January is coming to an end and so are many people’s New Year’s goals. Now is the time to “stick with it” and don’t go home to what’s familiar! Quitting would be easy, but nothing worth having comes easily.
I came across the phrase “don’t go home to what’s familiar” this week in a Bible study that I am working on called Elijah by Priscilla Shirer. You see God needed to grow and prepare Elijah for things to come, so He took him to a place where that could happen. Guess what, the place wasn’t his home.
As I was pondering this, I realized that growth and change simply aren’t going to happen within our comfort zones. Home is familiar, comfortable and easy; however, the wilderness is where you get strong. I’ve decided to get strong in 2022.
How Are You Doing?
A recent study in the UK shows that 63% of people abandon their New Year’s resolutions/goals within a month. I am not really surprised by this figure because getting started is easy. Sticking to it is much harder!
Embracing change and creating new habits takes time and effort. There is no such thing as an “overnight success”. When the “new” wears off, the temptation to quit sets in. The familiarity of past habits calls us to the comfort of what was, but I challenge you “don’t go home”!
It takes much more than motivation to achieve your goals. The truth is that being intentional is a much bigger driving force towards success. Motivation comes and goes, however, developing a measurable plan of action and writing it down moves you into intention.
The most difficult goal I’ve set is managing my weight. Like a lot of folks, I fluffed up during COVID. Combine that with being a female over 50 and you have a recipe for difficulty shedding the pounds.
Last year I diligently reduced my calories and increased my exercising. I was walking twice a day averaging 2.5 miles and the needle on the scale wasn’t budging at all. In fact a few times, my weight went up and I injured my knee from over use! My goal wasn’t working.
So, in 2022 I knew I needed a change, so I entered the “wilderness”. Lunch is now a healthy smoothie with no other food until dinner. This helps me control my calories and get nutrients I was missing. Also, my body has time to actually get hungry. I grew up thinking that everyone had to eat three meals a day and this thinking led me to consume more than my body needed.
The second part of my wilderness journey is Yoga. While I continue to walk 1.3 miles in the evening, I have added daily yoga sessions either in the morning or afternoon. Asana Rebel is the app I use to access these sessions and I am loving it. This is uncharted territory for me as I have never done Yoga. My form sucks and it isn’t easy but I’m learning. And, I’ve already lost 2lbs.
Once you’ve entered the “wilderness” the most valuable thing you can do to stick with your goals, is to track and/or write them down as well as how and when you plan to take action. This simple step holds you accountable to a purposed plan.
Now all you have to do is complete and repeat. Simple, right??? Before you know it, new habits are formed and the pull to leave the “wilderness” and return to what was once comfortable and easy disappears.
Personally, I like to set some easy goals for myself to begin with because I love the sense of accomplishment that comes with finishing or completing a goal. That feeling drives me to tackle the next thing and move it to “to-done”!
Here are some tips that I find helpful:
- Know your goal
- Manage your time
- Track your progress
- Be realistic with expectations
- Use resources, tools and people to help you stay accountable
We all have moments where we lose sight of our goals. Maybe even moments where we don’t even care anymore. That’s okay! You can always start again. It doesn’t matter how many times you start, just don’t quit!
Join me in the “wilderness” journey and let’s keep pursuing our goals throughout the year. And, when it gets hard and comfort calls you, “DON’T GO HOME” to what’s familiar. Keep your focus and let the “wilderness” make you strong.
Best Wishes! Leigh