Not long ago, I saw a post on social media asking people to tell what prevents them from exercising. Some cited health issues. Others stated they don’t exercise because they are averse to sweating. Still others listed time limitations, low energy levels, laziness, and distant proximity to exercise facilities. Lack of discipline was a reason that never made the list, yet that is often behind most of the excuses we create.
What holds you back and prevents forward motion? Fear? Lack of motivation? Failure to envision the end result? Following are some thoughts on moving beyond excuses to small steps that yield big results:
Excuses Hold You Back
Do you know someone who makes excuses for not starting or completing tasks? And is that someone you? Sometimes, we delay because a task seems too monumental to tackle. This is when breaking the project into manageable chunks is the key to success. If you wait until you have time to do something because the scope is so broad, it will never get done. Like most things, beginning is half the battle. Decide today to table excuses, formulate a plan, and begin. Even a few small steps ignite forward motion momentum.
Two years ago, I began practicing intermittent fasting. At first, fasting every day for 12-14 hours a day seemed impossible, so I began with 11 hours and slowly worked up to 14. I chafed at the restrictions on the timing of eating and felt the regime was too difficult. But as I began to feel better, lab reports improved, and my weight dropped, I felt less deprived. Seeing progress in several areas made the practice of fasting feel less restrictive.
When you begin something that seems too hard, start with small steps and work your way up. Many people begin something difficult with great gusto, but lose momentum and interest quickly because they can’t maintain the level of effort.
Many things in life are incremental. Accepting that fact, and finding satisfaction in the process, helps turn small steps into big results.
Some people are goal-oriented to the point it places all their focus in one direction, and they miss other opportunities because of it. Others set lofty goals that are unattainable, for various reasons, and become dejected and frustrated when those out-of-reach goals never become reality. By setting reasonable goals, and working toward them consistently, you challenge yourself to move beyond where you are.
When I turned in my book manuscript several weeks ago, I heaved a sigh of relief. This year has been a doozie. In addition to COVID lurking around every corner, I experienced a tornado and the damage it caused, an earthquake, torrential rains, and major changes in several areas of life.
Writing a book is hard. It takes discipline, vision, focus, and consistent work. When distractions come, it’s easy to lean toward throwing in the towel and giving up. There were days when I only wrote 250 words, and had to force myself to do that much, but God consistently gave me ideas and words. I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge Him as the source of my creativity and inspiration.
When you push beyond excuses, and take small steps forward, they add up. Eventually, if you don’t give up, you reach your goals and enjoy the sense of accomplishment that goes with completion. No matter what hard thing lies before you, take those first steps and continue. With God’s help, you will succeed.
He holds success in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones. Proverbs 2:7-8 NIV
Candy Arrington is a writer, blogger, speaker, and freelance editor. She often writes on tough topics with a focus on moving beyond difficult life circumstances. Candy has written hundreds of articles, stories, and devotionals published by numerous outlets including: Inspiration.org, Arisedaily.com, CBN.com, Healthgrades.com, Care.com, Focus on the Family, NextAvenue.org, CountryLiving.com, and Writer’s Digest. Candy’s books include When Your Aging Parent Needs Care (Harvest House) and AFTERSHOCK: Help, Hope, and Healing in the Wake of Suicide (B&H Publishing Group).
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