On Oct. 1, 2015 I set a goal to walk across the country; to start at my home in Nashville, TN and make it all the way to Disneyland in Anaheim, CA by Dec. 31, 2016.
Sure enough, at 4:08 Pacific Time on December 31, I stepped inside the gates of Disneyland, lifted my arms and claimed victory. On New Year’s Eve I finally relaxed, knowing my mission was accomplished.
Okay, so I didn’t actually walk to Disneyland. Instead, I mapped out the number of steps it would take to accomplish the task and tracked my progress through my Fitbit and an Excel file. My journey didn’t lead through Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona, but through my neighborhood (a lot) and on hotel treadmills across the country.
Oh, and I figured out airports are great places to get in a ton of steps (helpful hint: when in Atlanta’s airport, forget the train and walk from concourse to concourse).
Mine was hardy an audacious athletic goal. Heck, within a day of reaching my grand destination, I heard of a friend of a friend who ran 2016 miles in 2016. Ummm, that’s about a million steps (running, mind you) more than I took in the entire year. And I got to count steps to the bathroom, through the kitchen; all of that stuff.
I was sufficiently humbled.
Still, I feel good about finishing my journey. Why? Because I set a goal, made a plan and worked the plan.
While this wasn’t some monumental accomplishment, I did have to make small, conscious choices. I rarely chose the closest parking space. When brushing my teeth, I’d walk in place. At hotels, I used stairs as much or more than elevators.
And of course, airports create opportunities to sit and play with a phone, or walk. I walked.
Through this process, I re-learned a lesson all of us know well: Just keep plugging. Seek small victories day after day and eventually we will accomplish the next mission.
With 2016 in the rear-view mirror, a new step goal awaits in 2017. So far, so good on that one.
But there are other goals to reach. Some are spiritual, others are professional and still others are family-related.
What about you? The New Year might be a time to make resolutions, or some of us set new missions in front of us as we go.
Today’s encouragement? Set a goal and set about doing it. Do you want to read through the Bible this year? Spend more time building up others? What is it that will make you say, “I advanced this year”? Just write it down, make the small choices and make it happen.
Later this week, I may unveil a goal all of us can work on together throughout the year. It’s one I’ve been musing over for several years and perhaps now is the time to get it done.
Thanks for reading; I’m looking forward to a great 2017 with all of you.