As the New Year begins, it is usually a time for people to start new plans, goals or make “resolutions”.  Some want to lose weight, kick a habit or start a new endeavor.

I guess the New Year is a good time to start with a new slate.  It is the “official” starting time to do whatever it is you want to do.  The question is do you know what you want to do?  Or better yet, do you know in what direction you are heading?

Yes, it is easy to say I am going to lose weight this year or I am going to learn a new language or I am going to go back to school.  Yet, it is not so easily done.  What makes us think that we can accomplish any of these goals just because it is a new year?  Are the same reasons that kept us from achieving these goals in the past still present?  If so, we must identify them so we do not sit idly by, watching days, weeks, and eventually a year pass by.

If your roadblock is procrastination (for many of us it is), then you need to set mini goals each day to keep you moving in the right direction.  Let’s use losing weight as an example.  Perhaps your goal is to lose 20 pounds.  First we must right down our goal.  Next you need a visual aid, so you can see where you are headed.  You can use a goal chart and set up little rewards for certain milestones achieved.  You must decide how to get going – whether it be eating differently each day or exercise. The key is to do something that is realistic and that you will like.  If you set unrealistic goals then, you will get easily discouraged.

Next you need to eliminate anything that is not moving you toward your goal.  If you know that as soon as your turn on the television, you will be glued to it until you go to bed, then don’t turn it on.  You will be surprised at how much time you gain from not sitting in front of the television for hours.  Again, there is no need to go cold turkey, just start small by eliminating 30 minutes or 1 hour of television each day.  Another time consumer is reading.  Yes, reading.  Often times people are consumed by books and again spend hours reading and then have no time to do anything else.  Too much of anything is not good for you.

Once you have gotten the “excuses” out of your path, your focus should be clear.  However, you may need help to keep you moving forward once you have started toward your goal.  That could be a positive friend or family member that can keep you motivated when you start to waiver.   It could be a motivational quote or Bible verse that you meditate upon when obstacles arise.  Whatever your source of strength and encouragement, make sure you have it before you get moving.

Now I know there are many pieces of information out there on “how to do”.  They tell you the tools you need (and have to buy in most cases) and the time it will take you to complete the task or goal.  However, I find that they leave out one important thing – direction.  They do not know in what direction you are headed.  They do not know if you have backtracked several times or are moving sideways because you are afraid to move forward but you know you cannot move backwards.  There is only one person that knows in what direction you are moving – you.  That is the same person that has to have the will to keep moving in the right direction and determination to stay focused on the goal.  Remember you are not on a trip; you are on the journey of your life.  Set your course and do not let anything deter you from your purpose.  Naturally, there will be detours and breakdowns along the way, but you are not running a race, you are living your life!  Live it with purpose and direction and you can accomplish what you set out to do.