you write it down. On episode number 23 of this podcast, “Your Why is Wonderful '' I went into this in more detail. But, for now, I just want you to get a pen and paper and explain why you have set this goal. For me, when it is tiring or my little girls are being difficult, I want to remember that I am teaching them how to study God's word and keep His truths central in their lives. Also, it keeps a doorway of communication open as we go into some of the more difficult years of their life.
2. Share your journey.
Yes, ma’am. Share. It. Tell someone. Have someone checking in on you, curious about your progress. You could make it fun and share it on social media or even blog about it. Or, you could just have a trusted friend or spouse keeping you accountable. This is key. Not only does it give you a little push to keep going, it also gives you a place or person to ask for help or advice when things aren’t going well. I am going to stay accountable to the youth ministry leader that I mentioned earlier. Plus, I have the extra bonus of doing this with my girls. I’m not alone.
3. Decide on a Celebration
This one is soooooo cool and I see it skimmed over time and again. When you write down your why, I also want you to write down a celebration. This also means you have to have a measurable point that you either get to or don’t. This can get tricky with habits, so I want you to consider using some sort of streak tracking. This means that everyday or time you do it you mark it in an app or calendar. Then you decide what streak you need to feel you have established that new practice. I’m actually going to sit down with my girls and have them help me with this. On the day that I’m recording this episode it is still 2022 and they are with their amazing grandparents so I figure we can figure it out together when they get home.
4. Make a plan for fall-downs
I hate to break it to you but neither you nor your life are perfect. What?! You knew that? Well, then, you shouldn’t be surprised, angry, or frustrated when you mess up. What you should have is a plan. Are you going to let your accountability partner know and be willing to discuss what happened? Are you going to go through the KISS method and discuss what about your process you want to keep, improve, start, or stop? You have to have an idea of what you will do whenever you fail or fall down. So many of us just stop and wait until the next year to try again while in the meantime they could learn from what happened and still make all their dreams and goals a reality.
Okay, my friend, you’ve got this! Today, yes, today, I want you to take these 4 steps. I want you to write down your why, share your journey, set up a celebration, and make a plan for fall-down. Believe me, you will be on much firmer footing if you do.
by Lora Armendariz
You Can Do It!
Do you want to fall out of love with a destructive habit? The first 42 episodes of this podcast are a resource for anyone who wants encouragement and information as they take a six week break from a habit in order to fall out of love with it.