“. . . forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
Is your debt as bad as it was when you set out to start spending more wisely? Are you still as overweight as you were before you declared you’d be cutting back? Do you curse people out just as often as you did prior to that New Year’s resolution? How about that gossip, is it still saturating your talk as if you never had that grand idea to be nicer, more kind, more empathetic this year? Have you yet to enroll in that class? Is the “apply for that new position” box still unchecked on your list of to do’s?
If you answered “yes” to any of the above, be encouraged!
I think that a lot of us will begin to achieve more of what we set out to achieve once we better understand the difference between a desire and a decision.
All the things I listed above, along with the many other ideas rolling around in our heads, are desires. Things we want to do. Things we talk about doing. Things we think about doing. Desires are great. They are catalysts in the process of pressing on towards success. Desires, however, have their origin in our heads. They will remain in our head until we shift from talking, thinking, wanting, and desiring to deciding!
After we recognize what our desire is, the next step is to make a decision to do it! Press on. Get it done. I wish there was more to add. I wish there was another way to word it. There isn’t. Do it. That’s it.
I know someone out there is like me—you’re screaming at the screen saying “it’s not that I haven’t made a ‘decision,’ I have! I did DECIDE to save, to lose weight, to think before I speak. I did DECIDE to be kind and set boundaries. The problem is I failed at it! I recognized what it was I desired, decided to go for it, and I failed! It was working at first, but not sustainable!”
I hear you!
Here’s the deal: the decision-making process has three components. Perhaps, like myself, you embraced 1 or more but not all 3 of these components. The key is to do all three.
Pressing on from desiring to deciding involves:
- A Plan
- A Partner
- A Peek
The first step is to create a plan; that is, two to three practical things you can do to move you closer to your goal. Examples may be: cutting up credit cards, throwing out all the junk food in your pantry, or brainstorming a list of alternative responses to use when in emotionally challenging situations.
The next step is to find a partner.. This can be a system (i.e., online banking or joining a gym) or a person. Either way, the role of this partner is to hold you accountable. They will give you the poke you may need when the adrenaline starts to run low, when life happens, and when you begin to feel the burn that oftentimes accompanies change.
The third step in the decision-making process is to take a peek. Weekly, monthly, or quarterly check on your status. Log into the bank account, step on the scale, reflect on your interactions with others. The frequency at which you do this depends on the type of situation you are trying to impact and your preference. The purpose of the peek is to tweak your moves if need be and to celebrate any progress thus far.
In the third chapter of Philippians, we see that Paul got the memo. He desired the prize of knowing Christ. He made a decision to let go of the past. His plan was to get to Jesus, his partner was God, and he peeked at the mark of Christ and His resurrection power as he pressed on toward heaven.
Let’s follow suit.