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One of my “bucket list” goals is to eventually run a marathon. That’s 26.2 miles. Years ago I gutted out a 15 mile run and I remember mile 14 was not a pleasant experience. For some reason though, (likely the recent Illinois marathon), I’ve been reminded of this lifetime goal.

Even though I know that finishing a marathon will be incredible, it’s the process that I’m dreading. Training for a marathon is an incredible amount of work. It’s also immensely time-consuming. You can’t just go out and run a marathon. It’s training. Shoes to road. Over and over again. It’s starting small and building up stamina and distance. The process also doesn’t happen overnight. Most running experts state that before you even consider running a marathon you need run regularly for at least a year. A year!?! I want to run a marathon in a couple of months so I can cross it off my list.

This is where goal momentum comes into play. I know I can’t think about running a marathon tomorrow. What I can do is decide that I’m going to slowly build up to that distance. Slowly being the key word. Doing too much too quickly is the best way to get injured. I also know that after a few months of simply plodding miles, my stamina will naturally increase, and running a marathon won’t feel like a camping trip in the summer of the Sahara desert.

I think a lot of us fail at goals because we try to do it all in one fell swoop. So be encouraged to set smaller goals, with the grand prize of achieving the giant goal as part of a longer process. Or, as my wife has so wittingly coined: TTP (Trust The Process).

We don’t get out of debt overnight. We don’t shed twenty pounds (healthily) in a week. It’s a series of small continual steps that bring us to a desired destination.

My encouragement for this week, and maybe yours as well, is “dare to set a giant goal.” The next step is repeatedly taking disciplined small steps in that direction. Run often. Budget weekly. Throw away the junk food. Forgive repeatedly. Quick fixes are rarely effective fixes. The fixes that take time and effort are the ones that have the best results.

Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin… Zechariah 4:10 (NLT)

Til next time,