I received my associate’s degree when I was 20. I got married soon afterwards and we started growing our family. It wasn’t until after my kids were all about grown that I decided to work on my bachelor’s degree. I finished it when I was in my 50’s. I then got this crazy idea I wanted my master’s degree. My husband thought I had lost my mind. It was just a personal goal I had and I love to learn new things. So, I enrolled in my master’s program and made a plan to take it slowly. Going at a slower pace meant it would take me three years to complete it. I figured, if God allowed me to live, three years were going to come and go anyway, so I might as well be working on it. I was ready for the task at hand and very excited to begin.
Most every week, I had reading to do, as well as an assignment. Some weeks involved more than one assignment. Week after week after week after week, I was turning in assignments. I was reading new material. I was posting in our class forum. Week after week for THREE STRAIGHT YEARS. Before I knew it, three years of my master’s program coursework was done. I graduated with my degree and I was so glad I had decided to do this. I can't believe how empowered and confident it made me feel.
Not long after my graduation, I started working on my health. I wanted to decrease my medication dosages and I wanted to lose weight. As the weeks went by, I sometimes got impatient with my slow weight loss. It seemed to be taking forever. I was complaining to my daughter, Jennifer, one day and she gave me some timely advice that I needed to hear.
She said, “You didn’t go into your first class thinking you’d have a master’s degree after one semester. You committed for the long haul, knowing the end result was worth it. It’s going to take weeks and months to see huge differences in your weight loss and health, but it doesn’t mean the healthy things you are doing aren’t doing something. Tomorrow is a new day. Get up, make it a healthy day, get through it, and then plan for the next day. Giving up can’t be an option.”
So, it is with every important goal we set in life. It takes commitment for the long haul. It takes getting up each day and intentionally making choices to move us in the right direction. It takes keeping our eye on the goal and remembering that giving up is not an option. The results will come, a little at a time and it will be worth it. Before we know it, months and years will go by and finally, our goals will come to fruition.
What goals do you have for yourself? Are you getting discouraged because the results seem so slow? Keep your head up, looking straight ahead at the goal you are marching toward. Work on it today. Work on it tomorrow. Work on it the next day. Make intentional choices. Day after day after day after day. Giving up is NOT an option. You will eventually be celebrating your victories and it will be SO WORTH the commitment you made.