Words have been few and far between so far in the year of our Lord 2022. For whatever reason, the zeal of setting the goal of 75k was not followed with the same enthusiasm to deliver on that goal.
This is a lesson I learn or don’t learn over and over each year. High ambitions have often leveled off with low achievements. Sure, circumstances and life get in the way. But my wife has an expression that seems poignant in this conversation: if it really means that much to you, you’ll make a way to make it happen.
That brings to light a couple of questions: 1) how much did the goal mean to start with? Maybe a better question is, did I set the right goal? 2) What’s the deeper reason for not going after the goal? This becomes a question of self-perception.
We all have internal narratives, monologues, or dialogues being played out in our brains at all times. The voice will coach you on to the next point in the goal or be the voice of discouragement. It will be the motivation on a cold morning to lace up those expensive running shoes you bought and put in one more mile. It can talk you into one more cup of warm coffee on the couch. It is a voice that can tell you your worth and value and set a desire for you to achieve. Or it is the voice that degrades your repetitive shortcomings at one more failed start.
Here is the secret: you get to choose the voice. That may seem overly simplified because there are real circumstances, situations, and life events that can derail a goal or dream. I admit that.
Yet, as the sporting event with five rings so often narrates in the background of my writing, it is the overcoming that makes the story beautiful. It is pushing through the difficulty. It is enduring hardship. It is looking down the barrel of fear and saying take your best shot.
Telling Yourself About the Goals You Set
Here is where it begins: a thought. (Let’s be honest, this is me coaching myself as much as it is coaching you.) In a moment of honest reflection, as my personal counselor would ask me, I will ask you – what are you telling yourself? Specifically, what are you telling yourself about the goal you set, the resolution you made, about the dream in your heart?
Is it the voice of an encourager telling you you can do it. Tell you to push a little more. Challenging you to get up and workout, sit down and write, save one more dollar. Or is that voice the echo of years of failed goals that says “you did it again, you let yourself down?”
As you can tell, I am an expert in both voices. The truth remains, you get to choose the voice. Granted, it is difficult to quiet the noise of the negative voice, but when you can begin to coach yourself toward where you want to go in life, you will mile by mile, pound by pound, word by word achieve your goals. It happens little by little with a constant, consistent, persistent go after it attitude.
Re-do the resolutions. This time choose the voice you will follow. Resolve again and go after it.
Jeff Pitts is a church planter in Cleveland, TN. He loves his family, coffee, and NEEDTOBREATHE.