Two and a half years ago I went to run for the first time in a long time. I had the goal to run a mile. I went off and made it a long half mile before I stopped and felt like my lungs would explode and I was going to die. I was torn between being disgusted with myself and motivated to change my current state. I’m sure you have been there too. Not sure whether massive eye-opening things motivate me or make me feel like a failure. This time and most times it is a combination. I pushed past and set a huge stretch goal to run a marathon which I did last fall. Now my goal is to run a marathon in every state. In the beginning when we are out of shape, in financial ruin, bad relationships, or any other thing that is hard to turn around, what is it that causes us to push back against the feeling of self loathing and change? These 3 things help me to push through to another level.
1. God. None of us can overcome our sins, failures, and shortcomings without the help of God. Even if we can do this on our own we are only altering our actions. Only God can change our hearts. We must understand what it means to be “led by the Spirit.” God’s Spirit doesn’t drag us around, it leads us. It will not prevent us from sinning, and it won’t force us to do what is right. It leads us, but we must be willing to follow if we are to allow God to work within us through His Spirit. To learn more about plugging into God click. True lasting change comes from the inside out.
2. Small goals. I didn’t start running to run a marathon. I had this as a “that would be cool” goal. My first goal was to lose ten pounds. Then it progressed to ten miles and then to run a marathon. Now it is to run one in every state. If I had started with the goal I have now, I would have seen no hope to achieve that big harry goal. My mind would have said, “You can’t run a half mile. How are you going to come close to that?” Once training starts and going over ten miles, the long distance change happens pretty quickly. Set small goals within the context of someday goals. I wanted to run a marathon someday, but I didn’t sign up until I ran 13 miles in training. Big changes happen slowly. Small goal completion will give you the motivation to keep going.
3. Small step. Small steps should be the focus. They did a study that is pretty cool. If people say, “I’m going to floss every night,” most people will rarely floss. If people say, “I’m going to floss one tooth,” they will floss way more often. Starting is always that hardest part and once people floss one tooth they floss the whole mouth. Same with anything we do. Opening my Bible is the hard part, but once I start I get something. Everything starts with one small step.
Plug into God and break goals and steps down into small things. Remember anything worth something takes time. Hold onto hope that you can change. Small changes over time are huge changes. There are many more things that help me to change, but these are my top three. You can do it one moment at a time. Be blessed on your journey.
What things help you to push through to another level?
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