Hope flows in the positive. When we talk hope we awaken to all that is possible. Our thinking is engaged and our imagination is stimulated. Hope attracts us to the future and makes us dream. Hope heightens our expectation and can be compared to fresh water on a hot summer day. We need hope to cope with the heat of life but often hope itself is not enough. In his latest book, “No Limits”, leadership expert John Maxwell cited that although we have uphill hopes they are often neutralized with downhill habits. The hope of losing weight will eventually be canceled out by downhill eating habits. In comparing hopes and habits, I cannot help but remember my daughter climbing the ladder to the top of the slide in the park only to go down the slide back to her original starting point. Our habits will always pull us back down to our starting point, defer our hopes, and make our hearts sick.
If we have uphill hopes and downhill habits, what is the middle man that keeps our hopes alive? Goals. According to author Michael Hyatt, goals have a certain kind of anatomy that gives hope structure. We must see hope as valuable enough to add goals to them. In other words, faith without works is dead. If we use the example of hoping to lose weight, then by setting the goal of losing ten pounds in 3 months coupled with proper nutrition and a consistent exercise regimen, our hope is fueled and kept alive by the results we start to gradually see.
Don’t be satisfied by just having hope and the feeling you get from it. Add a goal to your hope. In doing so, first, you will see exponential results in your life as your hope remains intact. Hope without a goal is a set up for disappointment. Second, your level of productivity rises or falls on your ability to have hope and intentionally set goals that act as stairs to reach your hope. Third, because hope is always in the future, goals become the connection between your present and future.
Don’t approach life armed only with hope. It will eventually wear out over time as you remain stuck, never pulling the trigger (launching) in the direction of your dreams and desires. The lack of goals will stifle your motion and suffocate your hope. Apply these steps to keep hope alive:
Express your hope for what you see ahead of you.
Embrace the step of goal setting as soon as possible.
Execute your goals with consistency, keeping in mind the value you place on your hope.
Energize yourself to approach each day with a goal accomplishing mindset.
Evaluate your progress often to ensure that you are on track to realize the hope you expressed at the beginning of the journey.
Hope requires climbing. It’s often in the climb that we tend to quit because of the degree of difficulty involved in reaching the goal and seeing our hope become reality. The climb is where the challenge is. Goal execution is the stage where most of us resign on our hopes. Don’t quit at this stage. Don’t be intimidated by the climb or give attention to the voice that tells you you cannot make it. Listen to the voice of truth instead. Stay the course. Keep your eyes on the prize. Push through the monotony and difficulty. Decide you are in it for the long term and with each passing day the peak is within reach. When you don’t see results forthwith, believe that the goals you structured are profitable to the big picture you hope to eventually see.
Keep on Keeping on!
Maxwell, John C., “No Limits: Blow the Cap off Your Capacity” (New York: Center Street, 2017)
Hyatt, Michael, “Goal Phsychology 101” (2017)