When I was in High School I was fearless. I set goals and I accomplished them regardless of my failures in the process. As a Freshman, I ran for Freshman class Chaplain (It was a Christian school thing). I lost that race to a girl who was later removed from her position for mooning some classmates at a retreat (not a typical Christian school thing). The next year I ran for Sophomore class President and won! Building on that momentum, the year after that I ran for Student Body President and won that one too! I was good at goals and I was better at achieving them.
Something happened in college though. I don’t know if it was that the scope of the goals was changing or if it was the fact that there were so many things I was trying to accomplish I just couldn’t focus on any one of them . Unfortunately, I built on that momentum as well. For years I was goal-less. Oh I wanted to accomplish things, BIG things. I just didn’t know what they were… other than awesome. That formed the foundation for a funk that has taken years to overcome.
A couple of months ago, when I first started running with our Tuesday group, I set a few fitness goals for myself after running the obstacle course a few times
1) To be able to do 10 pull-ups without dropping to the ground for a rest
2) To be able to climb a gym rope with no knots*
3) To complete a set of monkey bars without dropping to the ground. (not playground monkey bars, the ROTC course monkey bars at the local high school)
Goals 2 and 3 got nailed yesterday! Coming from a guy who has been overweight and understrengthed (yeah, I make up words) for about 80% of my life, this is a big deal. It made me realize a something that I have only understood conceptually for a long time: Goals are absolutely critical because they are momentum builders.
I climbed that rope yesterday and felt like a million bucks (even though climbing a rope has to be one of the most unnatural feelings ever), then I completed those monkey bars and felt unstoppable! I’m currently maxing out at 7 pull-ups but absolutely cannot wait to get to that magic 10. And I’m willing to work, sweat, and sacrifice to get there. That last bit, sacrifice, is a dirty little word that gets in the way of a lot of us accomplishing anything.
So I’m going to issue you readers a challenge: Set a goal for yourself. It can be a big one if you want but try to think of a small one. Maybe it’s running a mile without stopping, maybe its finishing that book that you started reading back in June, maybe you need to sign up for that mission trip or start going to that Bible study. Just think of something that you can’t do right now either because you are physically unable or because it makes you too uncomfortable.
Now I’m going to ask you to put your own feet to the fire. Post it. What is your goal? What is that awesome (or just kind of neat) thing that has been just out of reach in your life? Now… What are you willing to sacrifice to get you there?