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One Simple Trick to Stick With That Goal You’ve Set

One simple trick to actually follow through with that goal you made

I was listening to the Read Aloud Revival podcast about Starting a Reading Streak a few days ago. Sarah encouraged her listeners to print this nifty free calendar and hang it somewhere conspicuous to remind yourself to read aloud to your children every day — even if just for a few minutes.

I promptly printed the calendar and stuck it on our fridge. Not only because I really am committed to doing a better job of reading aloud to my kids this year, but also because I love checking things off.

That love of checking things off stems back to my childhood. My mom made chore lists and achievement lists for us in various areas — when we were toddlers and getting potty-trained, a chart to check off how many times we brushed our teeth every day when we were a little older, and so on.

Little white boxes on a piece of paper hung in a can’t-miss place beckon me to actually do stuff and follow through with stuff, not just set goals and then forget about them.

Maybe you’re the same way? If so, I encourage you to choose one goal for this year that’s highly important to you. It could be anything that you feel will make a lasting difference to improve your life and/or the lives of those you love.

Here are some examples:

  • writing 200 words each day
  • exercising for 15 minutes
  • reading 5 pages from a book every day
  • eating a big salad every day
  • working for 10 minutes on a foreign language
  • spending 20 minutes on a craft project
  • investing 15 minutes in playing with your children

There are so many great ideas I could list, but you must just choose one thing. Decide on that one thing, keep it simple, and then commit to follow through with it every day by printing out the mini calendar and checking off each day that you hit your goal.

We’re only three days into the new year, but the constant reminder of that calendar on my fridge has served to motivate me to make reading aloud with my kids — even just for a few minutes — a priority each of those three days. I’m excited to see how many days long our reading streak will continue for!

Want to join me? Choose a goal, print the calendar, and then leave a comment here letting us know what goal you chose!

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25 Comments

  • Amy says:

    My goal is to read a few pages or more from a book everyday. I’ve heard of this before referred to as a chain. The goal is to try to keep the chain of x’s going everyday without breaking it.

  • My goal is to have my work from my clerical position, ETSY, and blogging business finished by 6pm daily; some nights I am working or reviewing items until the wee hours of the morning! I hope this will have been getting eight hours of sleep for the first time in years! Good luck, everyone!

  • K says:

    After being in a dance group in college & hearing “walk on your toes” all the time, I’ve walked on my toes ever since. This has resulted in VERY tight calves on the treadmill. So, my goal is to “do a 30 second calf stretch every time I’m in the bathroom” & pre & post treadmill, to get those heels down & walk heel-toe like normal people do. The calendar’s on a clip board in the BR right now! 🙂

  • Hi, Crystal.

    I was so thrilled to see a link to our calendar from your site! I’m a big fan of yours and have read all your books. One of my goals this year is to write a (snail mail) letter every day this year, and I’m using the year-at-a-glance calendar to track my progress on that, too!

    Blessings on your new year!
    Jennifer Flanders

  • Lori in NC says:

    Doing a simple chart with ‘morning,’ ‘afternoon’ and ‘evening’ columns. Date listed on each line at the left. And open “bubbles” for each day. I fill in the “bubble” when I soak my foot (which I must do 3x/day for the next month). This is helping me to be motivated since it’s on my desk and my kids will “check it” to see if I’m on track! (something I would normally be doing to them.)

  • Jen says:

    Great idea, Crystal! Thank you so much for sharing it with us. Anything that keeps me accountable is great! 🙂 I will be using this strategy for my main goal this year which is reading the Bible daily and reading through the whole thing in one year.

  • Melissa says:

    I downloaded a free app that helps me “check off the boxes each day!” I can keep track of my workouts, water intake, and meals eaten. It’s only checking off boxes, nothing else to input! It will even text me a reminder to hydrate when it’s been a while since my last entry. Who knew checking boxes could be so rewarding!

  • Tia Robertson says:

    I am choosing to do a full Zumba workout every M-T-Th-Fr-Sat. I didn’t purchase the kit until today, so I am two days behind, but I can’t wait to get started in the morning!

  • Sarah says:

    I’m using this one to help break and make some habits this year. Its similar but has 3 spaces and goes for 100 days. My biggest goal? To finally quit drinking soda completely! Thank you, crystal, for all of your inspiration and guidance for goals and routines. http://www.aholyexperience.com/2011/01/how-to-begin-a-new-year/

  • Thank you for this encouragement, Crystal. I love the mini-calendar, too. I have mine printed off and a goal set. 🙂

  • Theresa L says:

    Work on a craft project of some sort every day. I really love it, but just don’t make the time for it. I need to, though. It gives me refreshment, if that makes sense and I get great things to give as gifts!

    DH and I leave for a short vacation tomorrow. I’ll start after we get back next week.

  • Becky says:

    I’m probably going to go with the daily crafting, too. Making things keeps me sane. Though I know I’ll miss a few days in the summer–I don’t have a problem sitting down to make things right now, but I’d really like to be able to make sure I keep doing it after my first baby arrives!

  • Alexa says:

    I am doing this too! I’ve had an e-book a quarter of the way finished for close to a year. My goals is to write 500 words a day on the e-book for the next 30 days. Going to print out the calendar and hang it on my fridge 🙂

  • Melissa says:

    I just printed off a couple of these so that I can set a daily goal along with my 3 kiddos – not sure what they will decide to be their goals, but my goal for each day this year is to take 5 minutes to just sit, be still, breath…no phone, no computer, not even a book to read…just me & God & the space around me (I might let my kiddos snuggle me during that time, but I really want to focus on just “being” for 5 minutes each day for my sanity & health)

  • Mary McCarthy says:

    Would love to know about the app too, but I think the calendar on the fridge will probably work the best!

  • Michelle Owings-Christian says:

    Good morning! I’m a bit late to this party — I am taking Crystal’s “Make Over Your Mornings” class, and got here that way. It’s mid June. I have made a goal to write in my Journal EVERY DAY. I also love checking things off (one thing that just isn’t the same when using electronic tools)! So — there you have it. I have been writing in my journal every day since I started the class 6 days ago. This goal is one that I can keep through vacation this summer, because it does not require me to be connected to the Internet. I am traveling several times this summer to places where I will NOT be connected. I have printed the daily calendar, and will be happy to check things off! Have a wonderful day!

  • This is great and so simple. We actually have multiple calendars for this purpose. Being home all day with nothing to truly mark a change in activity these calendars are a blessing.
    This year even more so since I set some very high goals for 2016. Including blogging daily, eliminating soda from my diet, saving $5,000-$10,000 while paying off growing medical bills on one salary and a laundry list of more. I also printed a visible goal saving chart to hang next to our goal calendars.

    Thank you for always being an inspiration Crystal.

  • Renee says:

    Do we have a 2016 calendar like this? 🙂

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