Hope for your financial life and beyond

I’m Sick But Still Writing Only Because I Set a Goal

Hidden Nuggets Series #60 – “Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection…”- I Corinthians 9:26-27

words "sick day" written on sheet of paperI feel awful today. From top to bottom and places in between the body is just not working the way it’s designed. I’m this close to calling it a day and going back to bed.

Yet, here I am at 9:30 am writing a post. Why? All because of the writing challenge I chose to lead and participate in for the month of October. Thirty-one straight days of writing 500 words a day was the goal. I’m a third of the way home at the time of this writing without missing a day.

And I’m not about to let some bodily discomfort and multiple trips to the bathroom stop me now. (In fact, sickness is the one scenario that I suspected might derail my efforts when I announced the challenge. Interesting isn’t it…it’s come true.)

Goals are funny that way. If it weren’t for this challenge, there would be no way I’d be typing this out now. But the fact there is a destination out there I’m reaching toward is giving me the strength and focus to push through in a very weak moment.

We all have weak moments don’t we? I can remember times not wanting to go to classes in college just because I had a headache. Or not wanting to go because it was springtime and the nearby park looked oh so more inviting than Intro to Composition.

The decisions made in weak moments reflect much about our character and how important we deem the end goal. Slack off just a bit as I mentioned in last Friday’s Hidden Nugget and the consequences might not be what you had hoped for. It could mean the difference between reaching the goal or coming up short.

How Do Goals Affect You?

Do goals impact you this way? I’ve noticed over the course of my life that setting a goal – anything really – brings me clarity and focus on what I should be doing in the moment. Without them I feel directionless and often end up succumbing to those weak moments.

This is true no matter what area of life I choose to set a goal in – be it a spiritual goal, a relationship goal or a physical/health related goal. Doesn’t matter. Goals help push me to accomplish more than I supposed could be done.

It’s odd really because a lot of goals only affect us don’t they? There would be no huge ramifications that would impact anyone else’s life (or my own for that matter) if I skipped a day of this writing challenge. So what that I missed a day, right? My life’s not going to end. My blog won’t shut down. I’ll still have a loving wife and kids come home to me at night.

What is it about the goal that makes us grit our teeth and bear the weak moments?

I’ve come to believe it’s the winning feeling.

The Thrill of Victory

I want to feel the joy of victory. The high that comes from winning is like none other.

Winning a high school state soccer and basketball championship as a senior.

Walking the stage to get handed that diploma in college.

Leading my high school as principal to becoming accredited by our state.

Finishing my first marathon…then besting that first time in the second one.

These were all big goals I accomplished at various stages of my life. In the pursuit of them I had some really weak moments. But the thrill of accomplishing each one was intoxicating.

That feeling comes back to memory each time I set out on an audacious goal. I want to feel it again. But it won’t come unless there is a finish line and I exercise discipline along the way.

Set Your Eyes on the Target

When I’m dealing with weak moments, this verse from the Bible often comes to mind…

“Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection…” (I Corinthians 9:26-27)

The missionary Paul is talking about his desire to preach the Gospel message around the known world. He knows this is the goal God has called him. At the same time he recognizes the frailty of his mind and body to accomplish this enormous task.

So he runs in the right direction with surety. He fights, hitting the target each time. He disciplines his body so that he does not give in to moments of mental or emotional fatigue. His eyes are fixed firmly on the end result.

Where are your eyes today? Are they drifting here and there with no target on which to focus? Are you beating the air in vain?

Set some goals to help you achieve more in life. They will help you accomplish more than you thought able. Just like mine has done to help me finish this post on a day I’m nowhere near 100%.

(Note: This post was written on Friday, Oct. 10th. The sickness started with my youngest and has touched 5/6 of our family. Only Mrs. Luke1428 has dodged it thus far. I’m feeling much better but my oldest son and daughter are still fighting it.)

How do goals help you through weak moments? Do you love the thrill that comes from winning – from reaching a goal? What big thing are you focused on right now?

