“Temporary success,” or perhaps, “the illusion of achievement” might be a good way to describe my life in the past. I would make it to my goals because I did whatever it took to get there, the problem was I could not maintain it.
It turns out this is a common problem among a lot of the population. We all work hard to get a promotion, but as time passes our performance begins to slip.
In fitness, I have seen it many times. People decide to “get in shape” for a marathon or a tough mudder or even a fight. They go all out and they do well for the months leading up to the event. After they have completed it they go right back to where they started. Sometimes its the goal to lose five pounds before a vacation or a wedding. They reach their goal and yo-yo right back to where they started. It is amazing because they feel great temporarily, yet back they go after all the hard work.
I was very money oriented or often times I just wanted to reach a place that others told me was impossible. I would set out to prove everyone wrong and that provided me with the fuel to get it done. I can see now that this was one of the reasons I had so many highs and lows in life. I had no consistency in my self-control and I always felt I should reward myself for attaining whatever my current goal happened to be.
I was able to focus for a set period of time, but when I felt I was where I should be, I slacked off. My solution? A long term plan! I also knew that if I was going to succeed at anything I was going to have be more consistent in my efforts and outputs. I had to stop letting myself coast on past deeds. I had to decide to commit myself to excellence in everything I do. No matter what the task or small the detail. Details are very important, getting through anything without doing it right will cost me in the long run.
I had to make sure all my short term goals were in alignment with my long term goals. I had to give up looking at what was over the horizon and instead make the best of what I have right now.
I had to get organized. If I wanted to get somewhere and maintain it, I had to be able to keep a uniform performance and that only comes with organization.
Finally, I had to realize it is not all about me. What I do to get to my end goal, how I affect those around me on a day-to-day basis as I work toward my goal matters.
I decided that this time I would approach my goals through consistent hard work and the guiding principles of doing what is right. The Bible spells it out for me. The Gospels have laid out the framework on how to live a fruitful life full of sacrifice, love and joy.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.