6 Reasons I Don’t Want to Share My Progress… and the 2 Reasons I am Anyway

At the beginning of this year I shared my goals for the year and pledged to share monthly updates on my progress. There are at least 6 reasons that I don’t want to share my progress report for February.  But I’m going to anyway and I’ll tell you why at the end of the post.

Reason # 1 – I’m not where I want to be. Ever been there? Set a goal and fall short? The temptation is to ignore the goal, act like it never happened and move forward without any plan to accomplish it.

To be honest, February was not a winner as far as reaching my goals.

  • I fell way behind on my goal of listening through the Bible
  • We did get date nights, but not because I did well at planning them
  • We had family meetings but they were sporadic rather than weekly
  • My morning routine was nearly obliterated by travel and a nasty bug
  • Instead of losing weight I actually went BACKWARDS – regaining some
  • We made some reasonable progress towards our financial goal
  • Our plans for expanding our ministry reach were stalled out for a month because of a technical glitch that took weeks to resolve.

Wow – that’s uncomfortable just typing it! But there it is, I’ve said it.

Reason # 2 – I prefer happy endings and good reports… especially if I am the one reporting! (So maybe I’ll just wait until NEXT month to report…)

Reason # 3 – Accountability is the most uncomfortable when I REALLY need it. When things are going well, I don’t actually need to know that others are caring, praying, or cheering me on. I’m feeling good – strong even. But when I’m falling short and I need my team, shame tells me to keep quiet.

Reason # 4 – I want to inspire you with my success rather than sharing my failures. Because only success inspires right? Why do I still believe that when the people who inspire me most are the ones who persevere – not the ones who experience apparently effortless success?

Reason # 5 – If I share my track record publically, there is no way to ignore it personally. (And trust me, I’d REALLY, REALLY like to ignore it right now!) It makes it harder to live with the dissonance – I think that’s how accountability works – it’s not so much about people flogging me for failure. It’s about integrity… wanting to walk straight without the hound of dissonance on my tail.

Reason # 6 – I’m afraid some will write me off as a weak, unspiritual man if I admit that I don’t always obtain what I strive for. (Hmmm think that might say something about me AND my community of faith) Ever feel that way?

Now there is more to the story than meets the eye… I experienced some big wins in February. They just weren’t directly related to my written goals. For instance, a technical glitch cost me weeks of work without resolution. For a task oriented man like myself, that is a recipe for a melt down. But, by the grace God, I was able to leave work in the office and engage Timi and the boys in fun, positive ways. Now THAT is progress for me!

So what am I going to do about my goals?

Well first let’s talk about what I’m NOT going to do. I’m not going to ignore them. I’m not going to wait until next month to report. I’m not going to let shame silence the truth of my experience. I’m not going to be satisfied with failure.

So I’ve picked up the baton of my Bible listening program. I’m taking my girl away for a marriage retreat (that we are attending as students!) We’re tightening up the family meeting schedule. I got a FitBit activity tracker for my birthday and I’m using it to help me stay focused on my health goals, and we’ve continued to work on the technical glitch which we appear to be within hours of solving as I write.

SO WHY AM I SHARING THIS WITH YOU?

Two reasons:

  1. I choose to live in the land of authenticity no matter how exposing or scary it sounds. Many of us are desperately searching for honest, real, people but in every crowd, somebody has to go first. Why not me?
  2. I trust that the reality of my experience in all it’s rawness may look something like your own journey and that maybe, as an evidence of grace, it will encourage you to get up and persevere in your own quest.

Does this encourage you or make you despondent? Share why in the comments below.

Next month I hope to share some happy endings but for this month this is my story.
photo credit: Week 0 – 01072008 – 255lbs via photopin (license)

Leave A Reply (8 comments so far)

*


  1. Jerry Nickell
    5 years ago

    Hey, Richie
    Proud of you, my friend! While you could have diverted our attention with some pretty wonderful things, you let us all know that you are as human as the rest of us. Whether it is in our relationships or at the dinner table, we all have times when we are less than perfect. In fact, I believe that one of the problems in our society is that we try to keep our “human-ness” to ourselves and only share our exceptional skills and victories (even if we have to fudge a little bit on those!) with the rest of the world. So thank you for stepping out and making yourself vulnerable.

    Now it is our turn. I am struggling with my weight goals, my work stress (tend to bring it home with me), and setting aside regular times to date my bride. Whew! It’s out there now! Feels good! Now I will reload, and next time will be even more positive!

    God bless you and your family, my friend!
    Jerry


    • Richie
      5 years ago

      Thanks Jerry – let’s stand together and tell “the truth about me.” Thankfully, the truth doesn’t stop there, it’s also “the truth and about me AND Jesus”. That is the game changer isn’t it? Thanks for risking with me – now I don’t feel alone!


  2. Ron Howden
    5 years ago

    Richie,
    It is progress, not perfection that matters. “I was able to leave work in the office” is big, and over a period of time it will pay big dividends. Things will always go sideways from time to time. What matters is how we respond instead of reacting that matters. Keep moving forward, one step at a time, one day at a time.
    Ron


    • Richie
      5 years ago

      Thanks Ron – that’s why I shared… I want to be a man who get’s up and keeps pressing on.


  3. Denise
    5 years ago

    It’s much more encouraginging to see someone struggle to meet their goals and keep persevering than to just skate by. That makes ME feel like a failure. I struggle and it should be ok to admit it. I admire your honesty and your vulnerability. I appreciate that in your marriage ministry as well. Real people struggle, why can’t we all just admit it and lift each other up without guilt or shame?


    • Richie
      5 years ago

      Thanks! We’re finding that honesty breeds more of the same… so I guess I’ll keep putting it out there.


  4. Sharon Fergeson
    5 years ago

    Richie, your candor is very much appreciated…it’s nice to get to share in some of your journey, rather than just the results! I was sincerely impressed by my favorite academy Bible teacher (about a hundred years ago) that the job is “ever striving toward perfection,” not actually attaining it! As if we had that ability! You are fighting the good fight, right? I think that’s what we need to do….


  5. Jeanette
    5 years ago

    Hey Richie – I so appreciate your transparency and commitment to authenticity! May you continue to find God’s blessing in your chosen arenas of striving forward!