Well, another year is about to pass and we are about to enter into a new year.
Of course, this is the time when many people are making plans. Some plans involve shopping for Christmas presents, while others may be engaged in making New Year's resolutions as they prepare for the year ahead.
This is indeed noteworthy, because if we fail to plan, then we are planning to fail. If we do not see the need to set goals for our lives, we will not find ourselves living our dreams. After all, success is a matter of knowing what you want, determining how much you desire that goal, making a plan of how you intend to get where you are going, and then heading in that direction, staying with it persistently, diligently, until your achieve it.
While I do believe in planning for the year and years ahead, it is a proven fact that many of us make the same resolutions year after year, because we failed to accomplish and reach our goals the year before. Some people even give up making New Year's resolutions for that very reason. They are tired of making plans and failing to reach them.
But giving up is not the answer.
I believe that goals are achievable. And I know this by experience, my own as well as that of others. Most people do not reach their goals and dreams because they quit too soon. They give up after a short time of trying, thinking that they are getting nowhere. But we must remember that the world was not created in one day. It takes time to get ahead.
It actually takes a word that many of us have yet to comprehend. It is the word "DILIGENCE."
I can imagine some of you asking, "What is that?" Well, I am glad you asked. The word "diligence" means "to give constant, careful, steady effort towards a desired goal until it is accomplished."
This is the reason many people make goals but never achieve them. They are not constant. They are not consistent. To be consistent means "to keep at it." A diligent person is a very focused person who refuses to procrastinate and be lazy. This type of person does not just make plans and expect them to come to pass without effort on his or her part.
No, the diligent person is a go-getter. And if we desire to reach our goals and dreams we will have to make a firm decision that from this point on, we will be go-getters. We will go after what we desire and will not stop or quit until we have attained it.
Your goals may be spiritual. You may desire to walk closer to the Lord. Then again, your goals can be physical. You may desire to get your body in shape, or to lose some weight. Perhaps you may have goals of a financial manner. Maybe you want a house to call your own and need the down-payment. Then again, perhaps your goals are a combination of all of these.
I set spiritual goals, educational goals, physical goals, financial goals and family goals. All of these are important. Write down your goals. Now, write them clearly and make them as plain as possible. Then write down how you intend on reaching them. You must make your goals do-able if you plan on achieving them. Someone has even suggested that you set timelines on them.
Then get to work. I encourage you to make your goals as do-able as possible, and to make the action steps to achieving them as workable as you can so that you can begin implementing them immediately. If you are to reach them you must learn to MASTER PROCRASTINATION.
Focus on the objective, on what you are after and get after it. Now the key to getting there again is that when you begin going after your goals, you will need to diligently stay after them. You will have to learn to persevere. Just think for a moment: If you had continued to save $30 per month all this year, how much money would you have right now? How much would you have in five years, then 10 years?
Suppose you had continued walking, working out and making better eating choices? How much weight would you have lost by now? And suppose you had continued reading those chapters of your Bible in your quest to read through the Scriptures this year? You probably would have been near finished and ready to begin again.
You see, the power is not just in starting. It is in continuing. It is in staying steady. It is in remaining focus and keeping at it even when you do not feel like it.
Well, this year is coming quickly to a close and another one is about to begin. It will come with its share of challenges. But by exercising diligence and steadfastness you are going to reach your goals this time. For you will be consistent. And you will persevere. And you will find out the truth that when you refuse to cave in and give up, success is inevitable.
Sheldon D. Newton is the best-selling author of "DILIGENCE, THE MASTER KEY TO ACHIEVING YOUR DREAMS."