Are you writing down your goals? Zig Ziglar, Brian Tracy, and many other successful people emphasize the importance of writing down your goals in order to achieve them.
“Write it down, put a date on it, listed the obstacles I had to overcome, identified the people, the groups, the organizations I needed to work with, spelled out a plan of action, set that time limit in there, and identified all the benefits to me. It was only when I did that, that the goal became a reality.” ~ Zig Ziglar
“Committing your goals to paper increases the likelihood of your achieving them by one thousand percent!” ~ Brian Tracy
“Goals in writing are dreams with deadlines.” ~ Brian Tracy
In January, I wrote down the goal of completing my first 5K walk in the summer of 2011. Last night, I accomplished that goal! (For all of you who prayed for me, thank you. Your prayers mean so much!)
Our oldest daughter Heather lost a lot of weight last year by taking and teaching zumba classes, beginning to walk and run, and eliminating white sugar and junk food from her diet. She ran her first 5K last year. I was there at the 5K to cheer Heather onto the finish line. After seeing her, and my friends Cindy Rushton and Susan Evans run their 5K’s, I was determined that I was going to do a 5K this year, too.
When Heather found out about the 5K walk/run in Lee’s Summit, she signed up to run it and challenged me to do it, walking. I’d already written down the goal for this year, and knew this was not something to put off, ready or not. I haven’t been walking consistently the last few months. I was concerned I’d have to stop half-way through, that I’d be the only one walking it, or that I’d come in last. To my surprise, I finished it and even beat the timing that I thought it’d take me to do it – and I didn’t come in last!
Heather has been taking a kickboxing class the last four weeks and tonight is her last class. This is a huge sense of accomplishment for her after struggling with her weight after having two kids. Heather was diagnosed with strep throat a few days ago, so all she wanted to do was finish the 5K (running) without stopping. To her delight, she was able to run the entire 5K, completed it in only 1 minute less than her last 5K (even having strep throat!), and she earned a medal for her timing for her age group! Way to go, Heather! I’m so proud of her!
God had given me the scripture Isaiah 40:31 three times last week, and I knew it was His word for me and Heather for this 5K. “But they that wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”
Now RUNNING a 5K one day is on my bucket list. (Ok, it’s out there! Keep me accountable!) Of course, I have a lot of work to do to prepare and to train for it. My first goal is consistent walking.
When I have walked, I have tried to jog a little. It’s hard for me to even run down the street! 🙂 I don’t have much endurance because I’ve gained a lot of weight and am out of shape, but Heather faced the same problem when she first started walking and running last year. Like me, she’d gasp for breath and have to stop after only a minute or two. But she kept at it until she could run for 30 minutes.…without gasping! 🙂 She gave me a great article to help me, The Couch to 5K Training Plan. Since I don’t watch t.v., in my case it would be called “From computer butt to 5K Training Plan.”
Some of you may be runners and may be highly amused at my story. But I feel a great sense of joy and accomplishment for doing this 5K. I wasn’t sure I could even do it. God, some ladies I was walking with in the 5K, and Heather helped me! (She even challenged me to JOG the last stretch of the 3rd mile to the finish line, and jogged beside me as I did it, cheering me on!)
This 5K showed me a couple of things that I want to encourage you with.
- Spend some time with God and write down your goals. What does He want you to do? There is something about the physical act of writing them down that makes them more concrete and motivates you. Writing them down keeps them on your mind and in front of you all the time. Write down both big goals and small goals. Write down yearly goals, monthly goals, weekly goals, daily goals. I use several tools to help me with goal-setting and to-do lists: a Franklin Covey Dayplanner (my brain in a binder as Cindy says), sticky notes, a Dry Erase board in our kitchen, a Google calendar, and my cell phone. I may not write all my goals on all of these, but I use each of them regularly.
- Write down specific goals.Write down the details of your goals with a deadline. If you write, “I want to have a successful business one day,” you may never accomplish your goals. If you write, “I want to earn at least $2,000 a month with my at-home business,” then you have far more chance of achieving your goal. It’s concrete, it’s something specific to aim for now. Break down your goals into smaller chunks.
How will you reach that goal? List the steps to get there, such as setting up a WordPress website/blog, creating an opt-in form on your site with a compelling offer for people to sign up on your mailing list, beginning to write and do article-marketing, creating great content for your readers and listeners, becoming active and connect with your niche on social media, creating products that your specific niche needs and wants, continually learning through education and training, having knowledgeable and successful coaches and mentors who are pouring into you, etc.
- Think positive, faith-filled thoughts. I am so thankful to God that He gave me the scripture Isaiah 40:31 for me and Heather the week before the 5K. It really encouraged me and I reflected on it before the 5K started. God’s word is truth and is eternal. If you struggle with doubt and unbelief or negative thinking, renew and reprogram your mind with the Word of God. It’s faith that pleases God. Although I was concerned I wouldn’t be able to finish the 5K, I did tell myself, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” before the walk (Philippians 4:13) and remembered Isaiah 40:31. If I had told myself repeatedly, “I’m never going to finish,” I probably woudn’t have! Thinking positive, faith-filled thoughts will help you to overcome any obstacles and to accomplish your goals.
- Don’t compare yourself to other people. One of the things I was concerned about was that I’d be the only person walking the 5K, or that I would come in last (which would be embarrassing! Pride!). I confess, it WAS embarrassing when the 5K began, and almost everyone started RUNNING, passing me as I walked. For that matter, even some of the WALKERS passed me! (I still walk slow.) I just had to tell myself that it didn’t matter; my goal was to actually FINISH this 5K. God is so good about networking. Soon I was walking with a group of 3 other women, and we were able to walk and chat the whole 5K…so I wasn’t alone and made new friends! 🙂
Then at the last stretch of the 3rd mile, Heather joined me and challenged me to jog to the finish line. She jogged alongside me, cheering me on. Some of the runners finished the 5K in 18 minutes. I couldn’t compare myself to those runners, not even to Heather and her timing. I had to focus on my goal – to complete the 5K. I even beat the timing that I thought I would complete it in, so I was happy about that. Yes, I am sore today and I even have a callous on the bottom of my foot (I earned it!) But I did it!
Don’t compare yourself to others. You don’t have to compete with or feel inferior to anyone. God created you wonderfully and fearfully in your mother’s womb. He made you unique and did a beautiful job! Concentrate on your goals and what God is wanting you to do. Don’t look at anyone else, or you will get distracted and off course. Keep your eyes on Jesus. “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” ~ Philppians 3:14
Keep setting new goals, becoming all that God wants you to be. God created you for a specific purpose for His glory. You can do it!
If you’d like to learn more about fulfilling your purpose, click here.
Video of Heather’s medal at 5K