Measuring ProgressPosted: February 17, 2012
I am reading a nice note from a friend who visits me once a year in January. In the note, she raves about how much healthier and happier I seemed this recent visit as compared to the year before. It couldn’t have come on a better day because I was feeling frustrated about my progress toward greater health.
Most people get an idea or vision of how things can and should be and then they set a goal. They work toward the goal for a while and hope to see big results. If they don’t get the dream right away, they can get anxious, despondent, or frustrated because change doesn’t happen overnight.
I can be a lot like most people. How about you?
Whether it’s writing a book, healing a marriage, losing weight, or building a career, healthy and solid change usually takes time. That old saying, “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” applies equally to muscle tone as marble. However, it can be difficult to stick to the creation of your vision when you don’t see the desired progress.
If you have ever had the experience of dieting all week and not losing a pound, or doing your level best to get along with your boss only to be reprimanded, you know what I am talking about. The short term lack of progress is apt to erase the truth of your general climb toward success.
Those of us in New Thought who believe in the power of prayer learn that our directed thought and prayer can create magnificent changes in short order. We also learn that it is important to back our prayers up with action. If you are looking for a job, send out resumes. If you want a perfect right partner, get out of the house and meet people.
Following up prayer with sensible activity in the direction of our dreams is important. It cements the dream in day-to-day reality and tells God you mean business. You should take reasonable steps after you pray if you possibly can.
In many cases, change happens gradually. I’ve never known anyone to lose 30 pounds overnight but I have known people to lose craving for sugar and fattening food overnight.
Prayer is powerful. I have had things happen so fast that it might look like a miracle to an outsider. When I put on the prayer power, I’ve seen change arrive at lightning speed. On the other hand, sometimes even with a lot of prayer, change happens slowly.
When change happens slowly, it sometimes is difficult to see it. That’s why keeping records is so important. A chart of your weight, or your bank balance over a longer period than your daily memory bank can be very useful. Since we seem to be programmed to always want more, we need help remembering how much more we have already gained.
Change doesn’t happen at all if we give up. Right now, we are about six weeks away from setting our New Year’s resolutions and some of us are losing patience and slacking off. This is exactly the time when we should be putting on the extra power. When change seems to be avoiding us, it is not smart to give up. It is smart to pour on more power.
With God, all things are possible and prayer is the way we are most significantly with God when it comes to goal achievement. Prayer can bring about major changes in short order but sometimes we have a lot of resistance and there are hidden beliefs that take a while to dissolve.
It is pointless to spend a lot of time digging out the reasons why we are resisting. It is straight to the point to continue praying and to continue our planned program of success. How long should we pray for change? How long should we continue working toward our goals? The answer, according to Dr. Ernest Holmes, is until we see the desired result.
We should also try to see progress over a period of time rather than day by day. My friend’s note was a Godsend because it reminded me that compared to a year ago, my progress is marvelous. The note came on a day when I was discouraged about my exercise class and thinking about quitting.
One thing I have learned in my years on this planet is that people tend to give up too soon. The most important gift we can give ourselves is to hang in there, do our prayer work on a daily basis, and follow our plan until we achieve our dreams.
How do you keep track of your progress?
How do you keep your dreams enthusiastically alive?
How are you doing on those resolutions?
Do you need more God power?