When my son was around 14, he went off to his boy's choir rehearsal smiling one day because he had just set some new goals for his life - as I recall related to school and discipline in homework. When I asked him later how was choir, he shook his head and with a faint smile, waving his hand in a circle, answered, "Well you know how it is when you set a goal." "Oh?" I continued the conversation. "Well you know Mom, everything goes wrong to discourage you. That's how I felt at choir tonight - it seemed I coudn't do anything right." I listened to his story of the details of choir rehearsal and wondered what that had to do with homework. He continued, "But I know it's not about choir; it's about the goal."
Writers on the topic of goal setting are great at analyzing why people don't set goals. They talk about fear (of success as well as failure), perfectionism, too much work to achieve, not worth it when the results do come. But not so often do they talk about this reality - that there will be attacks on one's spirit and belief the moment new goals are set. Attacks that might purify the motivation and tests to be sure that one is really committed. Those who don't know they are coming will rarely get past the 3rd day (at the most) to keep working in the newly determined direction.
If you climbed inside my journal (and it's obvious from looking at dates on this blogsite), you would know I had the attacks. The taunts that say,"Are you SERIOUS?" "What, you really think you're going to write every day?" "And what makes you think you have anything to say?" "Besides, of course, you know Solomon taught there is nothing new under the sun - and that was how many milleniums ago? Why would you ever think there is something new coming from you today?"
And so they go. They come in many forms - not the least of which is the mind. But they also come in more measurable distractors - sickness, negative financial surprises, a new challenge with a child or teenager, extrinsic crises in work, family, community. The list is infinite.
And so I must ask, "Can I do this for 21 days? How about 3 months of 21 days? How about 3 seasons of 3 months of 21 days?" Then I might be able to believe the new habit is set, the change has taken place, and growing into a little more of the person I was created to be might be actual reality.
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