What new resolutions did you set for yourself this year? Have any of them already fallen by the wayside? If you’ve not failed already, statistically speaking, it is only a matter of time.
According to multiple surveys and reports, resolutions die before February ends. One popular company has even worse news. Strava, a workout sharing community, says the date is actually January 12. I have to say that if I had to select a someone to trust with a date, I would pick Strava because they have direct consumer numbers to analyze.
Well, I guess, since it’s inevitable, we might as well give up. Right? Wrong.
Interestingly enough, Strava also reports that it sees 1 million new users sign up each month – They now have 42 million users! Given their own numbers, Strava users also seem to be regularly using the platform and more importantly, setting, striving for, and meeting their goals.
Well, enough “Ra Ra”, the simple fact is that maybe you have already fallen off the wagon. If this is you, here is some advice – Get up and get back to it. The most important part of meeting goals is to not stop if you make a misstep. But, you say, “my goal was to never do that thing again” or “it was to always do that other thing – without fail”! Well, stop setting such stupid goals. “Never” and “Always” are bad words when it comes to goal-setting. Goals that contain those words NEVER succeed – they ALWAYS fail.
As with many things, the Bible is chock full of good models for striving to reach properly set goals.
Moses’ leading of the Isrealites is the first that comes to mind. Moses certainly didn’t give up after the first failure – neither his, nor the Isrealites. Moses kept after it and with the Lord’s help he led his people to the promised land. It took a long time, but he did it.
David’s kingship was another good example of this “never give up” attitude. Before David was even officially king, the Lord gave him the goal of leading Isreal.
2 In the past, while Saul was king over us, you were the one who led Israel on their military campaigns. And the Lord said to you, ‘You will shepherd my people Israel, and you will become their ruler.’”
– 2 Samuel 5:2
Even knowing that the Lord hand-picked him and provided him his goal, David still struggled to reach it. He never let a setback defeat him, however.
Job may be the best example of “sticking to the process” through all adversity. He lost absolutely everything and never gave up.
11 As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about
– James 5:11
Finally, the writer of Hebrews, in Chapter 11, extends this list with many more Biblical examples of people who kept the faith through adversity. His point here is focused on the goal of trusting in the Lord through all adversity. Hebrews 12 puts a fine point on how we should view pursuing our goals – keeping in mind that the best example of perseverance is in fact Jesus Christ.
12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
– Hebrews 12:1-3
There you go – set a reasonable long-term goal and then work towards it, one “next right step” after another, remembering that your biggest cheerleader is Jesus who sits at the right hand of the Lord.