Funny how things work.
I write for a magazine called Health Matters. Last year I was bold enough (i.e. crazy) to put my goals into writing and publish them in this magazine! Well, I felt it ONLY fair to let readers know just what happened!
As I wrote for the December/January issue a few weeks ago, I wanted to weave my goal results into the article. Alas, my editor called and said I was over my word limit. What? She limits me? Noooo..say it isn’t so!
So, we decided I’d publish it on my blog and let the Health Matters readers know they could “find the rest of the story” here.
So, welcome readers!
Last year I set out, after prayerful consideration to reduce our personal debt by 50% and qualify for the World Championships of 70.3 Triathlon.
Debt goal – Incredible progress made, but the 50% was not achieved.
We had to modify this goal almost immediately! My husband Robert and I took a finance management course called Financial Peace. This course changed our life and provided us the knowledge and tools we desperately needed. Based on the wisdom and principles of Financial Peace, we had to adjust our goal. By following the principles of FP we reduced our debt significantly, but not by 50%. Discouraged? Heck no. Persisting on through 2011? Heck yes. Were we perfect with all of our financial choices? No. Were we better educated and able to understand the consequences of our choices? Yes. Did the tools we learned help us take steps to achieving our goal? Absolutely. Am I disappointed that the 50% wasn’t achieved? Only a little bit. Am I going to keep on doing what I know to do and seeing this goal through? Yes, the goal is now to be completely debt free. So, based on what we did accomplish this year, we increased the goal and adjusted the time frame. We should reach our goal in just a little over 2 years. Obviously, in persisting on with this goal there are variables out of our control that we may encounter and we will adjust as necessary. But, we will keep on with our budgeting, improved daily choices and making steps each week, month and quarter toward being debt free until we are! God opened up the opportunity and perfect timing for us to take FP and has provided us with the strength to continue on in achieving this goal. It’s a long road, but a road worth staying on!
Qualify to go to World Championship 70.3 Triathlon race – achieved but not in the manner I anticipated.
I set this goal knowing it was enormous and knowing that my part was relatively small compared to God’s part in achieving this goal. So, I planned to qualify for World Championships at a race in Lubbock, TX in June 2010. I trained hard for that race and went down to Texas knowing that this was a long shot for me to qualify and that God would need to show up! I raced and had a great swim, great bike and a horrible run. I finished with a time that put me 18th out of 33 women in my age group. Disappointed? Yes. Feeling like I wouldn’t qualify now with my time and placement in my age group ? Yes. Did I believe God could still do something? Yes, even though I couldn’t imagine how!
After placing 18th I wasn’t even sure I wanted to go to the awards ceremony where the opportunities would be given out, if I had place 6th or 7th, that would have been different. But, I truly believed that I had gotten this far on faith that God had planted this goal in my heart. So, Robert and I went to the ceremony.
There were 2 opportunities that would be given to the women in my age group to go to championships. The first place woman would have the first opportunity and the second place woman would have 2nd opportunity and so on. If first and second didn’t take them, then 3rd and 4th place would get opportunities and so on. They offered the “slot” as it is called to the first place woman, she said no. After only 1 of the top 5 in my age group took a slot, there was still one more slot to give out. The emcee called the 6th place woman, then 7th, then 8th. They were either not present to accept or declined. The emcee continued on through 12th place and then she stopped and went on to the next age group. What? There’s still one slot left? Would she keep calling names if I asked her? Robert said, “Go. Ask.” So up to the stage I went and I asked her if she would keep calling until she called my name. She said she would. 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th…oh this is getting embarrassing..17th… then, 18th place, Kimberly Mendelsohn. “YES. I’ll take it!! I want to go to World Championships!!”
I trained hard but not perfectly. I was not properly trained or prepared for the run course. I did however, race my very best. In faith, I went to the ceremonies. As God does, He showed up and made achieving the goal of qualifying for World Championships a reality!
I want to point out how faith, perseverance and God’s power merge to make achieving goals possible!
- My goals were set in partnership with God. I prayed, read the Bible and listened to guidance that God gave.
- I did my part. We got financial education. I trained hard. I made many more good choices than bad. I sacrificed. I got tired. I had to ask God for the strength and power to keep me focused.
- God did his part. God provided us the opportunity to take Financial Peace. God opened up the opportunity to go to World Championships even though my performance wasn’t good enough – His performance was!!! What if I had said, “18th place. No way. Let’s not go to the ceremony.” I’d have missed seeing the hand of God work so I could go!