Refresh Your Goals and Your Soul
How are your New Year’s Resolutions going so far? According to the book, FINISH, 92% of New Year Resolutions fail. Jon Acuff says that you have a better chance of getting into Julliard than you do completing your New Year’s Resolution. So if your goals are already derailed, then you are probably not alone.
I can relate.
At the beginning of the year I was determined to exercise at least 30 minutes a day for the first 7 days of the New Year. The only problem was that we went out of town that first week. After traveling all day I kept my exhausted family from sleeping once we arrived at the hotel on the first night so that I could work out. Yet, the next day I missed my goal. The second week of the year I go sick and missed another day. Determined not to be sick the next day I actually worked out in the freezing weather and made my condition even worse.
Perfection is a brutal taskmaster. Seeking perfection is also why many people never find the ability to Finish. Jon Acuff explores this idea in detail in his book, FINISH.
What Causes People to Quit
He opens the book by discussing an online course called, 30 Days of Hustle. A study was done to look at what caused people to finish this course or not. He found out that trying harder and grinding more was not the solution. In fact, the day after people missed an exercise for the first time was the day that most people quit. In other words, the moment people realize that can’t achieve perfection they quit.
The Problem of Perfection
This is an extremely helpful thought for those trying to achieve goals, but it also caused me to think about our spiritual lives as well. I used to try and maintain a perfect Christian existence. I didn’t allow myself or anyone else to make mistakes. This caused me to be constantly discouraged and those around me were on pins and needles afraid to make mistakes as well. I thought permitting myself and others to make mistakes would be licensing compromise. In actuality, it would have only been allowing people to be human.
I do not believe God wants us to live that way.
The Solution of Pursuit.
This is why I have learned to champion pursuit over perfection. This is not only good for your New Year’s Resolution but for your soul as well. God modeled how He wanted us to live by pursuing us first (Romans 5:8). God could have demanded that we serve Him, but instead allows us to choose to respond to a love relationship with Him.
We never need God more than when we make a mistake. The lie of perfection will cause us to hide from what we need most in a moment of weakness. Feelings of “I’m not good enough” or “I am a failure” sound pious but they really aren’t. They just put the attention on ourselves instead of God.
Pursuit over Perfection
There is not only a freedom that comes from choosing pursuit over perfection, but also the ability to finish what you start. When your faith becomes about rules, regulations, and perfection not only are you missing the point, but you will also become discouraged by your own extra standards.
For more thoughts on overcoming perfection on your quest to finish your goals check out Jon Acuff’s new book, FINISH: