When the new year rolls around, it is very likely that you set new goals or resolutions that you want to accomplish throughout the new year. Maybe you chose a word that will be your focus for the year, or possibly a phrase or a motto to use as your compass for the year. According to the dictionary, a motto is a quotation or phrase chosen as encapsulating the beliefs or ideals guiding someone, family, or institution.
One particular quotation that comes to mind is my high school motto. “Forward ever, Backward never” This was printed on our shirts, yes we had uniforms. and sweaters. Several decades have passed since I thought about that clause. At that time, this phrase did not mean much to me, but now in my adult life, I see that it is a meaningful one to inspire one to aim higher in life and meet the goals or aspirations that one desires.
Come with me and break down this phrase. The first part “Forward Ever” means that we are going to put one foot in front of the other and start matching. Realize that whatever you focus on will eventually increase. Focus on what is ahead of you. The goal you want to attain is the joy ahead of you. Your banner.
“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,”
I am sure you have heard the saying that a journey of a mile starts with just one step. It is the little steps that we make that bring us closer to where we want to be. Establish what those little steps are for you. Map out your journey to the outcome you want. Make a list. The joy in making a list is crossing it out. Every little development we make in our lives is a step toward our goals.
Arm yourself with diligence, ingenuity, and consistency. By being diligent, you have to make your goal a priority. Care enough about your success and repeat what will bring it to fruition. The Bible has a lot to say about diligence. What caught my attention is that the word is mentioned as contrary to laziness. It yields progress, profit, satisfaction, and also leadership.
The hands of the diligent shall bear rule, but the slothful shall be under tribute.
The lazy do not roast any game, but the diligent feed on the riches of the hunt.
When it comes to ingenuity, this is where your true character gets to shine. It is the creativeness of your personality that will get you to the ultimate destination. You and I might have the same goal and have a totally different approach to it. For instance, if your goal is to lose weight, you might join a local gym and I might opt to buy workout equipment instead. You are all unique in your own way and that is what makes you special. Tap into that originality and you will succeed.
As your character gets to shine, it will also be tested. Consistently doing what is new to you is going to be challenging at first. The good this is that this is when true growth happens. You chose that particular goal for a reason. One way to stay consistent is to schedule a time to work on your accomplishments. Life has a way of getting in the way, so make sure you set time aside and put it on the calendar. It might be a good idea to have someone to hold you accountable.
As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.
1 Corinthians 15:58
Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
I will close with something I learned from watching an animal channel the other day. Apparently, in the frozen tundra, food is so scarce that late in the spring when the sun warms up the earth, thousands and thousands of reindeer descend on the thawing ground in search of vegetation. Sometimes they have to walk for days without stopping. Even the young ones know to do that. That is extraordinary endurance.
The flip side to this is that the reindeer have an enemy. The biting flies, who also happen to have a very strong tenacity. That is why the reindeer needs to keep walking. When they cannot take it anymore, the reindeer knows to go to higher grounds where the flies cannot go. In the same way, you should elevate yourself to the levels that those who want to bite you cannot go.
We all have a past. That should not be your focus. The past needs to remain as such. Behind us. Just keep walking. Forward Ever!!