At this point in the year many people start to waver when it comes to upholding their 'resolutions' or goals. One of the questions I often ask myself, sometimes repeatedly, is that of, "Is it worth it?" The truth is, goals require a lot of us...including time, habits, relationships, and sacrifice. We always give up something of comfort to see an increase in success or to accomplish a breakthrough.
What makes a seemingly stunning "overnight success" is really the result of consistent, deliberate, self-sacrificing, hard work. I'm often reminded of the fact that the things we train for in the dark produce the success that comes in the light. There's a commercial Michael Phelps did with Under Armour that beautifully illustrates this concept. (Watch it here.) His incredible success was not simply achieved by talent alone; it is the result of hard, driving, often uncomfortably challenging work. We'd all like to just experience achievement without going through challenges, but challenges are what create true character. Anyone can put forth some effort when success comes, but how many will put in the long hours of hard work away from the spotlights and cheering crowds? Not many people are willing to withstand the challenges of the usually "unseen" darkness in order to get to the light, but when the answer to that question of worth is 'yes', it's time to get up and get moving.
How do you know if it's worth it?
Here's a few thoughts that will help you to evaluate the goal:
1. What are my values? Does the goal align with them?
2. What is the investment of time required?
3. What actions will be required?
4. Am I willing to pay the price and sacrifice what is necessary to reach the goal?
Something to keep in mind is that it's ok for priorities to change, midcourse corrections to be made, and for your answer to the question of, 'Is it worth it?' to be 'no' at times. When you answer those questions that determine a goal's worth, or the price you must pay for it's achievement, sometimes you will need to part ways with a project, a prior goal, or even a relationship that will not get you to where you really want to be. Is this easy? No way. Is it wise? Definitely, if the goal is worthwhile to you. Ultimately, it is up to you to decide what is worth pursuing and what should be edited from your habits or lifestyle in order to get to your goals. Excuses are a dime a dozen, but for those who persevere, leaving the darkness behind and stepping into the light, the sacrifice is truly worth it.