6 Reasons I Don’t Want to Share My Progress… and the 2 Reasons I am Anyway

At the beginning of this year I shared my goals for the year and pledged to share monthly updates on my progress. There are at least 6 reasons that I don’t want to share my progress report for February.  But I’m going to anyway and I’ll tell you why at the end of the post.

Reason # 1 – I’m not where I want to be. Ever been there? Set a goal and fall short? The temptation is to ignore the goal, act like it never happened and move forward without any plan to accomplish it.

To be honest, February was not a winner as far as reaching my goals.

  • I fell way behind on my goal of listening through the Bible
  • We did get date nights, but not because I did well at planning them
  • We had family meetings but they were sporadic rather than weekly
  • My morning routine was nearly obliterated by travel and a nasty bug
  • Instead of losing weight I actually went BACKWARDS – regaining some
  • We made some reasonable progress towards our financial goal
  • Our plans for expanding our ministry reach were stalled out for a month because of a technical glitch that took weeks to resolve.

Wow – that’s uncomfortable just typing it! But there it is, I’ve said it.

Reason # 2 – I prefer happy endings and good reports… especially if I am the one reporting! (So maybe I’ll just wait until NEXT month to report…)

Reason # 3 – Accountability is the most uncomfortable when I REALLY need it. When things are going well, I don’t actually need to know that others are caring, praying, or cheering me on. I’m feeling good – strong even. But when I’m falling short and I need my team, shame tells me to keep quiet.

Reason # 4 – I want to inspire you with my success rather than sharing my failures. Because only success inspires right? Why do I still believe that when the people who inspire me most are the ones who persevere – not the ones who experience apparently effortless success?

Reason # 5 – If I share my track record publically, there is no way to ignore it personally. (And trust me, I’d REALLY, REALLY like to ignore it right now!) It makes it harder to live with the dissonance – I think that’s how accountability works – it’s not so much about people flogging me for failure. It’s about integrity… wanting to walk straight without the hound of dissonance on my tail.

Reason # 6 – I’m afraid some will write me off as a weak, unspiritual man if I admit that I don’t always obtain what I strive for. (Hmmm think that might say something about me AND my community of faith) Ever feel that way?

Now there is more to the story than meets the eye… I experienced some big wins in February. They just weren’t directly related to my written goals. For instance, a technical glitch cost me weeks of work without resolution. For a task oriented man like myself, that is a recipe for a melt down. But, by the grace God, I was able to leave work in the office and engage Timi and the boys in fun, positive ways. Now THAT is progress for me!

So what am I going to do about my goals?

Well first let’s talk about what I’m NOT going to do. I’m not going to ignore them. I’m not going to wait until next month to report. I’m not going to let shame silence the truth of my experience. I’m not going to be satisfied with failure.

So I’ve picked up the baton of my Bible listening program. I’m taking my girl away for a marriage retreat (that we are attending as students!) We’re tightening up the family meeting schedule. I got a FitBit activity tracker for my birthday and I’m using it to help me stay focused on my health goals, and we’ve continued to work on the technical glitch which we appear to be within hours of solving as I write.

SO WHY AM I SHARING THIS WITH YOU?

Two reasons:

  1. I choose to live in the land of authenticity no matter how exposing or scary it sounds. Many of us are desperately searching for honest, real, people but in every crowd, somebody has to go first. Why not me?
  2. I trust that the reality of my experience in all it’s rawness may look something like your own journey and that maybe, as an evidence of grace, it will encourage you to get up and persevere in your own quest.

Does this encourage you or make you despondent? Share why in the comments below.

Next month I hope to share some happy endings but for this month this is my story.

photo credit: Week 0 – 01072008 – 255lbs via photopin (license)

4 Comments

  • Donna Watts

    Reply Reply March 18, 2015

    It’s encouraging to know that one isn’t alone in missing the goals. I didn’t reach mine for Feb. either and not looking too good for March yet. So, guess we’ll just need to all pray for each other, huh?

    • Richie

      Reply Reply March 18, 2015

      Yes – I think that’s a great place to start!

  • Jennifer Arruda

    Reply Reply March 28, 2015

    We can totally empathize! We find ourselves being idealists and ambitious, both of which can leave you with frequent unmet goals. Something that has been inspiring to me, is that success in achieving your goals has to do with grit – persistence, determination, getting back up even when you feel like you’ve failed. A righteous man falls seven times, but gets back up again. Here’s something interesting that happens – do you ever experience trying to fulfill goals that you know are the Lord’s will, but sometimes it seems as though He’s not helping to fulfill those goals that you know are His will to fulfill? Why? God brought me to Hebrews 10:36 to answer this, “For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.” So I’m seeing I have need of patience, and God uses the experience of seeking His will to accomplish patience. When I achieve my goal, who will I be when I get there?

    • Richie

      Reply Reply March 30, 2015

      Yes! Thank you Jennifer… very encouraging perspective.

      I wonder if goals aren’t a mirror (like the law) to remind us of our humanity and how often we fall short. If so, it’s no wonder that we often avoid goal setting like the plague!

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