I’m writing this at the end of January, otherwise known as global goal quitting time. Yes, now is when the newness of the year starts wearing off and folks ditch their resolutions, hopes, and goals like cargo from a sinking ship.
Perhaps we’ve tried our goals and not kept them OR we never got around to actually implementing them OR we discovered the whole thing of keeping our goals is harder than we expected.
It’s hard to fall flat on our face and live with our own disappointment; but quitting is the LAST thing we need to do!
Holding ourselves to a goal and persevering in it, even when we fail and flop along the way, is one of the best things we can do for ourselves. Here’s why:
Sticking to our Goals make us better people
Goals make us better people- not because of the success we experience when we reach them but because they force us to practice our values and perfect our character along the way. You see, it’s the process of sticking with it that’s so valuable.
Keeping a small goal in front of us and not allowing ourselves to quit on it, even when we inconsistently succeed at it, forces us to:
- let go of perfectionism,
- practice humility,
- evaluate why it isn’t working (reflect and THINK!),
- creatively problem solve,
- overcome obstacles and develop perseverance, and
- face hidden things about ourselves we’d otherwise be content to let lie in the shadows.
While it may be uncomfortable to sit with our failures and shortcomings, it’s quite helpful!
For example, this year one of the Grace Goals I set is to write for 15 minutes every day. I’ve successfully done this about half the time, which means I’ve failed half the time.
For many, that’s reason enough to give up and quit trying. However, the easy thing to do would be to let myself off the hook and conclude it’s the wrong goal… and I didn’t set goals to play it easy.
Sticking to Our Goals Forces us to Ask Hard Questions
Not quitting forces me to ask hard questions of myself, the goal, and what I really value. It’s a refining process, and that is what makes it so valuable. The heat of the struggle forces junk to rise to the surface. As the dross rises, it can then be skimmed from the top of my life, as long as I’m willing to stick with the process and allow God to do a perfecting work.
James 1:4 says, “Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
Perseverance perfects us. It grows us up, matures us, and makes us fruitful.
Trials of various sorts are great at working perseverance into our lives; so are goals, which is why I don’t want to quit them.
Sticking to Our Goals Builds Confidence
Oh, and one more thing perseverance does… it gives you the confidence that you can face challenges and trials and win. So many of us need this life skill. Good goal setting is a great way to cultivate it.
Will you finish what you started?
If you haven’t set goals yet for this year, it isn’t too late! Just start (or re-start!) with ONE. A good place to begin would be with one of these habit goals. Check them out!
Just remember: you ain’t no quitter.
So let’s lace up and get back in the game!