I started this month by intending to write about how rhythms are way more critical than resolutions, an idea which when realized, is the simplest step to following through on those New Year’s promises that you make to yourself. Simplest step, but not necessarily the easiest.
Naturally, you can’t just proclaim to the sky that you’ll make sure to do this or that, you need to follow up your brief stint of motivation with intentional action and discipline when that driving force slips away in a few days. It needs more than a strategy, it needs dedicated effort. And that was an interesting revelation for me. See, I’m a strategy enthusiast which means I think in terms of making a plan, for pretty much everything. Following that plan is easiest when I lock in certain habits and rituals that help me achieve baby steps along the way.
And that’s all well and good, but it takes more than just a plan. It takes action. It takes discipline. It takes follow-through. It takes time. It takes patience. And though I could go on, I realized that a lot of people simply don’t have those traits, lacking in some key personal development departments which drive change. So they never will.
So I thought to myself, “Well, you can’t just sit there and take it. What’s the move? How do you improve? How do you teach yourself to follow through?”
Then it hit me in church this past Sunday. The pastor was talking about the ways in which people felt they could get to Heaven. A survey was done and some of the answers included reading the bible, going to church, following the golden rule, etc., but at the end he told a story about being lost in Indiana looking for the University and when he stopped for directions, a man said to him, “Turn right, go straight, follow the signs.” The pastor went on to say that sentence is a lot like trying to get into Heaven. That got me thinking how life has a funny way of showing us what path we are on and if we are headed in the right direction.
So what? Well, say you have a destination in mind or in this case a resolution or a goal you are trying to reach. And while you may not have the ability to plan out every single strategic step, you most likely know the first few. If you can take those, you can start to follow the signs and figure out if you are going in the right direction. Once you are, creating a simple rhythm to hold yourself accountable is key to sustained success. But you might not necessarily know what that rhythm is at the beginning, you might not know where the signs are that lead you to your goal. That’s fine, but standing still won’t reveal them. You have to start walking. And most importantly you have to KEEP walking.
At Pulse Group, the team meets Quarterly in a meeting we call Mapped to review our yearly goals and check in on progress. We also check every other Monday morning as a team to make sure we are on the same page. These simple intentional choice meetings are the reason I believe we all stay in sync and motivated by the big picture. And on the days between meetings, we follow the rhythms that we laid out to ensure that we keep going even when we don’t want to.
What path are you on this year?