- Photo credit iStockphotos © 36clicks
So you find yourself entering into a season of growth. How do you get started?
Experience has taught me that there is a principle that must be understood and embraced in order for a desire of growth to take hold and for momentum to build.
Growth Is Gradual and Change Is Immediate
Far too often in my life, and maybe yours as well, this principle was overlooked. You start with a plan; you put your head down and focus on taking careful steps in the direction of your goal. Early success creates momentum, but as the path becomes familiar and comfortable, there is a tendency to question the pace.
The world we live in makes sustained growth tough. Society has conditioned us to expect quick fixes and overnight successes, to anticipate that these will be the norm and not the exception. If we want to grow and choose to embrace the effort needed for sustaining that growth, we must first shift our mindset from what culture has conditioned us to believe toward what we know to be true.
Growth is not a sprint, it’s a marathon.
Personal growth is contingent on how we choose to condition our minds so as not to not think as culture has taught us.
This was never more evident than how I came to run the Peachtree Road Race in 2009. The Peachtree, as it’s called, is the world’s largest 10K with 55,000 people running 6.2 miles through Atlanta on Peachtree Road the morning of July 4th. I never set out to run the Peachtree, and if I had it, odds are I would have never run found myself in that race. But it became a destination in a journey of personal growth.
In 2007, I needed to lose weight, a lot of weight, and get healthy. For me walking to the end of the street and back was a challenge but it was a starting point for my journey. My focus centered on steady and continual progress, where the wins were measured by adding one street at a time not miles. Eventually I realized that as those streets formed a long loop, maybe a mile was within my reach. It didn’t matter how fast I was, all that mattered that there was growth and progress.
Over time as my body got in motion and healthy eating choices were introduced, the weight started coming off a lot faster. There was never a specific number in mind, only growth and progress toward living a healthier lifestyle. But had I focused on how much I wanted to lose and not growing healthier, those early weigh-ins would have led to discouragement, not losing almost 200 pounds in a three year period.
As I thing back over my journey, these four components, are the foundation for creating an environment for personal growth in your life.
Understand – where you are now, where to you want be, and why this is important to you now. A journey can never begin without a vision of where you want to go and why you want to do it.
Announce – what you want to achieve to someone you trust and give them permission to be both be coach and cheerleader. A journey is so much more fun when it’s shared with someone who wants to see you succeed.
Measure – progress not only by what’s accomplished but also by how far you’ve come. A key component in growth is ongoing development, and the best way I’ve found to measure development is by recognizing how far I’ve come.
Celebrate – everything and celebrate often. Celebrating all those little wins creates momentum which launches us toward those big wins…growth and life change.
What’s your story…when you’ve achieved success and personal growth what were the key components that made a difference that time?
Next post I’ll share an area where I want to experience growth, but in the meantime where do you want to experience growth?
trusting God period!
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