you got this. 2018 is yours. its a new year. a new story. an opportunity to grow.
Did you know that it takes 21 days to create a habit? Our brain develops fibers of muscle memory for anything we do or say, if we keep it up for 21 days. Those 21 days are crucial for our success in making or breaking habits. So, how can we practically succeed in making a new habit?
I have been reminded of this story often enough to have memory of it. I was potty trained when I was about two years old. However, I struggled to not wet the bed at night. My clever grandma devised a plan with a bribe good enough for a two year old. She told me that if I didn’t wet the bed for one month, she would buy me a tricycle! Each morning, I would wake up to check if I had not wet the bed. If I hadn't, then my grandma would draw a tricycle on our calendar.
Each day went by and my two year old self knew there was progress as I saw that there were more tricycles on the calendar.
Each night, before going to bed, my grandma would remind me of my goal. And, each morning, she would check on my progress. At the end of the month, my tricycle awaited me and I felt so proud!
As an adult, I know that habits become more complex as we get older. It becomes increasingly difficult to follow through with our plans. How can we even achieve our goals?
Make a plan! Even God makes plans! And, praise Him that He does! Our God is so wonderful that when humanity failed and sin entered this world, He created The Plan of Salvation. God didn’t ‘wing it’ or improvise as He went. He made a plan – a Master Plan – to win us back. Let’s take His example of setting a goal and making a plan to make things happen in our lives.
Step 1: Pray for guidance.
God can guide you to find time to set goals and He can strengthen you to follow through with your plan. Ask God what goals you should have for yourself this year. Don’t try to ‘wing it’, but commit your plans to God.
Step 2: Make a plan.
Find a time to sit down and write out the goals you want to set for yourself. Map these out. Personally, I divide my goals into categories such as: health goals, spiritual goals, and work goals. Don’t set an infinite amount of goals for yourself, but 2-3 goals in each area. Quality is better than quantity. Once you make a goal, determine exactly how you will meet this goal on a weekly basis. For example, if you want to cook healthier meals, you need to find healthy recipes, add the items to your grocery list, and schedule a time to cook it. Don’t let your goals be just goals, but accomplish them by making a plan!
Step 3: Find an accountability partner.
Proverbs 4:9 states, “Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.” Find someone in your life that will love you enough to kindly check-up on your progress and encourage you when needed. You’d be surprised to find how many people desire to have an accountability partner in their lives. Just take the chance and ask!
Step 4: Follow-through.
After it is all thought through and written down, just do it! Each day is a fresh start. Follow-through with your plan. Just do it. When you feel discouraged, go to God and talk to your accountability partner, but never give up.
I am praying for a successful plan-making, goal-setting, and habit-making year!
Lets be honest. . .this new years was packed with stuff to do and half of us probably were not able to sit down and have a list of Goals for 2018. You may even be thinking “I never even keep half of my goals anyways so why try?” If that’s you then Latecomers Goal Panning 2018 is what you want to look into. Its made to refresh every quarter so that you can assess progress and celebrate the wins.
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Melissa is a recent Southern graduate and first year teacher in the Midwest. She enjoys spending time ministering to women and longs for the days she can return to the Marshall Islands, where she served for a year as a teacher in Ebeye and fell in love with her students. Today you can catch her cherishing friendships, cooking simple healthy dinners, and lesson planning.