The Truth About False Starts

Man Preparing to Run

Photo by Jonathan Chng on Unsplash

When it comes to goals, I’m like the seed that fell along the path and got taken away by birds in Matthew 13: I get all excited about them, and then other distractions carry me away from my pursuit.  I don’t consider myself easily distracted so much as difficult to focus.  Once I find the zone, I can commit.  It’s getting there that’s the problem.

The past two weeks are a perfect example.  While on vacation, I spent a lot of time thinking about what I want to accomplish in the last third of 2018.  I settled on four primary goals, all quite reasonable and life-affirming.  Naturally, one goal deals heavily with writing and another deals heavily with health and fitness.  Also naturally, I’m giving far more attention to the health and fitness goal than any of the others.

My motivation board includes this quote: “I already know what giving up feels like.  I want to see what happens if I don’t.”  When it comes to my health and my writing, I don’t ever say that I gave up.  I got derailed for sure.  But if it’s on my mind every single day, how can I possibly have given it up?

Maybe I’m just trying to make myself feel better, but I really don’t think false starts are a bad thing.  If we are able to muster up the motivation to do something repeatedly?  That’s pretty impressive.  Would it be more impressive if we finished what we started?  Of course!  But when I look back on my false starts – those moments when I took off only to trip over my own feet – I realize something.  Just because I’m having trouble moving past a certain point does not mean I’m failing at achieving my goal.  It means I’m just stubborn enough to continue the chase.  And I do believe that, eventually, I’ll hit the stride that will carry me to the finish.

Let’s get the beach ball rolling:  Tell us about something you’ve achieved only after starting and stopping multiple times.

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