Personal Growth



I like to set big goals. I believe that if I am going to set a goal, and expend energy accomplishing it, it should be significant. For instance, I have decade goals for my personal life. Many years ago, I wanted to be healthier so I set a goal to run a marathon before I turned 40. At the time that I set the goal I was grossly overweight at 298 pounds. I also was unable to run even a half-mile without stopping. It was at this point that I said that I am going to run 26.2 miles!

To accomplish this, I joined a running club for accountability and training; I changed my eating habits; and I adjusted my life to accommodate my daily exercise. On October 31, 2011 (nearly 2 months before I turned 40), I completed my first marathon in 4 hours, 41 minutes. I had lost 100 pounds, and felt great. Six months later I ran my first ultra-marathon at 32 miles. I had the bug.

While running my marathon, I had plenty of time to think about my goals for my 50th birthday. Obviously I wanted to continue the physical health, but what else did I want to accomplish? I consulted my priority list (described in yesterday’s blog post), and decided that I would add a second category to my decadal goal. I would learn to play an instrument.

Before I turn 50, December 23, 2021, I will compete in an Ironman triathlon and learn to play the bagpipes.

Those of you that see me regularly will probably note that I am no longer 199 pounds. I lost my focus for a while, and gained a good bit of weight back. But I am still running. I will be competing in a marathon in the fall of 2017 as a first step toward the Ironman.

Also, I am well on my way to learning to play the bagpipes. The common adage is that bagpipes take about 7 years to learn the basics and a lifetime to master. I’m going to make it!

So what does this have to do with the Caskey Center for Church Excellence? What does this have to do with you? Simply this, you must have an outlet for stress relief. If that outlet has other benefits (such as health benefits or social benefits), that is even better. Find something you enjoy doing, then congregate with others who enjoy the activity. An added bonus is that you very well could make friends who have yet to hear the gospel. This gets you out of your church bubble.

Do you have a big goal? Do you have a hobby or activity that you enjoy pursuing? Share with us how you relieve stress.

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1 thought on “Personal Growth

  1. Thanks Dr. Farmer.

    Liked by 1 person

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