Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

If your habits don’t line up with your dream, then you need to either change your habits or change your dream. John C. Maxwell

This is the time of year for setting goals. Many of us have heard of SMART goals, specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. There is another acronym for goals WOOP – wish, outcome, obstacles, and plan.

We often have a vague idea or a specific idea, wish, dream, or goal, and we may know the outcome we want. It is getting from here to there that gets us stuck. We need to take that wish and get that outcome by overcoming obstacles with a step-by-step plan.

We may balk at taking our wish, hope, or prayer and turning it into a concrete goal. This is a step I stayed away from for years. If I made something my goal then I had to come up with a plan. What worked for me was instead of turning thoughts into goals, turn actions into habits.

Once we develop the habit of exercise we may or may not reach the goal of losing what we wanted to lose or end up looking like we hoped to look, but we are exercising and that is better than not exercising.

We may not think of some of the good things in our life as goals, they are habits like brushing our teeth. We don’t think about it anymore we just do it. Exercise can become a habit; it used to be I had gym nights. I knew what I was doing Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday evenings, I was going to the gym, and Thursday was Toastmasters.

Now I do four sun salutations with pushups, plank, and fifty repetitions on an exercise machine. It’s not a lot but it adds up when done daily. I now write 150 words in my third novel as I edit my second one and work on illustrating my second children’s book. It’s not a lot but it keeps my mind percolating every day about where the story will go.

Sometimes we don’t achieve what we want to achieve because we expect too much of ourselves. By expecting less we can do more. Four pushups every day could lead to more, but any of us can find time for four pushups be it early morning, late at night, or somewhere in between.

You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine. John C. Maxwell

Slow and steady can take us places. Often we think slow and small isn’t worth it. What difference will it make, but it will make a lot of difference in our lives if we look after the small things?

We may think we need to rush to reach a goal, but what if it is a life improvement instead of a measurable goal. What if writing 150 words in a personal journal is for your eyes alone? This may be a way to look at your life in a new way; there are many benefits to writing a journal. We can analyze our life, decisions, goals, habits, relationships, and life direction in a journal.

Four pushups per day may start us on a lifetime of healthier living. Four full-body stretches like sun salutations may keep us limber. We may change our diet one day a week or one meal a day, once a week, or even once a month.

There is power in small changes, creating daily habits to sustain the changes we want to make. Once four pushups become a habit it is like brushing our teeth, we don’t think about it we just do it. Journaling can be the same, we can’t wait to write our few words to empty our mind onto the page, write what we are grateful for, or something we’d like to look back on.

Is this the year not to worry about how you want the exercise to make you look, or what size you’d like to wear, but make it a habit that fits into your life so you become a person that exercises regularly? Just like most of us don’t sometimes brush our teeth, we have a routine, we do it every day. We can make creating good habits the goal. Small things we do daily can change our life, and we don’t have to know what they will lead to.

Our habits more than our goals create our life, goals are lofty, we can be proud of them, but habits are where we make things happen by what we do daily.

Depending on what they are, our habits will either make us or break us. We become what we repeatedly do. Sean Covey

In essence, if we want to direct our lives, we must take control of our consistent actions. It’s not what we do that shapes our lives, but what we do consistently. Tory Robbins

Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny. Lao-Tze

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

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