Image by Ates at Flickr Creative Commons

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Comments

  1. The biggest thing I am focused on is the journey to financial independence, it includes writing for 31 days straight which keeps me motivated on that goal, it includes not spending too much money, and making sure every decision we make is done with an investment frame of mind.
    Even Steven recently posted…Would You Pass Up a Raise and Management Position?My Profile

    • “…every decision we make is done with an investment frame of mind.” I think that’s a good philosophy Steven. You are living with intentionality which means you will win in the end.

  2. First, I hope you get better asap!!! Second, this reminds me of The War of Art by Stephen Pressfield, who writes about the commitment that comes with being a professional. Here you are, sick, and still writing. This is a perfect example of your commitment, and it’s very admirable. I hope it reaps all the rewards for you that you deserve!
    Natalie recently posted…How I Saved Big Last Week At Macy’s (And It’s Not How You Think)My Profile

  3. You’re totally in it and dedicated Brian. I hope you feel better sooner. I agree with you there Brian that “we all have weak moments”. If we still can do it, why not still doing it to meet our goals?
    Jayson recently posted…WTF Toys for KidsMy Profile

  4. Awwww! So glad you powered through. This is a great post. Very inspiring!
    Mrs. WW recently posted…Why we like to smokeMy Profile

  5. I hope you and the kids have finished battling your bug now, Brian. Take it easy and enjoy the weekend.

    I think the key to success is self-motivation and I see that everywhere in the PF community: many people have found themselves overwhelmed by debt, but instead of allowing it to beat them, they set a target, they make themselves accountable (often by writing a blog) and they move mountains to make it happen. Inspirational stuff!
    Myles Money recently posted…Leftover Lunch | #FrugalFridayMy Profile

  6. I’m not much of a goal oriented person, I must confess. I think my saving grace is that if I decide to do something I apply myself fully. I work hard, am determined and do a really good job. Of course, knowing that I have these high expectations of myself, causes me to not commit to something unless I really see value.
    debs recently posted…7 Financial Lessons Learned from My Parents’ DebtMy Profile

    • “…causes me to not commit to something unless I really see value.” That’s a good philosophy to have. I am much the same simply because we only have so much time to go around. Best use it where it can have the greatest impact.

  7. Hope you’re feeling better and the Mrs. avoids it! I’m a big believe in goals and pushing through, but not at all costs. But I guess I also don’t set super strict goals for that reason. It does give you a sense of accomplishment when you do fight through though. Sometimes that feeling of “I don’t want to” is laziness, not an actual real excuse like being very ill. It’s those moments that are the most important to get past.
    Tonya recently posted…What I Know About Myself and MoneyMy Profile

  8. I am impressed you got a week ahead and haven’t missed a day! I’m really glad to hear you’re feeling better – I hope your son does soon. I’ve gone back and forth on my view of goals. I love crossing things off my to-do list, but when it comes to most of my goals, I start focusing on the next one after a success, and I don’t even feel a sense of accomplishment. I try and take stock of how far I’ve come instead. Goals are a great source of motivation, though.
    Erin recently posted…Behind the Scenes of Journey to Saving (Blog Tour!)My Profile

    • Getting ahead has really helped reduce the pressure of writing. I think with less pressure the ideas come more naturally and I am more relaxed when I write.

  9. I hope you’re feeling better soon, as well as your family. It’s worse when the bug spreads around your family as there’s no escaping it. Sometimes goals help me to get through tough moments, but there are times when I just need to do what’s right, not what’s expected.
    Nicola recently posted…Foodie Friday: Spaghetti PuttanescaMy Profile

    • “…need to do what’s right, not what’s expected.” That’s a good point Nicola. Expectations of others can really throw us off track sometimes.

  10. Those ones that spread through the family are the worst, because it spreads out and prolongs the suffering, plus in our family someone usually ends up getting a second go-round with it by the time it’s all wrapped up. Not a good way to start the fall. Hopefully you’re feeling better as are the rest of your family.
    Money Beagle recently posted…Planning For RetirementMy Profile

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