You ever have a list of items that you wrote down but somehow forgot to bring with you as you go on to work so you try to remember it all day long – milk, eggs, cheese, spinach, butter pecan ice cream. You repeat this list in your head all day. It pops up in your head every few hours as you go about your day until you get to the store and forget everything on the list except the butter pecan ice cream you’ve been craving? Oh, only me? Well, this type of memory loss is the thing that keeps a lot of us from actually completing the goals we set out to do! We write those nice intentions down somewhere nice. Maybe on that cool vision board that is now in the corner of your bedroom gathering dust, or in that cute journal you said you were going to use this year but never really got consistent with it.
Our goals, like that list we forgot to bring to work, become little nagging things that we remember randomly, get guilty about, and go on a three week stint (if we go that long) where we are eating right and doing all the things only to forget again as life takes over. We’re constantly nagged by their incompleteness but never making any progress with them. So, what’s the solution to this? How do we make our goals more than passing thoughts that come in and nag us from time to time?
Win by Practice!
I “win by practice” through creating daily practices that help me remember my goals! These daily practices are incorporated into my daily life and cause me to make real progress on the things that are important to me!
“Instead, I discipline my body and bring it under strict control so that after preaching to others, I myself will not be disqualified.”1 Corinthians 9:27, CSB
Winning by practice involves creating daily disciplines that help you move your goal towards reality. One major type of practice is routine building! Building routines create cycles that help commit actions to something a bit deeper. Once a routine is ingrained in your mind it will work like clockwork! This type of memory is called procedural memory. Think about it- when you drive are you actually thinking about driving? No! You get in the car and you know what to do! You don’t think- “put key in ignition, turn key away from you”- you just get in and get to it! Creating routines that you repeat daily pushes it down into your procedural memory and hitting your goals just becomes a part of life!
If you’re curious, one routine I have is a morning routine! It helps me execute two goals and move further in two of my life principles- relationship with God and health and wellness! That’s how I win by practice every single day!