I have big goals. I long for impact. I want to use my gifts faithfully. I want to invest my life well. I’ve thought through my priorities. I know what I have to do each day if I really want to live my best life.
But some days, I just really don’t feel like it.
Maybe it’s the rainy day or the bad sleep or the heap of responsibilities. Maybe, for some, it’s the draining relationship or the huge life stress or the physical illness.
Life is full of obstacles. For everyone. Every. One. When you see people who are faithful to their goals and sticking to their plan and following through on their commitments, it’s not because they didn’t face obstacles. They woke up to the same rainy day, with their own heap of responsibilities, and their own life stresses. They have their own bad sleeps and rocky relationships and physical calamities. So how are they sticking with it?
Here are some of the differences that I see:
1. Their vision is bigger than their obstacles. Do you know what you want? Do you know why you want it? Maybe you struggle to exercise or eat healthy. What’s your vision? What’s your goal? Why do you want that? I mean really- why do you want that? You need to be crystal clear on those reasons. Because you can be guaranteed that you’ll encounter obstacles. You’ll feel tired or busy or stressed and be tempted to not make the choices you know you need to in order to hit your goal. What will compel you when you hit those obstacles? Not “if” you hit them, but “when.” You need a vision that is bigger than those roadblocks.
2. The steps they need to take are part of their routine and it happens without thinking. Are the things you really want a part of your daily routine? For me, one of my biggest priorities is to be saturated in God’s Word. I want, more than anything else, to be close to Jesus. This has been my desire for as long as I’ve been a Christian, but it has not always been a part of my routine. I tried lots of different strategies, but I’ve finally reached a point now where my devotions are an unquestioned part of my morning routine. Because for me, as soon as I leave my bedroom and start my day…forget it. For a million reasons, I never take the time after that to be quiet, to read my Bible, and to pray. Maybe on a rare occasion, but not regularly, which is my goal. What’s important to you, and how can schedule it in to your week?
3. They have people in their lives who fuel and encourage them. Who in your life really knows and supports your goals? If one of your goals is to have a strong and thriving marriage, but you surround yourself with people who talk trash about their spouses and mock married life, it’s not going to encourage you on your path to a joyful and rock-solid marriage. Find people in your life who you trust, who you can share your heart with, and who will come on board to support you in pursuing the life you know you want to live.
So on the days that I just don’t feel like following through, I remind myself of why I’m doing what I’m doing. And if that doesn’t help, I fall back on the routine and habits I’ve put into place to reach my goals. And if that doesn’t help, I phone a friend who will listen to me whine and complain and make excuses…and who will then lovingly remind me to go do what I’ve got to do to live the life God has for me. Thank goodness I don’t have to do this stuff alone, because trust me, I’d never make it.
How about you? Have you got a vision? Routines? Life lines? Which one might need some work? What can you do today to put these foundational pieces in place for your next rainy day?