Do you remember those New Year’s Resolutions you set?

Wait. Is that a touchy subject for you? Have your resolutions somehow managed to fall by the wayside?

Sure you had great intentions when you set them, but “things happened,” right?

Well, if that’s the boat you’re in, you ain’t sailing alone!

According to a study performed by US News & World Report, 80% of New Year’s resolutions have failed by this point. Actually – they failed about 2 months ago!

So, what’s up with that?

Well, most of the time we start out of the gait with all the guts and gusto needed to attack our goals head on. But then…things happened, and we gave up.

It makes me think a lot about the story of The Tortoise and the Hare.

I’m sure you’ve read this story tons of times. You know how it goes.

The super speedy hare and the slothfully slow tortoise decide to race. The race begins, and the hare takes off like a bat out of the belfry.

Then…things happened.

The hare got a little cocky and decided to play around in the meadow. Then he decided a nap would be a nice idea.

Long story short – while the hare was hanging out, the tortoise was hammering through. And because the tortoise took his time but stuck to it, he won the race.

I bet you think you know where I’m going with this.

You think I’m going to tell you to be the tortoise. If you just keep plugging along and stick to it, you’ll win your race. Don’t give up, no matter how far behind you may feel right now. It ain’t over ’til it’s over.

And all those other life lessons you learn from that well-known fable.

But, I actually want you to think about yourself as the hare for a minute. 

See, as a general rule, our society doesn’t really like this story too much. In Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, Angela Duckworth says that we don’t want to identify with the slow, laborious tortoise. We don’t want to put ourself in his…shoes(?) and think of ourselves as the one working so hard.

Instead, we want to be the hare! We want to be the one with the natural talent, speed, and easy opportunity to win.

Here’s the kicker – we believe we’re smarter than the hare.

We want all the natural abilities. Often, we believe if we had those gifts, we couldn’t lose. Because we wouldn’t make the same mistakes the hare did.

We’d keep working harder – if only we were faster.

Maybe we’d be able to get and stay in shape – if only we were more athletic. Perhaps we could finally be debt free – if only we had a better job. Or maybe you’d have a better marriage – if only your husband was a better man.

“If only” are two words the tortoise never used. 

See, once you’ve tried to put yourself in the hare’s shoes, you realize he did make bad choices. But, so much of his success depends on his talents and abilities.

So, what does that mean for you if you don’t have the ideal set of circumstances?

Well, if you’re the hare, you’re only as good as you are. Where you are is where you are, and there’s not much you can do about it.

But, if you’re the tortoise…

Look out world!

The skies the limit. You don’t need to be more athletic, have a better job, or have a “better” mate to reach your goals.

You simply need to keep pursuing them.

As Paul puts it,

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” – Galatians 6:9

So…be who you are.

If you ARE the hare with a lot of natural gifts, talents, and abilities, make better choices. Keep plugging along and just get to that goal quicker than you would have.

If you’re the tortoise, be thankful that you have the time to appreciate the journey and the opportunity to watch the scenery on your way.

Either way – keep pushing. Keep pursuing. And, believe you’ll cross the finish line!

Let’s Get FIT Together!

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