runner, athlete, olympics

Finish the Race

One of the key elements to success in any endeavor is be determined and CONSISTENT with our efforts.  We will review practical keys, as well as examples from the Bible on how to do this.

There are 3 elements to accomplishing a goal:

Step 1 is to  write down what you want to accomplish
Step 2 is to  start
Step 3 is to  remain consistent

Think of something that you are trying to accomplish.  Perhaps you have a goal or a dream?

It may be something you are already working on, or something you want to accomplish someday.

Step Number 1:  Write Down Your Goals

Habakkuk 2:2 – And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it

God instructs us to write the vision and make it plain.  This is the most fundamental step in solidifying the vision we have for our lives.

“Many times, we set out on a self-improvement course of action with literally no idea of how to proceed, with only a loose idea of what we really want to accomplish. Basically, at this point, it’s just a dream of a better day. This is actually not what you want; after all, you expect success. You must believe success is possible and probable. Be expectant. Be confident.

Before you begin, sit down and write out your plan of action. Clearly write your goal, your time frame, identify the specific steps to accomplish during the journey and the obstacles that you expect to encounter along the way. Yes, write this all down. Review it each evening before bed and again when you awaken in the morning. Keep your plan with you at all times and read it aloud to yourself several times during the day. This will embed it deeply into your subconscious mind where it will steer you in the direction of your goal.” (source)

Some key points from that article are:
1. Be specific about what you want
2. Expect Success (Believe that God will bring it to pass)
3. Write down your plan of action
4. Set a time frame on when you will be finished
5. Review it often to keep it in your mind

Step Number 1 is to write down your goals!

Step Number 2:  Start!

In order to finish, you need to start!  Go ahead and begin working on your vision.  Do it now!  Start today!  Don’t wait!

Procrastination is the biggest killer of accomplishment.  I am somewhat of a procrastinator, but when “what you want” is more important than the TV, it’s easy to turn it off. (No offense to TV, but is is a great example of a time waster)

Step Number 2 is to Start!

runner, athlete, olympics

In order to reach your goals, you must begin.  Now.

Step Number 3:  Remain Consistent

Acts 2:42 – And they [the Disciples] continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

How did they move the Word?  By continuing steadfastly!
How do we get stuff done?  By continuing steadfastly!

Acts 6:4 – But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.

They “gave themselves” to prayer and to the ministry.  They were “sold out” to God and his Word.  That’s why they are mentioned!  The result was that the entire region where they lived had the opportunity to know God.

There is a book written by Jeff Olsen called “The Slight Edge”

It is a simple concept that is easy to understand, easy to do, and will bring success in any endeavor.

First, let’s look at what the Slight Edge is “NOT”
In this fast-paced world, our culture idolizes microwave success.
Everyone wants to win the lottery, to win in the stock market, to win in Vegas, to become a movie star or a hit music artist, to become a millionaire on the internet, etc.  Debt is at an all time high because everyone wants it right now.  This is not Godly, nor is it reality.  In the real world; anything worthwhile takes time and effort.

Now let’s look at what the Slight Edge “IS”
The slight edge is referring to those small, insignificant decisions that we all make every day.  They can be regarding what food we eat, whether or not we exercise, what we do with our free time, who we talk to, and the list goes on… These decisions are either working FOR us or AGAINST us.

The author gives an example of an Olympic athlete:

“WINNING IS ALWAYS A MATTER OF SLIGHT EDGE. Who can forget that moving moment of triumph in the ’94 Olympics when American speed-skater Dan Jansen at last overcame years of discouragement, disappointment, and frustration to finally win the gold medal in the 1000 meters, setting a world record of one minute, 12.43 seconds?

Do you know by how much of a margin Jansen won?  Do you know what the difference was between the winning world record gold medal and the virtual oblivion of second place?
Twenty-nine hundredths of a second! That’s a very Slight Edge!
No matter where you look, no matter in what area of accomplishment, life, work, or play — the difference between winning and losing, between going down in the record books as first and best…or not at all — the gap that separates success and failure is always measured as … THE SLIGHT EDGE.”

This is very timely with the 2008 Olympic games.  Michael Phelps has (at the time this article was written) won 8 gold medals in these Olympics and 18 total over his career.  That is more than any other Olympian ever!  Many of his medals and world records came down to milliseconds.  He literally won by hundredths of a second.  That is a slight edge.

“With THE SLIGHT EDGE, time is on your side. What if you gave yourself five years to become twice the person you are today: to earn twice the income, have twice the personal relationships and contacts, make twice the impact on the world, and enjoy twice the quality of life? Could you do it? How would you do it?! Ask yourself honestly, “If I doubled my efforts …if I had twice as much time…if I became twice as smart… If I worked twice as hard as I do today …could I really become twice as productive as I am right now? No, you couldn’t, and you know it. But wait! There is a way to become two, three, four, and more times as productive as you are today…
IF YOU WERE TO IMPROVE just .03% each day —  that’s only 3/10 of one percent, a very Slight Edge-and you kept that up for the next five years, here’s what would happen to you:

The first year, you would improve 100 percent (you would already be twice what you are today.  The second, you would improve 200 percent.  The third year, 400 percent.  And the fourth, 800 percent.  And by the end of year five-by simply improving 3/10 of one percent each day-you will have magnified your value, your skills, and the results you accomplished 1,600 percent. That’s 22 times more than you are today.”  (source)

This concept of daily habits, performed over and over each day has real power in accomplishing your goals.

Rarely is anything great accomplished in one sitting.  It is done by consistently making the right small decisions over a period of time.

This concept implies consistency.

How did Noah build an Ark?  — One day at a time for 120 years!
It’s like the old saying goes; “how do you eat an elephant?  …One bite at a time”

To recap what we discussed:

Step 1 is to  write down what you want to accomplish
Step 2 is to  start
Step 3 is to  remain consistent

Operating these principles will ensure that you are in a constant state of growth and you will certainly see the results!

God Bless You!

From an Aug 21, 2008 Teaching
[brackets indicate my comments]
All scriptures from KJV Bible unless otherwise noted
Image: Creative Commons