As I go through and review my past year and my goals, I have to look at what held me back. One thing I am asking, what temptations do I give into? How can I stop myself from letting temptation keep me from my goals?
What is temptation?
First, what really is temptation? A Google definition…
noun: temptation; plural noun: temptation
1. a desire to do something, especially something wrong or unwise.
- “he resisted the temptation to call Celia at the office”
2. a thing or course of action that attracts or tempts someone.
“the temptations of life in New York”
3. the tempting of Jesus by the Devil (see Matt. 4).
What does this mean to me?
A desire to do something, especially if wrong or unwise. When we are faced with a goal, say to lose weight… temptation is everywhere. Hanging out with our friends for a party and having a piece of cake or a glass of wine or skipping the gym. It could be as simple as grabbing a donut or cookies in the office kitchen area. Often the temptation is so habitual and unnoticed in the moment, that we quickly forget our bigger goal… to lose weight. We all know that these little bits of food we want now or skipping the gym don’t help us get to where we want to be. It’s so easily “distracted” from our desires that we don’t even realize the temptations around us.
Our temptations destroy us from what we truly want. But, it can strengthen us when we push past giving in to them. We are always tempted to stray. The challenge is staying stronger.
Often in the beginning of a goal, we struggle to keep going. That is when the temptation is strongest. Once we start seeing results and momentum kicks in, our ability to fight temptation becomes much easier. Always remember… We are stronger then temptations and we are stronger then the will to give in. That we always need to be challenged to become better. It is part of life and makes us better as we grow. So… don’t fret, don’t be upset, don’t worry if you do give into temptation. It’s always going to be there and always going to pull you towards it. Just realize it, pick yourself up and keep going. Your goals are worth it and the “devil” will not win.
Peace vs Chaos when chasing our goals.
When life goes as planned, we find peace. Do you ever feel when you are on a roll towards reaching our goals, you feel good and peaceful. For example, if you are working out everyday it is just a habit. That often it is almost the exact opposite when you miss a day… your life seems chaotic and “off.”
Can you review your goals and figure out what is peaceful and why or what causes chaos?
I know when I have a business goal (or a financial goal) for the month, and I am on track to meeting it…. life is grand and I feel on fire. The end of the month is peaceful and I can easily sleep at night. But man, if I am having a rough month, that end of month push to meet my goal really brings with it chaos, stress, and overwhelm. I am up all night trying to figure out how I will meet my goal. Life is a “struggle”.
I try and review the good months: What went right. I compare it to the off months: What went wrong. How can I avoid the stress and chaos? Often I need to review what temptation was keeping me from my goal … I took to many days off to hang out with friends, or it was easy to ignore the phone calls I needed to make to play with my new puppy. I started the month strong, so slacked thinking the rest of the month would be just as good (temptation of fun won over work).
How does temptation work against our goals?
See, all temptation basically follows a four (4) step process. Learning it, we can start to pay attention to where we get caught in it.
- A desire arises within us. We might have a desire for revenge, we might want to try and control others/a situation. Or it might be a desire to be loved or feel pleasure (eating that donut is a pleasure right.)Temptation always starts as a thought. How will you “give in” to a “wrong” time/situation that will pull you away from your goal. What is your mind saying… It’s only 1 donut. You deserve a night out with your friends. It will be fun. It will make you feel better.This temptation always begins with our mind. Something is attracting us away from what we want. It’s truly not the circumstances, it’s our mind saying… it is ok if I do…. We need to start paying attention to the thoughts that are pulling us away from what we want. Why is our mind tempting us?
- Beginning to feel doubt. We start doubting what we know. Skipping one day at the gym won’t make a difference. It’s ok to take a day off because tomorrow I will get more done. I deserve to be happy, and this makes me happy.Be careful that you don’t doubt what you know. For me, a day off at the gym can easily lead to 2 or 3. Eating a sugar today can quickly lead to craving more sugar. Not working today on my business doesn’t mean tomorrow I will work harder. I know these things, yet temptation is keeping me from my goal and saying… it’s ok, you are ok to give in.
- Watch out for deception. Watch your mind start lying to you. Remember, you always have to fight temptation. It might start saying… You will be fine. You won’t notice that donut. No one will ever know. Everyone else is doing it. There is that saying,… What happens in the dark eventually shows up in the light. You can never get results in your weight loss if you don’t stop eating awful on a regular basis. Again, pay attention to what your mind is saying to you. You are smarter and stronger and won’t give into that “devil” on your shoulder whispering the lies to you.
- Giving in to disobedience. If you get all 3 of the above, you finally cave. You give in. You created a behavior. Temptation has won and is starting to keep you from your goal.
How does temptation keep you from your goals?
Can you see a cycle? If you sit back and review your goals you set for the week/month/year, can you ask… What temptations have I given in to? What were the desires that arose? How did doubt play it’s roles? What were the lies I told myself it was ok? How long did it take to go through these 4 stepsSometimes, it is days/weeks to give in to the temptation. Maybe you are on a no spend month, and your first week works great, but you have this desire to buy a new “toy” you have been eyeing. You don’t buy it the first week, you stayed committed to your goal. But, everyday you had doubts, if I bought this it would help me with this and that is a good “investment”. You start questioning why NOT having it is bad. Then you start lying to yourself. It’s ok, the last 2 weeks I didn’t spend any money so I can afford to buy this. You quickly are forgetting your bigger goal to save money and not spend money for the month. The temptations are helping you doubt your decisions to not “get it now”. You lie to yourself it’s ok… Finally by the end of the month, you cave in and just buy it. Temptation won in this case, but it took awhile.
Then temptation can keep us from our goals quickly. We walk into the break room at work and see someone brought the donuts and you just grab one. The thought was placed in your mind as soon as you walked in the room. You easily doubted that it would make a difference to your diet. You said, its just one and I will be fine and eat clean the rest of the day. Suddenly, that first bite is gone. Your temptation won in just a few moments.
My Create An Amazing Life Challenge for you this week.
Start reviewing your goals, and what temptations you tend to give into. Is it people related? Are the situational? Is it in time of stress? Can you see your goal and what is pulling you away? Start a list, journal about it. Pay attention to you and your actions. Realize the 4 steps and how easily they are for you to give in. It’s a start to fighting your temptation. Next week, let’s chat more on how to fight back. How to tell that devil on your shoulder he will not win. That what you want for yourself, your life is much stronger then his whispers in your ear.
You got this! I am realizing temptation is all around us. I am starting to “turn them off” and I know you can too. Swing by my Instagram page and say hi. I would love to hear what is one of your biggest temptations keeping you from your goal. Let’s start a conversation here on this post. I know that you aren’t alone in facing these little devils whispering in our ears, together we can fight them and tell them to go away.
Want more goal setting tips and an action plan? Grab my free goal action planner gift for you here.
My goal is to share easy tips you can implement now to get you to where you want to be. I believe we are always on the search for a Mind, Body, Soulful balance and I hope I can help you find your peace and reach your goals. Now, go out and Create YOUR Amazing Life!