We all have goals we wish to accomplish to either better ourselves or the world around us.
But more often than not, life happens and we put them off. Or at least, that's the excuse we like to give. Because then we can reasonably have logic as to why we haven't taken steps in that direction yet. Then another day passes. Another week. Month. Year. And we are back exactly where we were.
I know this too well because I've been passed on goals one too many times.
These are the things I told myself:
"I'll write that book tomorrow."
"I'll work out every day, soon."
"I'll stop with that horrible habit when I'm less stressed."
"I'll give more time to disciple that 8th grader next Sunday."
"I'll wake up early once next Monday."
Only I find out that none of these happen. And the process goes on and on and on.
However, maybe we are looking at these goals that we set too broadly. Maybe we are anticipating taking them down at once rather than in spurts.
Some of the most popular authors in the world, Neil Gaiman, Stephen King and Anne Lamott, all say that the best way to take on the daunting task of writing a book is simple. Start with one word and then write another. The message is true for anything else you want to achieve in life.
Start with one small item and then continue to add the next.
Or to put it even simpler:
Excellent author and public speaker, Jon Acuff, wrote a book with the same title and on the same subject. It's helped get me where I never was before as an author. And the reason? I took one step forward and started writing consistently, no matter what. Because this has remained consistent, it's become part of who I am. And starting helped me in my spiritual walk of life as well.
It's also led me to see that everyone who did anything out of the ordinary for God did one thing that changed everything. They took one step forward and began.
Moses left his sandals behind him and walked toward the burning tree (Exodus 3).
Instead of turning his heart and ear away, the Prophet Jeremiah turned toward God in spite of his fear of being a youth (Jeremiah 1).
Paul willingly walked toward Christ who came to Him on the road to Damascus instead of running away and remaining blind for the rest of his life (Acts 9).
And Jesus turned water into wine at a wedding in Cana instead of deciding to not give a glimpse of who He truly was (John 2:1-11).
They all started.
And the more you start, the more those goals become consistent and the more you can start accomplishing others as well.
For example, once I started writing on a regular basis, it led me to be able to believe that I could do other things. I desired to give myself more energy for my daughter and my youth ministry, so I started working out 5 times a week no matter what. I also felt called to help a small group of middle schoolers with their days during the week so I started to disciple three 8th graders every morning before school.
God will give you the strength if your motivations are in line with His Call.
So put your trust in the One who began everything. And then start. Start doing whatever it is.
Start choosing fruit over donuts.
Start praying for 2 minutes every morning and night.
Start clearing time once a month to serve at the homeless shelter.
Start walking every night.
Start by throwing away that pack of cigarettes or liquor bottles.
Start by making it a point to show Christ's love to just one person consistently.
No more excuses.
No more 'I can't's.
No more reasons to quit.
Take the first step forward with one goal.