Some people call it February. I call it the month where all New Year’s Resolutions Go To Die. It’s a longer name and it doesn’t really fit on the date fields on the forms at the doctor’s office, but I think it’s more accurate.

Year after year, I would set goals, start with a bang, spend a small fortune on all the “necessary” gear to help me reach those goals and then BAM…February hits and everything slowly or not so slowly falls apart.

This year has been different for me, though. February is approaching and I’m still going strong with my goals. I’m getting more and more excited about them each day and choosing to start fresh each day, regardless of whether the previous day was a “success” or a “failure”.

I’m confident this is the year that February will be where my goals go to thrive, and I have one simple daily action and two simple daily questions to thank for this turnaround.

So how do we redeem our goals and the reputation of an innocent month?

How To Redeem Your Goals

Here are three simple things that have had a profound effect on me this year: one daily action and two questions I try to ask myself throughout the day.

1. Choose Excuses or Stories
He thought it was all over. His athletic career and all his dreams were done. After all, how can you play basketball, a sport that relies heavily on peripheral vision and depth perception, when you only have one working eye?

Isaiah Austin was discouraged, but his mother was the strength he needed, and she challenged him with what is now my favorite quote of the year. She said to him,

“You have a choice. You can make this your excuse or you can make this your story.”

Wow. What a powerful, powerful statement.

He decided to make it his story and the Baylor University player is now one of the top players in the nation.  His excuse story has been plastered all over ESPN and sports websites for weeks, inspiring everyone who hears it…including me.

Now, when I face an obstacle in my journey toward my goals, I ask that question, “Will I make this my excuse, or will I make it my story?”

What about you? What obstacles have stopped you? What choice will you make?

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2. Write Your Goals Down Daily
This one has been huge for me. I started writing out my goals each day. Yep, each and every morning. I’d already been writing out books of the Bible (don’t be impressed, I just write a few verses each day) and that habit has been revolutionary in my life.

I figured writing out my goals daily would be just as helpful, keep them at the top of my mind, and allow me to refine them each day. It has been a powerful practice for me. It does take some time, about 15-20 minutes (I have a paragraph or so for each area of my life – Faith, Personal, Family and Work), but it has well been worth it.

When we commit to goals and fall behind, it’s easy to just stuff them under a pile of papers. Knowing this, I never committed to my goals this year, but I did commit to writing them out each day. It’s hard to hide from your goals when they are there to greet you every single morning.

3. Make The Ultimate Decision
The final bit of inspiration that has helped me to persevere in my goals this year is a quote I read recently:

“Discipline is choosing between what you want now and what you want more.” – Unknown

When I want to hit my snooze button, I ask myself, “Am I choosing what I want now or what I want more?”

When my kids ask me to play a game at the end of a long day, I ask myself, “What do I want now and what do I want more?”

Answering that simple question is like a jolt of clarity and self discipline.

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Jump Start Your Resolutions

So if you want to jump start your resolutions and make 2014 the year that your life changed, try these three things:

  1. Write down your goals in a notebook every single day. Review and refine them as you write.
  2. Ask yourself if your obstacles will be your excuse or your story.
  3. Ask yourself if what you are choosing is what you want now or what you want more.

Come on friends… This could be the year that your life transforms. This could be the year when all of your excuses become stories that inspire others.

You’ve got this. You can do this. Now, go be awesome. {fist bump}

Which of these actions will you begin? What is one excuse that you want to make your story?