Answers In Love

Winning at Life God's Way

5 Effective Ways To Achieve Your Most Important Goals

 

A few years ago I accepted an invitation to go blueberry picking with two beloved family members, Dee and Frank. We had a splendid time taking in scenery and gathering blueberries on top of a beautiful North Carolina mountain. I remember our mountaintop experience with joy. I remember our trip up that mountain with horror!

Getting to that mountaintop required driving on a steep, rutted, muddy road encased by overgrown brush. At times during our ascent, Frank’s big pick-up stalled and slipped. I felt frightened and asked aloud if we should turn back. Frank persisted and we reached the summit without incident.

It’s good I wasn’t driving that day because all of us would have missed a thrilling time on “Blueberry Hill.” That successful but scary adventure taught me five things about hill climbing.

Five Climbing Lessons:

Do you have hills to climb? Perhaps the lessons I learned can help you. Do you dream of getting a thrill atop your own “Blueberry Hill” when you achieve some life goal?

Think about it. Do you want to graduate? Land a good job? Start a business? Buy a house? Find the right partner? Raise a family? Get kids through college? Lose weight? Retire? Write a book? Run a marathon? Win political office? Survive a tragedy? We all aspire to something.

It takes effort, skill and wisdom to achieve big goals. If you aspire to some lofty goal, try  following these guidelines:

1. Research the Road Ahead

Frank agreed to drive us up the hill that day because he knew the road was passable. He talked to people familiar with the road before setting out.

Before you select a particular goal, follow Frank’s example. Do your homework. Talk to others who know the road. Read up on the task before you and learn what’s required. This can help prevent unwanted surprises later.

The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance.

(Proverbs 21:5)

2. Know Yourself

Once Frank learned about the road ahead, he considered his own driving ability and his truck’s capacity to make the climb. He believed he and his truck could handle the challenge and they did.

Assess your own ability to achieve your goal. Do you have the commitment, stamina, ability and resources needed for success? Ask others who know you and will give you honest feedback. Sober self-assessment can help you set realistic goals.

Everyone ought to examine themselves…

(1 Corinthians 11:28)

3. Understand that Worthwhile Things Come Hard

Most things in life that are worthwhile are difficult. Consider how much effort and patience it takes to:

  • Build a lasting marriage
  • Achieve career success
  • Have children and raise them well
  • Get and stay fit

Conversely, negative results come easily. It takes little effort to:

  • Gain weight
  • Lose relationships
  • Get addicted
  • Get into debt

You’ve heard the saying, “no pain, no gain.” Positive results generally come from persistent and painful effort. Success usually requires doing things that feel hard and uncomfortable. It happens when we push through tired and discouraged.

When the going gets tough, just hang in there! Put one foot in front of the other and press on!

…endurance produces character, and character produces hope,”

(Romans 5:4)

4. Choose a trusted driver:

I felt frightened and skeptical during our climb up “blueberry hill.” When Frank ignored my hint about giving up, I sighed and trusted him. Frank knew the road and his truck. I knew his long history of safe driving.

Whatever hill you want to climb, look for a trustworthy and capable guide to lead the way. Don’t try to go it alone. Ask God for help.  Seek guidance from someone who’s done what you want to do. Ask them to become your mentor.

Choose traveling companions carefully.  Travel with those who will help you get to a healthy and happy place. The world teems with people who would take you to unhappy places and who pretend to be something they’re not.

…Choose this day whom you will serve,

(Joshua 24:15)

5. Don’t Give Into Fear

With a wink, Frank pointed to himself as “a stalwart example of manhood” and assured me he did not feel afraid that day. In fact, he really did not feel afraid because he lived in the mountains his whole life and regarded steep climbs as old hat.

It’s normal, however, to feel afraid when trying new things that look hard. We fear failure and even success. We worry about wasting time and money. We dread the hardship and sacrifice required to reach our goals.

Accomplishment only happens when we manage fear. Courage means going ahead in spite of fear. If you’ve assessed your ability well, set realistic goals and chosen a trustworthy driver, you’ll likely achieve your goals – if you push past fear!

Fear not for I am with you.

(Isaiah 41:10)

Ready to Climb?

I haven’t gone blueberry picking lately but I still have lots of hills to climb in my life. I hold these lessons dear. How about you? What hills do you want to climb? Which lesson might help you? I’d love to know!

 

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About Cheryl Savageau

Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor

4 Replies

  1. Cynthia Owens

    Needed this today, especially #3. Good tips, Cheryl. I’ve been looking forward to these each week!

    1. Cheryl Savageau

      Good to hear Cynthia. Thanks for responding!

  2. Pat Agin

    Thanks Cheryl, enjoyed this.

  3. Kristin F

    Great post, Cheryl! I like how you take this analogy and then expand it to apply to life situations and struggles we can all relate to. You offer good, practical, concrete ideas and suggestions.

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