The Often-Unappreciated Key to Turning Your Goals Into Successes

There are no shortcuts to achieving your goals.
There are no shortcuts to achieving your goals. (Brooke Cagle)

There is one major key to success in all areas of life, whether we are believers in Christ or not. This key is one we don't like, so we don't see it when it's right before our eyes. Before I tell you what it is, let me tell you what it is not. It's not taking the easy way out because success that really matters to us will cost us something.

Herein lies the rub. We love the words "free," "easy," "no money down," "no payments for a year," "eat all you want and never diet." We want something for nothing. And weight loss is no different. We want someone to give us a magic pill or a secret we haven't discovered yet so that we can magically drop 50 pounds overnight. And we want that secret to cost us nothing.

Investment Equals Commitment

When I began weight-loss coaching, I was shocked at an answer God gave me. I asked Him, "Should I charge for coaching and if so, what should I charge and why?" His answer was rather puzzling to me. He said, "No investment. No commitment." So as always when I don't understand His answer, I asked, "What does that mean?"

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Immediately He dropped the "knowing" into my heart. The first video in my #KickWeight program is titled, "Commitment." It is the No. 1 ingredient we all need for success in any endeavor. Commitment is what gets us through the hard times. Commitment holds marriages and families together. It keeps us pursuing our degree well past the time we wanted to give up and throw in the towel. Commitment drives us to train for a big race. And commitment is the key ingredient to lose weight and sustain it with a healthy lifestyle.

Investment of time or money keeps us committed to finishing what we started. If we enroll in a college algebra course and find it is tough, and the first month, we are making an F, we have a choice. We can drop out, lose our money and not have an F on our transcript or we can buckle down, study and get something for the money invested.

Those who invested $1,000 for that course will likely put all their efforts towards making at least a C. Those who invested $50 (if there even is a college algebra course for that price) will drop out and forfeit the money.  Little or no investment means there never really was a commitment to finish to begin with. They wanted an easy, passing grade to get that required course out of their way.

Failure Versus Success

Many times, if we start something and fail even the least bit, we immediately stop. We are not committed to go through the tough stuff to get the prize at the end, whether it's getting a good grade, reaching a 40-year anniversary mark, completing a marathon or watching the numbers go down on the scale.

When the scale shows a few pounds gained, we give up and say, "I'll never amount to anything. I'll always be a fat blob." Our focus is on the immediate defeat rather than the great lessons we can learn along the journey.

Failure is a great teacher. When we fail, it's not a time to give up and quit. It's a time to figure out why we went off-course. Why did I eat that cake? Was I tired? Bored? Lonely? Angry? Overwhelmed? Wanting to celebrate? What could I do next time instead of eating what I have decided I won't eat?

The commitment level we have will help us want to dissect the situation and get to the core root of the problem. If we can't do that ourselves, we need to go to the Christian weight-loss coach who can help us think through what's going on and how we might be able to change the way we are attacking our issues.

Letting Go

I am so grateful for the mentors in my life.  Recently, I scheduled a time with one of my mentors just to check in. He always has words of wisdom for me. Here's some I've been chewing on: "What got you where you are today will not necessarily get you to the next level. It might actually keep you trapped and not allow you to move to that next level."

Many of us wallow in what has become a comfortable place. Although it offers some sense of familiarity, we will never move from that place to where God wants to take us unless we step out of where we are.

"Forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal to the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 3:13-14). 

We have to let go of what seems like it's always gotten us through, but the payment for getting us through has cost our bodies dearly. We have to step out of where we are to get to where we want to go. We have to let go.

Commitment Matters

Commitment takes an investment of some sort. The more we invest in what we want, the more we will commit. So, if we wonder why we aren't anywhere near obtaining the goal we are after, it may be because we have invested very little. Very little time. Very little patience. Very little money. Very little of what is really valuable to us. We want something for nothing.

When I weighed 430 pounds and began my weight-loss journey in earnest, I got out of almost everything I was doing and focused on the goal of changing my entire life. I knew enough to know that I could not continue doing what I'd always done and expect to get different results. I had to allow space in my life for change.

I invested in myself through doctors, trainers, coaches, mentors, nutritionists, counselors, a coaching group, a gym membership. I had to approach change as though I really meant it. In the past I had invested thousands of dollars in get-thin-quick programs. They worked as long as I was in them, but I had not committed to a total lifestyle change and they hadn't promised it.

Are You All In?

The change started within me. It started with my 100 percent commitment to transform with God's help for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health. After losing 260 pounds, I'm still committed to follow God on this total health journey because I am His and He is mine.

What are you will to pay for the price of your health? Will it take requiring you to pay $497/month to get personal coaching from me to up the level of your commitment? I could do that and I have been asked to do just that. But believe it or not, this is not about the money. It's about the message. It's about what it will take to complete the transformation process.

I've priced my groups so I can afford to spend the time I need to help you on your journey. It's much less than the price I mentioned. But to succeed, you do need to grab hold of the first principle of  commitment. Commitment is the key to your success, your health and your life.

Teresa Shields Parker is a wife, mother, business owner, life group leader, speaker and author of Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds and Stopped Trying to Earn God's Favor and Sweet Grace Study Guide: Practical Steps to Lose Weight and Overcome Sugar Addiction and Sweet Freedom. Get a free chapter of her memoir on her blog at Teresa Shields Connect with her there or on her Facebook page or Twitter.

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