Don’t you love the fresh new start a New Year represents? I always begin with a long list of resolutions, but over the years, I’ve discovered something interesting.
The less I talk about my goals and dreams for the future, the more likely I am to achieve them.
- Maybe that’s because keeping mum leaves more time for quietly and steadily working at doing whatever it is I want to accomplish.
- Maybe it’s because the sense of immediate gratification I get when I broadcast my intentions in advance actually short-circuits my motivation to carry through with my plans.
- Maybe it’s because when I keep a goal just between me and God, I’m more likely to lean on Him for the strength and patience I need to see it to completion.
Whatever the case, I’m going to hold my hopes and dreams for 2018 close to my heart and not enumerate them online for all to see. Not yet, at any rate.
Now that 2017 is over, however, I will tell you how a few of my last year’s resolutions panned out. (I’ll be posting a more detailed account of our year — with pictures — in the next few days):
- One of my goals in 2017 was to read a book every week. That would have given me 52 for the year, but I actually finished 65. Woot!
- Another of my 2017 goals was to publish a new book every other month, for a total of six. I ended up publishing seven, however — six I wrote myself plus one for a friend.
- I also resolved to write a letter a day all year long. My final count was 405 — and that doesn’t even include all the Christmas letters we sent (which were typewritten) or any text or email messages, only handwritten cards and notes sent via snail mail.
I’ll also share a few secrets that helped me stay successfully on track with last year’s resolutions:
First, I wrote down my goals and reviewed them regularly.
Post a list of your resolutions in a prominent place and read over it weekly, if not daily.
Second, I didn’t give up if (when) I got a little off track.
If you miss a day (or a week!) working on a goal or habit, don’t let it derail you. Keep pressing on, knowing that if you do, it will all average out in the end.
Third, I monitored my progress and celebrated wins along the way.
You can watch your success build when you focus daily on forming the habits that will move you toward your goals.
To help you with that last point, I offer you the following habit tracking printables. Pick your favorite, then check off your progress each day as you work to establish the discipline required to reach your goals and keep your resolutions in the New Year.
Here are three styles of Habit Trackers to choose from:
I hope you’ll find these helpful. Best wishes to you for a joyous and productive 2018!