SETTING a goal and ANNOUNCING the goal makes it easier to ACCOMPLISH that goal. That is what I learned from my recent 4th of July 5k run. Yesterday I spoke about step 1, SETTING THE GOAL. Today I want to talk about the second step – a step that I believe will increase your likelihood of accomplishing your goal exponentially.
Step Two: ANNOUNCING YOUR GOALS HELPS YOU OVERCOME OBSTACLES
Setting a goal is good, but there’s something extra motivational about announcing it publicly. Maybe it is just the competitive nature inside of me, but once I announce I am going to do something, I am going to do everything in my power to accomplish it.
It’s like when John F. Kennedy stood before Congress in 1961 and proclaimed that by the end of the decade, the United States would be the first nation to achieve its goal of “landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth.” He said that at a time when neither he nor the folks at NASA had any idea how they were going to accomplish it. But once he said it, the pressure was on to accomplish it. And that’s exactly what they did – in 1969, just before the turn of the century.
I don’t think Kennedy would have accomplished this goal without the pressure he created by announcing it publicly.
Same goes for you too. Obviously we aren’t sending men into space or trying to reach outer space, but the principle is the same. Announcing your goals helps you overcome the obstacles that will inevitably challenge the success of those goals.
For example, in the past two months – ever since I decided I wanted to run this race and announced it publicly – I’ve had to overcome two semi-significant injuries that under normal conditions would have stopped me from running the race.
First, I pulled my hamstring playing softball. This happened just days after announcing my goal and because of the injury I wasn’t able to start training when I had planned. I planned to train for 8 weeks to get ready, but the hamstring injury nixed that plan and set me 3 weeks behind. So my I had to fit my 8 week training program into 4 ½ weeks instead.
Secondly, 4 weeks ago, as soon as I overcame the hamstring injury and started training, I was playing basketball with a buddy of mine. While driving to the basket, I slipped and fell and used my hand to break my fall. Not good. I ended up with a sprained wrist that still hasn’t healed fully and caused me to have to wear a big bulky brace from my wrist all the way up to my elbow for the first 3 weeks.
Either of those two injuries would have been enough for me to convince myself that I don’t need to run the race. Each affected my ability to prepare properly and gave me enough of an excuse to pack up my sneakers and go home.
But I didn’t. I COULDN’T! Why? Because once I announced my goal, there was no way I was going to quit. Once I put it out there that this is what I want to do, it was going to take a lot more than those two injuries to stop me.
In other words, announcing your goal makes it easier to overcome obstacles.
Again, the same is true spiritually. I am certain that you’ve experienced this before: you set a goal (pray with my kids, go to church weekly, give more generously, etc.) and as soon as you do an obstacle comes up. Something comes into your life that threatens to derail your goal. Something totally out of the blue that just couldn’t come at a worse time.
If your goal is something that only you know about it, it becomes a lot easier to put that goal on hold till later. You have a perfectly valid excuse to quit and no one will ever know. But once that goal is out there and others know about it, there is something more binding about it. It becomes real and you find yourself trying harder to overcome the obstacles.
First you set your goal, then your announce it. First you visualize, then you verbalize.
Announcing your goal isn’t just about tricking yourself into accomplishing it. It is an act of faith. It is a public statement of “I believe that with the power of God, I can do this. I can overcome this obstacle. I can resist this temptation. I can accomplish this goal – all by the power of the Living God. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
For discussion: what goal do you need to verbalize and announce?