Everyone is joining gyms right now because they are turning over a new leaf. January is the time where a lot of people (12% of new members) sign up for a gym membership, and studies show that most of those people have quit going by June…and some would have quit earlier if they weren’t in a 6 month contract. In fact, some statistics suggest that 80% of the people who own gym memberships don’t actually go to the gym. Why is that?
I heard this statement the other day. “We tend to overestimate what we can do in the short term, and we underestimate what we can do in the long term.” When you think about it, that’s very true. I want to lose 50 pounds so I jump into some super fast weight loss gimmick to lose it faster than humanly possible. After doing this ridiculous over-the-top diet and exercise routine for a week…I quit, because I can’t keep it up. In other words, I overestimated what I could do in the short term. I can’t lose 50 pounds healthily in a short amount of time…that’s crazy.
But we also tend to underestimate what we can do in the long term. The truth is that if I lose one pound a week, in a year, I would have lost 52 pounds. That’s certainly doable, right? It’s just one pound! It takes less effort, but exerted over a longer time. We underestimate what we can do in the short term.
Solomon tells us in Proverbs 6 to learn from the ant. They work now to have food later. In a microwave, instant gratification world, it’s hard to wait, but it’s important. That’s the message of the tortoise and the hare, right? The methodically paced tortoise beats the erratic, but much faster hare because the hare ran in bursts while the tortoise simply kept on going.
I love this verse in Proverbs 21…”The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes to poverty” This year, don’t set a giant goal you can’t accomplish…set a goal that you can maintain, and see where it takes you. Exercise your patience and your stamina more than your speed, and see the journey that God can take you on, not only in your physical life, but also in your character, your attitude or wherever.
In the end, you might find, instead of underachieving on short term fantasies, you might be overachieving by reaching long term milestones faster, and being inspired to do more than you ever thought possible.
Jim Campbell is the Lead Pastor and Primary Communicator at Bay West Church,
which meets at 100 Emerson Drive on Sundays at 11am.
For more info on Bay West Church, visit www.baywestchurch.com.
Like “Bay West Church” on Facebook and you can follow Jim on twitter @jwcamp or @baywestchurch.