Are You Approaching the Home Stretch of a Dream or Goal?
Is the finish line in sight, BUT the last home stretch is more than you expected. Exhausted and overwhelmed…you fear you cannot make it to the end. What do you do? First, let’s explore the four phases to the finish line, then discuss tips on making it across the finish line.
The Journey of Accomplishing Your Dreams and Goals is like a 400 Meter Race
It takes a lot of courage to get started, but you refuse to let fear rule so you are off. Then a rhythm is established. Soon after challenges arise, but you’ve come too far to go back so you charge forward. Nearing the finish line, you can see the prize…you’re on the home stretch and there is excitement and exhaustion. You face great challenges making it to the end. Let’s dig a little deeper into each phase and then, discuss how to make it across the finish line.
Getting Started: The first 100 Meters
At the starting line there is excitement, possibility, nervousness and fear all mixed together. The goal is to reach the finish line and win the race. In life, the goal is to accomplish your dream, defeat an addiction, or overcome a challenge. The announcer says, “On your mark…get set…go! The gun goes off and you take off full of hope. The journey begins. The first 100 meters goes well…you feel strong, fast and ready for anything life throws your way. You are fearless!
Settling-in: The Second 100 Meters
The second 100 meters, you settle in and your body adjusts to the speed. Your breathing and heart are in sync and a rhythm is established. Your dreams and goals are in motion and your making progress. There’s still hard work ahead, but you are hopeful and optimistic. The back stretch of the track is the quietest…you can hear your feet hitting the ground and the wind whistling in your ears.
About to Turn the Corner: The Third 100 Meters
By the third 100 meters and final turn, exhaustion is setting in. You may begin to feel the pain of the race…the pain of pushing yourself beyond your limits…reaching for the stars, breaking that bad habit, or overcoming that challenge. But pressing on and fighting through the discomfort is the only choice. So, you continue to push forward. By now you have come too far to go back.
The Home Stretch: The Final 100 Meters
Then, the last 100 meters…the home stretch…you can see the finish line. Your body is beat, your muscles are burning and breathing is becoming harder. You can hear people cheering, but you have no idea what anyone is saying. It feels like you’re in your own world…this is the moment you trained for, and this is the moment that will determine what happens next.
Part of you wants to give up and the other part refuses…which part will succeed?
Your dream is about to come true! All the hard work is going to pay off! How do you make it to the finish line?
Making it Across the Finish Line
The home stretch is where your training and character matter the most. Being prepared is crucial. The strength of your mind and focus is critical. What can you do to ensure you don’t give up on your dream, goal, kicking that bad habit, becoming a better person, getting that new job, losing the weight…?
- Be stubbornly intent on finishing; don’t give up.
- Have a personalized motto to repeat to yourself when times are tough.
- Be prepared by training your mind and body; discipline yourself.
- Be sure your dreams, goals and plans are under the will of God, and call upon Him for help.
- Have a network of family, friends, coaches, and cheerleaders to support and encourage you along the way.
- Cut out activities that may distract you from accomplishing your goals. This is critical in the home stretch. It is temporary…just so you can stay focused on the finish line.
- Get rid of any negativity that may set itself up against you. Sometime this means taking a break from people who bring you down.
Encouraged by Paul’s Example in Philippians
Don’t give up! I know you are tired and you have been tested beyond your ability. Even though the finish is in sight…it still seems faraway…as if you will never reach it. BUT you will. Press on. We can learn from Paul who in the book of Philippians teaches us to not let anything distract us from knowing God. It took all his energy to make Christ his goal. Paul compared this steadfastness to that of an athlete who let’s nothing distract him/her from the winning the prize including avoiding harmful things.
“I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:14
Is Anything Keeping You from Reaching Your Finish Line?
I would love to hear how you have conquered the home stretch of a goal, dream or challenge. Or if you are stuck somewhere in the race, what are you going to do today to get moving towards the finish line?
Sincerely with Hugs,
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