As we get things going in the New Year, I have found myself in reflection, as we all do at this time. The key questions on our minds are – what do we want and what will we do to get it?

If we have been doing this for a while, then we look back to our previous answers to those questions. We look back at our goals and plans from yesteryear. We see what worked and what didn’t, we see where we made progress and where we stalled.

Then we tweak and we move.

In this present cycle, I am coming to realise that sometimes, progress is simply continuing old plans.

If you have done the work to know yourself and craft a purpose for yourself. Then much by way of aim doesn’t change. You know what you want, a fulfilling career, good health, loving relationships, etc.

At the same time, when you first set these goals, you probably thought you could get them done relatively quickly. And sometimes, you can. But often, we overestimate our abilities, and we misjudge the road to our goal. Things usually take much longer than you think.

And that’s pretty cool because, if you are clear about who you are and what you want, you can essentially spend your life pursuing that. You could spend a lot of time executing and refining a plan, over years and decades.

For me, progress in 2024 looks like picking up goals from 2023, from 2022, from 2017, seeing which ones have been achieved and which ones remain untackled. It looks like refining the routine, refreshing the approach, tweaking the strategy, and learning from failure.

It looks like celebrating what has been fixed and looking towards what comes next.

It looks like finally being able to start tackling things that have seemed impossible before.

Refine your systems

The ability to return to my notes and archives after a break and more or less pick up where I left off, is something that always amazes me. That is the power of being organised, of having things in their set place. So when you need to pick up the project again you don’t have to go searching for things. The friction to getting started again is reduced. All you need to do is review the material, load the project onto your mind, and get to work.

This is why we must keep refining and updating our systems. We need to be considered in the way we handle information, keep notes, keep track of resources, organise plans. The ease and effectiveness of our lives depend on the strength of our systems.

It is easy to continue old plans when they are easily accessible.

Embrace the practice

The journey to success is unending. Once one objective is reached, we move to another. The point is perpetual growth, and constant evolution. The point is the journey, not the destination.

We understand that focusing on our systems as opposed to goals is a more effective way to get what we want. Baking the tasks we need to do into our daily routine, and into our way of life allows us to achieve our goals with ease.

In this way, we create a daily texture to our days that keeps us sharp and moving towards our goals. It helps us understand that this is a long process and that we keep weaving the tapestry of our lives, one thread at a time.

So in continuing old plans, we embrace the practice, the day-to-day. Refining our actions, and our rituals. Slowly improving this, slowly improving that.

We embrace the practice in learning, in studying, in practicing…our craft, our roles, our obligations. We seek to make the ‘doing’ always better than the last time. We perpetually improve.

Focus on the goal

Simply practicing is not enough though, we have to be directed. The point is the journey, yes, but the goal gives us focus, it gives us direction, and instruction.

Keep the goal in front of you. Make it lofty.

And pursue it relentlessly, let all your efforts be so directed.

Challenge assumptions

Sometimes we remain stuck, not because of lack of ability, but because of a fault in perspective. Sometimes, all it takes is one shift to make the difference. In prayer, meditation, and journalling, we find the tools to examine ourselves and our views, to tease out insights that unravel the tangled mess of our ambitions by tugging on the strands of perspective.

With these mantras, we can continue to let our moves stack on each other. We can continue to improve, to grow, becoming more capable and more effective.

We can continue our plans and hit heights we never imagined.

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