I love the chunking of time—decades, years, seasons or quarters, months, weeks, days, hours, minutes, seconds—and how it helps to break down goals or milestones into more manageable segments. At any given point you have the opportunity to check-in and evaluate how far you’ve come, and whether you need to adjust to continue on your path to success.
And as most of us have learned a time or two, success is never a straight line. With any goal or dream—or in any life—there are peaks, valleys, and milestones.
There are major milestones: You graduate, get married (or divorced), buy a house, have a child. You run a 5k, lose 5 lbs, or write a book. Some days, the milestone or victory is that you didn’t bite anyone’s head off or you merely survived the day. With every major goal or milestone, there are also smaller milestones along the way. Each one deserves to be celebrated, or at the very least, acknowledged. With gratitude.
This month I’m celebrating several milestones in my own life, including turning 50. My acknowledgment and gratitude are for my life, my body, my health, my nutrition. On most days, I feel younger than my 50 years. I recognize that not everyone is as fortunate.
Another milestone this month is that I finished my 23rd sixteen-week challenge. Yes, you read that right. 23 challenges. Sixteen weeks each. Each challenge involves a before and after photo to document my start and finish. I started in 2014, earned an Honorable Mention in 2015, became a Finalist in 2019, and just kept going. Every sixteen weeks I start, complete, and repeat. Each challenge brings a new goal and sometimes a different transformation. Physical or emotional. And to be completely transparent, sometimes my before photo looks better than my after photo.
Still, at the end of each challenge, I acknowledge myself, celebrating the fact that I finished what I started. I kept a promise to myself that regardless of what obstacles came my way, I would not quit. I would not make excuses. I would observe myself and my journey, pulling out as many lessons as I could.
And over 23 challenges, there were plenty of lessons learned. The neat thing is, how you do one thing, is how you do everything. The discipline I have learned in completing challenges carries over into other areas of my life. To finish a project. To ride a century. To show up for myself and others. Many of these lessons I’ve written down and documented so that I can reflect back on them from time to time.
This leads me to another milestone from September: I published my second book, Transform, Building the Mindset to Change Your Body and Your Life. Peaks and valleys, obstacles to a healthy lifestyle and how to overcome them, and keeping your promises are just a few of the topics I cover.
While I acknowledge that writing a book is a major milestone for me, I also acknowledge and am grateful for the creativity, productivity, energy, and mindset that helped me get there. That and as my husband would say, I have the perseverance of a pitbull.
In combination with writing and publishing a new book, I built my own online store. You can now buy directly from me, the author, instead of Big Tech. This may not sound like much, but it was a huge endeavor. With every milestone I crossed along the way, the road seemed longer and more tasks popped up. But I didn’t quit. I persevered. I finished what I started.
How about you? Have you paused lately to reflect upon the last week? Month? Year? I encourage you today to do just that. Celebrating the milestones in our life – no matter how big or small – reminds us to give thanks for everyday moments. Acknowledging these milestones gives us the opportunity to reflect. And with reflection, we learn and grow, and sometimes, pivot in a new direction with new goals and different dreams.
I’ll leave you with an excerpt from Transform:
A commitment to finish is what will see you accomplish your goals every single time. So many people quit before they ever come close to reaching their goals.
There have been many times I’ve told someone I’m writing a book, and have been met with the response that they want to do that someday too. They may even start but years later, they are no closer to finishing it.
As I noted previously, in 2017, over 109,000 people started a sixteen-week challenge. Only 35,000 finished. Just 32% of the people that started the challenge actually completed it.
It takes courage to get started.
It takes discipline to consistently work toward your goal
Most of all, it requires a commitment to not only start on the path to success but commit to seeing it all the way to fruition. It takes a mindset to commit to finish. So much of the stress you feel isn’t from your calendar being too full. It’s from not finishing what you started. There were plenty of sixteen-week challenges where I wasn’t making progress. There were times I was tempted to quit and start over, but I knew that would not serve me. That would be playing small. I stayed committed to finish what I started. Was the finished product what I had hoped for? No, but as they say in racing, “dead last is greater than did not finish (DFN), which trumps did not start (DNS).” Simply completing something I said I would do felt amazing and helped to propel me forward in the long run.
From my blog:
- Peaks and Valleys
- The Satisfaction of Completion: 10 Tips to Get the Most Out of Completing a Goal or Project
My first book I sold on Amazon, but Amazon takes a big cut of my sales (and Amazon isn’t exactly known for treating its workers or authors kindly) So I decided to do something almost unheard of…
I decided to sell my books directly.
I’ll admit, at first I was scared. It took a lot of hard work and I wasn’t sure my plan would work.
But, it did.
And do you know what I learned? People really enjoy my books!
People are willing to purchase my books directly, without needing to give Amazon a cut.
- “IT IS ABSOLUTELY A MUST-READ!”
- “I look forward to more publications from Lori Ann King.”
- “Tips, tricks, laughter, and love are in abundance here.”
- “Her words are humble, yet she confidently speaks of how to sit up and take control of her life, the way we all should consider doing.”
- “Lori’s insights are perfect for many life scenarios.”
- “Lori’s book cuts through the esoteric nonsense about ‘bouncing back’ or ‘hang-in in there,’ and gives you a beautiful, step-by-step process to live a life of wonder and explode your potential.”
Thank you for reading, thank you for your support!
With love, gratitude, and kindness,