The Start Doesn’t Start ‘Til You Start

White and Brown Wooden Box

All hard work brings profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.

~Proverbs 14:23 (New International Version)

I credit my husband for the title of this post. He said this phrase to me the other day while were talking about goal-setting and planning. He explained that goal setting can kind of be a trap sometimes because we can spend all this time and energy setting goals, and feel accomplished. But then when it comes to executing the plan and achieving the goals, we’re fatigued or bored with the idea from mulling it over during the goal-setting phase. I agree with him; I have totally done that very thing. To be clear, goal setting is a good thing. We have to know where we’re going. But sometimes we get stuck at the start.

And then I happened upon the above verse. When I read this verse, the first thing that popped into my mind was the chorus of Rhianna’s song “work, work, work, work, work.” Now, whether one can really relate Rhianna’s music to Jesus, I’m not here to debate. I’m just telling you what came into my head at the time.

But this verse and my husband’s phrasing did make me think about my progress on my goals for 2019 as we move toward the end of January (already!). At the end of 2018, I sat down and made some goals for myself and figured out what I wanted my year to look like. And even as we inch toward the end of the month, I feel my goals slowly slipping away from me, snatched away by too-full days and the demands of everyone and everything around me. This may be a little dramatic, perhaps, but the the point is I’m not making the goal progress I want to make.

And I’m betting that I’m not the only one who feels this way! This verse serves as a timely reminder to get to work! We’ll always have stuff to do, right? Our goals should be priority because stuff will always get in the way. Work brings profit, so let’s work, people!

I’m pumping myself up as much as I’m trying to pump you up. I have to confess, I’m good at talking about something and not following through. A Friday night conversation with my husband might sound like this: “yeah, tomorrow I’m going to get up, fold the laundry, wash the dishes, probably take the kids to the park and then come home and cook dinner.”

Cut to Saturday mid-morning, and you may or may not find me in my bed, scrolling through my Twitter and IG feeds, hoping my kids don’t call my name. Why does my body seem so averse to productivity? Yes, I’m a wife and working mother with lots of responsibilities, but I’ll admit, I also have a lazy streak. If there’s an opportunity to avoid doing the hard or challenging work of meeting a big goal, I will take it. If I have a choice between sitting at my laptop and writing or watching another episode of The Office, Michael Scott wins out nearly every time. (If you haven’t seen The Office, you’re not living, by the way). And surely, I can’t be the only one who does this!

But alas, Jesus ain’t havin’ it. We have to work to see the results we want. It’s a simple principle, but it’s so hard to execute at times. Sometimes we need a little jolt to get us moving. Write this verse on an index card and stick it in your car, or write it in dry erase marker on your bathroom mirror. Whatever we have to do to keep moving toward our goals, let’s do it! Let’s work, y’all. We have goals to meet and better people to become! Let’s get to work, work, work, work, work!

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