In describing the Christian faith as a race, Paul says, "Straining towards what is ahead, I press on towards the goal." The word for goal is a word used to describe the finish line. In other words, it's the destination, the direction, the aim of the race. Paul says something similar in 1 Cor. 9:26 when he again compares the Christian faith to a race. He says, "I don't run aimlessly" (Without a direction or purpose). He knows where he is trying to get, and he aims for that.
Change is hard. Breaking old patterns, old habits can be hard. Developing new habits, new ways of thinking and doing can be hard. We need God's grace. We need grit and determination, but we also need goals. It's infinitely harder to get where you need to go if you don't know where you are going. Studies show that we are 10 times more likely to make the changes we want if we set some goals. I want to encourage you to do just that when it comes to keeping up practices you've tried during this series on spiritual disciplines. Set a few goals for daily, weekly, monthly, or even yearly practices.