Bringing about change in our lives can be a difficult but rewarding thing. But what happens with having a goal that is too big? A mountain sized goal? One for which you haven't possibly got the endurance? Is it then worth trying? Is it worth even starting? Is it worth risking failure?
I had some goals for myself. One goal in particular actually. I wanted to lose in excess of 100 pounds. Do you know that I tried for years to do it? Tried, got tired in the trying when the results were slow, lost hope, quit, saw a glimmer of light, and started wondering if it was worth trying again.
Wash. Rinse. Repeat.
I tried everything. I beat myself up. I made my inability to lose this weight tantamount to fatal character defect, and saw the rest of what I wanted to do as hopeless, by extension . I was convinced that If I couldn't do this 'one thing', that the rest of my goals must be hopeless by default.
Photo Credit Sears Canada
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.
I decided somewhere along the lines that I had to start seeing these things differently. That I had to become willing to risk what other people thought of me to find and use all of the tools necessary to meet my goal. Do you know what happened when I became willing? Hope came back!!!!!
No question, there was a price to be paid. But I would do it all again in a heart beat!
And it snowballed in the most wonderful ways. It's like this 'one thing', that had been affecting all other areas to the negative, once resolved, caused a serious ripple effect. I suddenly had the energy and the hope to spend the energy, on these important goals.
I've been working on several different types of change. You see, I've got so much to work on.
I'm not a naturally organized person. I have the ability to remember all sorts of random pieces of information and if I saw a thing in a pile some where, three years ago, odds are high I'll remember where it is now if you ask, provided someone hasn't moved it on me. But loose leaves of paper are the bane of my existence. The fact that I have done more than one job with admin. requirements well, is an irony, and proves what hard work can accomplish.
I'm not a naturally patient person. Homeschooling, by default, requires one to deal with their children practically all the time. People assume superhuman patience in a home school mom, and worse still when they find out I deal with special needs stuff too. I am here to tell you, this is a work in progress that has been going on for years.
I am naturally a pack rat. This has been one of my most difficult defaults to over come. However, five children in a reasonably small house has made it necessary to face my demons here. Insert better organization skills with less stuff, and voila..... things are looking much better! Obviously, they don't always look this good all the time. I've got five kids! This however, is a snap shot of what is possible now, and it was very much NOT POSSIBLE before!
Some days it feels as though my efforts are moving so slowly it feels that change is imperceptible. Keeping at it long enough, though, has resulted in a snowball effect that is pretty undeniable.
It all started with what seem like pretty simple choices. You have to start with believing it's possible. But don't stop there:
Realize you've got a problem
You need to do more than to know there is a problem, you'll need to define it and how you're co-operating with it. If you've been struggling with a goal you just can't seem to meet, there is an important thing to know: You've got a system. It's just a bad system for reaching that goal. If you do something over and over again, you'll get better at doing it that way. Even if it's the wrong way. You just get better at being bad at something.
Appeal to the higher court. He knows your situation. He knows what you'll need to claim victory. He can show you. James 1:5 says "If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you." If you're embarrassed that you haven't already licked this problem, don't be. He already knows and He's ready and waiting.
Get with other people who are doing what you already want to do
It doesn't matter whether you find someone in person, or even choose online support groups. Find out what they are doing and choose to put in the work. Pick positive people that help you see the 'good' when you are working through the 'hard' required to reach your goal.
Make a list when you start, of what things are like right now- if your goal was weight related, you'd take measurements, get on the scale, write down your sizes in everything. (Shoes, belts, clothing sizes) Your medical outlook. Before pictures. Every little thing that describes where you are today. Yes. It's embarrassing. Yes it's a serious reality check. Yes, it'll be worth it.
It works with more than weight loss. if you're starting with a huge organization deficit, take pictures. Write down where you are and where you want to be.
Along the way, make progress assessments- with a big goal, you're going to have points where you are convinced nothing is changing. It's better than you think it is. Just make smaller goals so that you can experience successes closer together to motivate yourself. Remind yourself where you came from. Also, why you never want to go back there.
Find the right tools for the job
Your tools may have to be quite unorthodox. Sometimes our challenge is that we have some of the right tools, but are missing one of the major factors to make all the rest of the tools sustainable. Just don't be afraid to find all of your tools. If you have ever watched an episode of Red Green, you know that there is more than one way to get a job done. If you ask my husband, almost all of them require WD-40 or Duct-tape.
Reset your defaults one small victory at a time
Every day make small changes. Repetitively practice them until they become habit. Each one of your new steps will feel awkward, and like they take up a lot of your effort. It won't feel that way forever. Don't despise the day of small beginnings.
Don't hold yourself to the standards that others set for you if they are too low
There is a tendency not to rise above the standards that others set for you because it's hard to go against the grain. "They don't believe I can, It must not be possible. So why should I try so hard for something that isn't possible?"
It's not that it's not possible. It's that they don't have vision. The court of public opinion is fickle. Don't submit to it. When you stop caring what they think, you can see your own standards and rise far above what others think.
Don't expect a magic bullet
Sorry, there's just no nice way to say this. There is no magic bullet to getting to your big goal. Just hard work, and the right tools, and perseverance.
Don't give up
There is a tendency for us to feel like setbacks are worth quitting over. You're gonna hit weight loss stalls. Your kids are gonna mess up the room you just de-cluttered and cleaned. If clean eating is your goal you can bet you'll be discouraged at some point by a junk food binge. Just don't park there. Pick yourself up, and do the next right thing.
So if you're ready to start on your big goal, and just need to get 'A Round Tuit', Please take mine. It's right there at the top of this post. Consider it your gold engraved invitation to making it.
If you're so inclined, tell someone about your goal. Someone that'll hold you to it. You can even put it in the comments if you want to.