I used to sell vacuum cleaners. We got paid on commission and I quickly learned that while I was not the best salesman, I was motivated to work a little harder and be more attentive to customers since I knew my pay was directly affected by their purchases.
The most challenging part was the extended warranties though. A few customers were all about them. Many were completely against them. Others were on the fence and could be persuaded.
All of us who worked in the commission-based departments had goals for how many extended warranties we sell. Once I became a manager and made people’s schedules, my boss told me that whoever had the highest extended warranty sales should be scheduled for prime selling hours. As such, they made more money. Sales goals marked progress salespeople were making in their skills to sell.
Goals mark progress.
Goals motivate us.
Goals tells us how we’re doing.
Here’s how goals relate to the topic of pornography & lust.
What I’m about to suggest is not meant to dissuade anyone from marking achievements based on a certain number of days staying away from porn or images or whatever.
Be mindful of the dangers of that though.
If you set a goal of 10 days free of subjecting yourself voluntarily to anything sexualized, day 11 could be a challenge . . . you may even ‘give yourself permission’ to slip up.
Ever try to stick with a diet for a certain number of days only to give in after that certain day passes? Same principle here.
Instead, I would suggest a reference to the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew. Specifically, look at Jesus’s teaching on anxiety in Matthew 6. He tells us not to be anxious about tomorrow. The implication there is to focus on today. And if you’ve lived long enough, you know that none of us are promised tomorrow anyway.
Your STOP needs to be measure by ‘TODAY’.
It’s great to achieve milestones and that can be motivating. But hold that focus in balance with the present day. In fact, for those who like setting goals of ‘X days’, tune in tomorrow.
Each morning you wake up, each moment throughout the day, your goal is to stay away from pornography & lust. If you go to bed at the end of the day having achieved that, you accomplished your goal.
If you can string together days like that, great. But don’t let that goal eclipse your celebration for today.
Thoughts to Pray/Journal:
- What limits do you need to put in place TODAY to achieve the goal of avoiding anything sexualized?
- How can you hold a daily goal in balance with a weekly, monthly, or yearly goal? How can you focus on both?
- Jesus talks about anxiety as it relates to focusing on tomorrow. What role might anxiety play in helping you achieve your daily STOP goal?