As I watched a football game with my husband last weekend, I suddenly realized it was the fourth quarter with not much time remaining. The score was lopsided (thankfully in favor of my husband’s alma mater), and there was seemingly no way the other team could catch up. As it turned out, they weren’t able make the necessary goals to close the gap and lost the game.
Often, something similar happens with personal goals. Perhaps you started January with lofty goals and determination, but now, in the final quarter of the year, realization dawns that you haven’t accomplished nearly what you hoped to and the gap is wide between time remaining and the amount of work necessary.
Following are some strategies to reboot determination and get back on track with goals before year end:
Sometimes, we establish goals for ourselves that are far-reaching. We’re jazzed about a new year and include more than we can reasonably accomplish on a to-do list. Now, is a good time to reassess goals and see what needs to be pushed forward and what can be accomplished by the end of the year. Don’t beat yourself up if you haven’t lost those ten pounds or finished that project. Instead, honestly assess what needs to be done to make your goals happen and determine what is involved in seeing them through.
Most of the time we don’t reach goals because obstacles stand in the way. Maybe you don’t have a crucial piece of information you need or the necessary tools or supplies. What is stopping you from attaining those? Lack of time, money, or determination? Fear of failure? Knowing the job is complex? Laziness? Figure out what is holding you back, take steps to eliminate deterrents, and regain forward motion.
For me, I’ve procrastinated because I know a particular task is complex. I’ve done it before and I remember the challenges. The fact that I completed it last time should spur me on. Until now, I’ve dreaded the complexity and delayed diving in, but in recent days, I took the first step, and that propelled momentum. What first step can you take to get back on track?
Anyone with even minimal computer experience knows the term “reboot.” In order to reboot, you have to turn off the computer, wait a prescribed amount of time, and then turn on the computer again. Often, after I turn off the computer, I go do something else for a while to recover from my frustration. When I return, I usually have a better attitude.
Sometimes, it’s a good idea to step away from what has become a giant unfulfilled goal or monster project and come at it from a different direction with a new perspective. Start fresh. Don’t get rid of previous notes or work, but put those aside for now and let your mind come up with a new approach. While you may encounter the same roadblocks, perhaps this time you can find an alternate route. Renewed effort and a fresh plan may be just what you need to catapult you to completion.
Renewed effort and a fresh plan may be just what you need to catapult you to completion.
When armies are fighting a battle, they bring in reinforcements when the fight drags on and injury or fatigue threaten defeat. Your goal or project may require reinforcements. Perhaps you need to brainstorm with those who have more knowledge or experience, or you need an accountability partner to push you to stay on task. Enlisting reinforcements doesn’t signal inadequacy, rather shows wisdom in recognizing you need help to propel you forward.
Have you ever rooted a plant from a cutting? I remember my grandmother patiently rooting plants. She made a slanted cut and then dipped the cutting in something to enhance root growth before placing it in water or dirt. People said she had a “green thumb,” but more than anything she had the patience to see the process through.
Do you need to do some rerooting? For me, rerooting always means going back to my spiritual roots and reminding myself where my strength lies, not in self, but in God’s power and provision. Rerooting spiritually also means spending time in prayer, asking for direction, wisdom, insight, and an infusion of creativity. By tapping into God’s power and presence, I can assess if my goals are within His plan and move forward with wisdom and renewed determination. How about you? Do you need to reroot spiritually to finish the year strong?
“Whatever you do, do it wholeheartedly as though you were working for your real master and not merely for humans.” Colossians 3:23 GW
Candy Arrington is a writer, blogger, speaker, and freelance editor. She often writes on tough topics with a focus on moving beyond difficult life circumstances. Candy has written hundreds of articles, stories, and devotionals published by numerous outlets including: Inspiration.org, Arisedaily.com, CBN.com, Healthgrades.com, Care.com, Focus on the Family, NextAvenue.org, CountryLiving.com, and Writer’s Digest. Candy’s books include When Your Aging Parent Needs Care (Harvest House) and AFTERSHOCK: Help, Hope, and Healing in the Wake of Suicide (B&H Publishing Group).
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