When I talk about stretching, most of us think of stretching our muscles. I stretch my muscles about 10 minutes per day. As I stretch, I notice the range of motion of each muscle tends to increase. The opposite is also true, if I don’t stretch for a few days then those same muscles become stiff and don’t have the same flexibility.
While stretching and exercising our muscles is important, this analogy is true for most every other area of our life.
When I’m training at the pool, if I just do what I find easy and comfortable, I will never improve my times. I have to continue to develop my skills and endurance which requires me to push myself beyond what I can do today.
Same is true at the gym. If I can lift 100 lbs today and that is all I ever do, then I’ll never go beyond that. In order to stretch myself beyond today’s ability it takes hard work, effort and time.
What about other areas of life?
In my education, after 18 years of stretching my knowledge through the school system, I left there thinking I am done and ready for life. I very quickly learned that learning is a life long goal where I will be stretching myself, always wanting to learn new things. Along with that, I want the ability and wisdom to apply the knowledge in practical ways.
In my career, for many years I was always stretching myself, each year moving forward. Then I finally landed a comfortable job making a good salary. Many would say I had “Made it”. I was in this job for eleven years, but the last three I was no longer stretching myself . I had become comfortable and was no longer growing.
Comfort is the enemy of growth and success!
What about our spiritual life? It is so easy to fall into a comfortable position. We go to church on Sunday, maybe even read a chapter of our Bible a few times a week and then pray when we get into trouble. As a Christian we are to become more Christ like. That is continuous growth and stretching beyond where we are today.
2 Peter 1:5-8
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Now there is an opportunity to stretch!
As we set our goals for the new year, how are you going to stretch yourself in each of these areas. (health, education, career, spiritually)
Unless you stretch you never grow. Some would say “I used to set stretch goals but rarely seem to achieve them. Many times I’ve looked back at the end of the year and noticed little change.” Achieving goals doesn’t happen by good wishes, but by planning and hard work.
Once you’ve decided what your stretch goals are
- Write them down
- Make a plan
- Schedule the time in your calendar
- Work the plan
- Regular review of progress
- Hold yourself accountable
May 2022 be a year where you accomplish your stretch goals.
God bless and have great week.