Every year my Friends in Faith Sunday School class goes on a fall retreat to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee where we rent a gorgeous house, eat too much, read, shop, and fellowship. It is a wonderful time that we all look forward to. The house we rent sits on top of a mountain and there is a winding steep road that travels straight up the mountain to the house. During our stay, several of us usually decide to walk down and then back up the mountain road in order to get a bit of exercise. No doubt we were feeling guilty about the number of calories we had consumed when we made the decision. Walking down is always really scary for me because the road is so steep that I immediately begin worrying about whether or not I will be able to hoof it back up. Then we reach the bottom and begin the trek back up. Strenuous is an understatement when describing the hike back up the hill. Soon my heart rate has doubled if not tripled and my breathing is labored. In order to make it back up, my friends and I begin saying things like, “We’ll rest at the next driveway, the next telephone pole, the next tree.” That worked for a while until we were really gasping for air, at which point we began promising ourselves various treats upon completion of our walk…brownies, fudge, cake. Yes, we did finally make it, although every year …we think we never will.
Accomplishing the goal of walking up the mountain, always reminds me of the necessary steps to accomplishing other life goals. A basic requirement for both is that you need a long range goal to inspire you and short term goals to keep you going. Envisioning the end result is a great motivating factor. So is having a friend to encourage you on. Once you have all these things in place, you have set yourself up for positive results. Here’s the other great thing; once you’ve accomplished your goal, you’re likely to do again and the next time it will be a little easier. Add to that the fact that the sense of accomplishment acts as inertia to motivate you forward and you have got a winning plan.