Home Canadian Army Chaplain’s Corner: STAY ON TARGET

Chaplain’s Corner: STAY ON TARGET

February has arrived. So how are those New Year’s resolutions going?

I suspect that we all know that mid February is when a lot of well-intentioned “new year, new me” goals begin to run into difficulties. Achieving those goals, whether in the areas of fitness and health, personal or professional development, relationships, etc, is often a matter of moving from motivation to discipline, or, to put it another way, from goals to habits. Are we able to continue to put in the work when we hit new obstacles, get new demands, or we just don’t really feel like it any more?

Summarizing Aristotle’s understanding of ethics and happiness, Will Durant writes, “Excellence is an art won by training and habituation.. we are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” (The Story of Philosophy, 1926) Success in achieving our goals, in other words, is about making the work we put into those goals a priority and a routine.

February is often when it can become difficult to continue pressing on so that those new practices become ongoing habits and we will be tempted to give up; whether it’s because we don’t see results, or there are new demands on our time and energy.

It is possible that the goals may need to be adjusted to accommodate the realities of life. Or perhaps we need some additional external help- a friend, a family member, a mentor- to push us to stay on target and build those habits that bring excellence.

Hang in there. Keep putting in the work. Keep doing the hard thing. Stay on target.

By: Captain Graham Ware