As we look forward to a new year, many of us will be setting new goals and looking ahead as we plan out what 2020 will hold for us. Goal setting has always been a big part of my life from a very young age, I would make lists of what I wanted to achieve in the near future. For example, in the ninth grade I decided that I was going to try out for the gymnastics team. The only experience that I really had was a couple of lessons during the summer before, and what my older cousin had taught me (who was very good and already on a team). But I was determined and I had a goal and was used to hard work having grown up in a home where I was required to help out and contribute (of which I am very grateful).
I remember a famous saying that my dad used to quote, “If ever you are going to do something, do it right the first time and do your best, then you will not have to worry about doing it over.” And while this is great advice, especially when you only have one chance like trying out for team, I have come to learn that setting a goal and doing your best or doing it in a way that you feel is the “right” way, does not always result in success. Most times we have to fail forward. But the key here is not to give up or turn back, but to move forward with a motivation, remember what you’ve learned from the past and that will propel you to try even harder the next time you set the same goal or a new one.
I made the gymnastics team that year in ninth grade, however, I do not attribute it to my skills because they were few, and in my mind I felt that I was not good enough to have made it for sure. But I had such a good attitude when I tried out and I worked hard and did my best. I think that hard working attitude is what earned me a spot on the team.
I feel like one of the most important keys to achieve goals is to look back and remember. I know that sounds kind of counter productive. But just stay with me for a minute. It’s important to look back and remember what we learned and how we can grow and do better the next time around. That’s what failing forward means. We have to have failures in order to reap benefits of successes.
Many times in the scriptures we are asked to “remember”. In a talk given by Henry B. Eyring he said, “Remembering may be one of the most precious gifts the Spirit can give you. He will “bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever [the Lord has] said unto you” (John 14:26). I love this because it promises us that as we remember, the things we did right will come back to us in the time that we most need them.
Doctrine and Covenants section 84:85 treasure up in your minds continually the words of life, and it shall be given you in the very hour that portion that shall be meted unto every man.
I would encourage you during this time of year that you look back and remember all of the successes that you’ve had the things that you’ve done RIGHT. And then add to those the do- overs that you might have in your set of goals this next year. You can always improve upon what you’ve done in the past. Whether you feel like it was a big failure or not. Use that as motivation to propel you even faster into the goal that you’ve set for yourself. And above all, remember that the joy is in the journey. While destinations are always great. It is what we have learned along the way that will create a life worth remembering.