This Lent, try this strategy:
- Be very specific. Don’t merely say, “I want to pray more or I want to lose weight.” Say, “I want to add 10 minutes more prayer time every day” or “I want to lose 20 pounds.”
- When mapping out a strategy also be very specific. HOW will you pray more every day? (I will say the rosary or I will stop by the Church on my way to work). HOW will you lose weight? (I will use an exercise program such as P90X or join a gym).
- What results do you want to have? If you lose the extra weight what will you do to maintain it? If you have made a resolution to get your career on track, what will you do with the promotion or extra money?
- In mapping out your goal, what are the SWOT? What are the strengths associated with achieving your desired goal? What are the weaknesses (i.e., what do you have to give up to achieve it)? What opportunities might arise as a result of your goal? Who or what may be a hindrance to achieving your goal? For example, you have decided to add more prayer time to your life. Your goal is to pray an additional 10 minutes per day. You decide to use the Rosary as your means of prayer. As a result of praying 10 minutes per day, you will find yourself closer to God, calmer, less stressed and more of the person God wants you to be. The strength is you will become holier and some of your bad habits and sins will go away. A potential weakness is that you may find the rosary to be boring or that you won’t see results of your prayer right away. An opportunity that may arise is the potential for seeing people in a different light. Some threats to your goal may be boredom, time constraints, people may try to dissuade you from your goal, as you get closer to God in prayer, the devil may attack you more.
- Even if you don’t fully achieve your goal, the grace is that you made a decision and have attempted to follow through on it. Perhaps it wasn’t the right goal for you at this time. You may want to revisit it later.
- If you do achieve your goals, continue making others.