Goals for 2014: The Messy Middle

Goals Check-up Time!

goals: themessymiddle

My most recent long run was a run of 7 miles. I had run that distance before, but it had been about a year. This time, I’ve been working myself up to running longer distances over the past few months, so I had run 6 miles on my previous long run. It was time to up my milage and continue to stretch my wings – I mean, legs – by running 7 miles again!

Everything went fine for the first couple of miles. The weather was perfect – about 50 degrees with a slight breeze. After awhile, however, my legs began to feel like they were made of heavy iron. I know it didn’t help that I was running at a park, doing 0.6 mile circles. How boring is that? All that energy going out, and I was really going nowhere. The only thing worse is a treadmill! 😉

Somehow, I’m still not sure how, I survived (couln’t guess, right?;) I can tell you that it’s a lot better to be on the other side of that run – the DONE part – than to be in the middle! Oh, how good it is to be done! But I learned a very important lesson here.

Many of us have written down goals for 2014. It felt so good to get down on paper the things that we want to accomplish, by God’s grace, over the next year. But let’s face it – it’s mid-March, and a lot of us have lost contact with our goals already.

Here are some thoughts I have about How to survive the messy middle:

1. Keep moving. In a race, especially a half-marathon or marathon, the goal is merely to keep moving toward the finish line. There is only 1 winner in a race, but that doesn’t mean that the rest of us have to give up; we can still put one foot in front of the other and reach our goal just fine.

2. Fuel up! When I get a few miles into a long run, it’s time to break out the fuel, or the long run becomes a short run! When it comes to the Messy Middle of the year, it’s important to fuel our hearts with the Word of God and good, encouraging words. If God is the original source of your goals, then staying in touch with Him will be your source of inspiration.

3. Concentrate on the end. When I was running, I watched the cars driving by and thought, “how nice it must be to sit down – even in a car!” I worked on concentrating on the “joy set before me” – a wonderful yummy smoothie when I got back home! With our 2014 goals, it’s important to remember the end result we’re trying to acheive, and why we want to achieve it.That can go a long way to pushing us forward!

4. Finally, you’re only one step away from heading the right direction. If you find yourself doing NOTHING that you had planned, it’s ok. It does you no good to beat yourself up over lost time. The only thing you really need to do is Turn Around. In other words, just look at your list, find one thing that you need/want to do, and think of your next action item for that thing. Do that one action, and it will help you get moving in the right direction.

How are your goals coming along? Mine are moving along slowly, but surely. But with God’s help and some “running inspiration,” I know I can get through the Messy Middle.

Linking up with: Monday: Moms the Word, and A Mama’s Story Tuesday: Titus Two Tuesdays, The TimeWarp Wife, Messy Marriage Wednesday: To Love Honor and Vacuum href=”http://www.growinginhisglory.com”>Growing in His Glory


  1. Lisa Cour says:

    Congrats on 7 miles! Mondays are my long run days…definitely gets the week kicked off!

    I like what you said about doing just one action to get going. So often that’s the hardest part…get going!

    • Lisa says:

      Thanks so much, Lisa! I think you’re right – getting going is the hardest part…but so is the middle…and sometimes even the last few steps!

  2. Cheryl Smith says:

    I am always encouraged in coming here! Thankfully, God is helping me keep up with my goals of reading the Bible through, keeping a thanksgiving journal and a health/weight journal. I kept my goals for this year fairly simple, and it’s a good thing…with all of the health issues going on, I would have been hard-pressed to have done anything else. I am SO proud of you for running! I can’t even imagine doing that. God bless you in your endeavors! Love, Cheryl

    • Lisa says:

      Thanks, Cheryl! I started running about 5 years ago, so I’m still sort of new to it.

      After 8 pregnancies and over 17 years of living on the road (I’ll say it as simply as I can: I hate McDonald’s!!) my body was trashed. I thought I would spend the rest of my life on the couch! It was -so – hard – just to walk for 15 minutes, and I would be exhausted for the rest of the day.

      Now, by God’s grace, I’m training for a half-marathon with my daughter! As my husband says, “Who’d a thunk it?” I’m just so thankful to The Lord that I can do any running at all.

      I love the thought of keeping goals simple. I tend to complicate things all by myself! And I love your goals of reading your Bible Through and keeping several journals! Congrats of all you do!

      I’ll be praying for your health issues…not fun, but somehow I think you may have a greater vision of God than those of us who seem to be fine.

  3. Beth says:

    This is such good stuff, Lisa. I’m glad you’ve reminded us of 2014 goals. I was just thinking this morning about my “one word” and found that my focus has shifted a bit from that pursuit. I also love when God teaches us things in the “middle” of our day, doing routine things like exercising. It tells me your ears are attentive to His voice! By the way, your discipline in running is so amazing. You go, girl! 🙂

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