Focusing on What is Ahead

I woke up on January 1st ready to take on the New Year. I grabbed my copy of Jesus Calling and opened to the first entry.

“Come to me with a teachable spirit, eager to be changed”

I am eager!  Are you? Are you excited and optimistic for this new year to be even better than 2011?  Are you feeling pessimistic? Not sure if you can do it, if you can meet that goal, succeed in your weight loss, maintain your new healthy habits, or afraid you will fail, again?  I often feel that way too.

There was another line in that first entry that really got my attention:

“Do not cling to old ways as you step into a new year. Instead, seek My face with an open mind knowing that your journey with Me involves being transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

 

For 2012 my one word is FOCUS

I will focus on what’s ahead and not look back at my previous attempts and failures. Focus on my goals every.single.day.

Looking forward is like looking at a clean fresh palette.  There are no flaws, no messy smears, tears or mistakes.  Many of us look at a new year as an opportunity for a new start, and I think that’s a great thing.  What’s even better is looking at each day as a fresh start!  His mercies are new every morning. Every morning!!  Phew! What a relief, because the M&M’s I ate last night were sure making me feel pretty guilty this morning!  I’m so thankful for new mercies!

If I look back it’s kind of like looking at the war grounds, messy and not motivating at all.  It’s discouraging and makes me feel defeated. Why do we do this to ourselves?

So this year I will be focusing on looking ahead, towards possibilities and progress.  I’ll remember that my journey involves being transformed by the renewing of my mind.  It is so very easy to get distracted and lose focus of your goals, so today I’m sharing a few tips to help you along the way.

5 Ways to Stay Focused on Your Goal:

1. Pray daily for focus

Prayer, the most powerful tool we have, is often overlooked or under-valued.  Psalm 55:22 “Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.”

2. Surround yourself with MOTIVATION

Print out quotes that motivate you.  Put notes of encouragement up throughout the house.  Subscribe to blogs or podcasts that encourage you. I have a photo of myself at a lighter weight – yes, one of those laying-on-the-beach-in-a-bikini-photos.  This photo reminds me that YES I CAN look great again!  I may never be a size 10 again, like I was in that photo, but it still encourages me and motivates me.  This photo is taped in the front of my weight-loss journals and I look at it every single morning.

3. Write it down

Write a list of “Whys”.  Write down why you want to achieve this goal.  Instead of having your focus simply be “lose 30 lbs” start a list of WHY you want to lose that weight.  What will losing the weight allow you to do?  How will that change your life or make you feel?  How will achieving this goal benefit your marriage, your family, your career?  Keep this list where you can easily see it and take time each morning to look it over and pray about it.

4. Setup “mini-goals” with incentives along the way  

Say your goal is to lose 30 lbs.  Set up mini goals: Lose 5 lbs, Lose 15 lbs, Fit in my size 18 jeans, run a 5 K, go 30 days without a soda, etc.  These mini-goals can be whatever you’d like, but each should have a reward.  Some ideas for rewards could be, get a manicure, go to a movie, a new smaller-sized outfit, etc.  Whatever your goals are try not to make food a reward, for many of us struggling with our weight food-rewards can be a trigger.

5. Accountability

Find someone you can check in on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.  There is strength is numbers. The MLG Forum is a great place to start, have you joined yet?

 

What helps you to focus on your goal?