Monday, January 3, 2011

First Things First

The first time of doing anything new, unfamiliar, and flat-out unknown is scary.  It can be scary a good number of times after the initial step, too. This point in particular was driven home for me when I started a new job five years ago.  For the first three months I spent my morning commute praying like crazy that I wouldn’t mess up.  I did mess up, mind you, but I didn’t quit my job over those mistakes.  I wasn’t fired for them (whew!).  I was learning new things, in a new environment.  Figuring everything out and adopting new habits, acquiring new skills was going to take some time.  I realized that and my boss knew that before I even started my job.

It’s funny how I keep forgetting that with other things, though. 

Take last year’s goals – actually, my goal-setting history in general.  Granted, I do realize a good chunk of my problem is a lack of self-discipline.  But I am not helped by the fact I can all-too readily throw in the towel as soon as I miss a Bible reading for the day or a workout or some writing time.  Then there is the annoying “Remember” loop that kicks in far too often.  It would be fine for this loop to kick in if it were a “Remember your past successes” loop, but the one I have allowed to play the longest and loudest is “Remember your past failures”.  It’s a doozy, to be sure. 

Now I can’t pinpoint when my thinking finally started to shift in regards to setting goals for this year, but a shifting is in progress.  I’m thinking I will be hearing the “Mantra of My Failures” less often this year as I’m finally grasping a couple of things:

1.     I do not need to let my past failures determine my ability to move forward.
2.     A setback or failure on the course to reaching a goal does not mean the goal cannot be reached.  It simply takes time to change a habit.

Nothing deep or profound, to be sure, but it was a pretty cool ‘light bulb’ moment to have.


RandomThoughts said...

I like the new look, maple leaves and all!

We all tend to focus far more on our failures than our successes. Similarly, we remember one negative comment long after we've forgotten two dozen positive ones. I suspect it's one of the easiest ways satan has to keep us from spiritual growth, by distracting us with negativity.

crosscribe said...

Yes, distracting with negativity is a very effective method. And I think part of the worry, too, is if we focus too much on our successes we'll become proud. It is a fine line to walk at times.

Andrea and I were actually talking about such things a little while ago. We need to be hard on ourselves to an extent so we'll move forward, but not so hard that we get bogged down with our imagined failures and real regrets, etc. (Or something along those lines. Andrea, correct me if I'm wrong.)

crosscribe said...

P.S. Glad you like the new look! I was aiming for something a bit crisper-looking and bright. :)