How to Accomplish Your Big Goals

     Want to read the Bible in a year? Train for a marathon? Cook more often? Study more effectively?

     There's a solution to finally conquering that big goal you have. Daily habits.

     Daily habits are the backdrop of my life. They direct my days and help me get enough rest at night.
      First of all, I want to say that my habits aren't the best or only way to do things. Make your own habits. I just use my own as examples. :)

     All that just by starting new habits and breaking old ones using these tips:

  1. Start small. Brushing your teeth after every meal. Changing into real pajamas (not soccer shorts and a holey t-shirt) before bed every night. Making a smoothie every morning for breakfast instead of no breakfast. These are all little things, but they will make a huge impact on your quality of life.
  2. The “Don’t Go to Bed” Rule. This isn’t what it sounds like. The rule helps you get things done daily. For example, I never go to sleep without reading my Bible. Every night when I get tired, it’s a memory trigger—have I spent time hearing from God through His Word today? And I don’t go to sleep until I have. Same with brushing and flossing. Even if I can be sloppy about it during the day, every night I brush and floss.
  3. First thing habits. First thing habits are the first things you do in a day. Having an established “wake up” plan helps me accomplish lots of things: I go to the bathroom, take out my retainer, and fix a glass of lemon water. Then I return to my bedroom to read my Bible while drinking the lemon water. This routine orients my day and gets it kicked off just right for me.
  4. Have a place for everything. Show me any random object in our home, and I can tell you where it is supposed to go. The left drawer of my desk is for personal and random papers. The right drawer is for school-related paperwork. Board games go in the coat closet. My comb goes in our one bathroom drawer. Shoes go in a holder on the back of my closet door. Etc. etc. etc Putting things in their place is a habit that will help you so much through college and adult life.
  5. Know exactly what you’re going to wear. This summer, I wrote down my “summer uniform” plan, and I stuck to it. It saved me so much time every morning.
Monday: Blue shirt and grey shorts.
Tuesday: “Happy” shirt and white shorts.
Wednesday: Grey shirt and white shorts.
Thursday: T-shirt and jean shorts.
Friday: “Hello Friday” shirt and pink shorts.
Saturday: Yellow shirt and grey shorts.
Sunday: Church clothes, then later a t-shirt and grey lounge pants.
  1. Do some things all the time. I realized I wanted to wear a ring more often, so I started wearing it and never took it off. At first it was uncomfortable when I slept with it on, but now I hardly notice it. I get so many more compliments on it, and it dresses up every outfit.
  2. Challenge yourself. Once you have daily habits down, try reading a book in a week by reading two chapters a day. Or regulate new habits with your old ones. For example, if I was trying to study flashcards more, I could study them while I drank my morning lemon water and in the evening while I brushed my teeth. In this way, I can work new habits in around old ones.
    Daily habits become just that: habits. So make sure you are intentional in what you start doing habitually. It might just change your life.

     You’ll get to doing them so fast, so well, and so regularly that you can start training for a marathon or take a spontaneous trip to visit your best friend or start a blog. I don’t know what your dream is, but you can chase it by first chasing down your habits.

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