From Goal to Habit to Pattern of Living

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new year's resolutions


It’s a brand new year! Happy 2019 everyone!

If you are like me, you have made one or two resolutions for the New Year. Will they stick? I have had success and failures at making resolutions like “I will floss everyday!” or “I will spend more time in the Word of God” or “We will add unit study fun to our schoolwork” or “I will get a handle on my anger.”

Some of these resolutions have become patterns of living.

I want to share with you some practical ways to set goals that become habits and eventually patterns of living.


Is God in This?

I have a million dreams in my head of who I want to be: fit, trim, brilliant, the perfect teacher, the perfect mother, the perfect wife.

But what is God’s heart for me? To know His will, I dive into His Word, learning that God teaches me that my body is a temple of the Holy Spirit (flossing), I am called to meditate on God’s Word night and day (Bible reading), my children should be taught in the way they should go incisively and not exasperated (unit studies) and I am to rid myself of anger and in my anger, not sin (anger).

Having a biblical foundation for my goals, gives me confidence that He will help me.


Make Goals Measurable

Now I can make goals. One thing I’ve learned is to make goals measureable and realistic. Instead of “spending more time in the Word,” I will make a goal of “Spending 15 minutes reading the Bible every morning.”

I realize to “get a handle on my anger,” I will need to press into the Lord and let him teach me to control my anger His way. So my first goal may be a Word study on anger and memorizing Scriptures.

For unit studies, my goal might be “one hands-on activity” each week that goes along with our history lesson. Once I meet that goal, I will take it further. You see, I was too scared to switch to unit studies all at once, so we started with adding hands-on fun and doing Christmas unit studies.



Build the Habit

Once I make measurable goals, I begin.

God is for me not against me. He will help me to be faithful if I draw from His strength.

Time to be real: I am not a self-controlled person. I always need God to help me when I am trying to build new habits. I wish I had tons of discipline, but on the bright side, it has brought me closer to the Lord.

I like to start small and build. For example, I start with reading the Bible 5 minutes a day and build up to 30 minutes over a years’ time. That way I don’t crash and burn.


When I Blow It

If you are like me, and I hope you’re not, the early weeks will be full of more failure than success. However, I just refuse to give up.

I figure out why I blew it. Maybe I did a super-involved project the first week and then I wasn’t motivated anymore with unit study fun. Okay, now I will start with something really simple and keep it simple so I won’t be overwhelmed.

Perseverance is key to building up habit, so no matter how many times you blow it, don’t give up!


Enjoying My New Way of Life

Over a long period of time, habits become patterns in your life. You don’t have to think about saying a quick prayer instead of exploding or coming up with a fun way to bring a school lesson alive, it’s just part of how you live your life. This makes all the perseverance worth it!


DG: The Secret to Success podcast

Get in Shape Spiritually for the New Year podcast

Until next time, Happy Homeschooling,


Meredith Curtis


Meredith Curtis, homeschooling mom, writer, speaker, and publisher, loves to encourage families in their homeschooling adventure. She is the author of Economics, Finances, and Business course for high school and HIS Story of the 20th Century. You can check out her books, curricula, unit studies, and Bible studies at Free Reading Lists for all ages are available at Read her blogs at ( and and listen to her at Finish Well Radio




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"Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it" (Proverbs 22:6).