“”But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” ~Philippians 3:13-14 NIV

Long before I got married and had kids, I used to be a runner. Not a very fast one, but a runner. I competed in both cross-country and track during high school. I even won my age category in a half-marathon race in Utah. Using this vast experience (cough, cough), I later coached both sports.

One thing I do know about running is that it helps to keep your focus on the path ahead and the finish line. Once you cross the finish line, all the pain ends and you get to stop running. Not to mention that there are prizes waiting!

The journey of life is difficult. There are days I wonder why I even try so hard. And then I remember there is a prize ahead. A reward. A goal. A dream. And somehow I find the determination to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

How does this look in real life? Well, one of my goals for this year is to pay down a debt. So, I’m working extra hours with my part-time job and cutting back on spending. Each paycheck, I’m tracking how much progress I’ve made and watching the debt dwindle. And when I’ve paid it off? The prize is financial freedom. To have wiggle room in the budget again. To have the ability to save or invest. To maybe even cut my work hours so I can focus more time on my writing.

Speaking of writing, it’s another place in my life where I’m keeping my focus on the goal — publication of a novel. With that in mind, I’m growing in skill, working with two critique groups, reading other authors, pounding out words, networking through writer’s groups, studying the markets, entering contests, and polishing pages. All while continuing to write and pursue publication in other lengths and genres. The prize? The achievement of a dream and the stepping stone to more.

What about you? What is the prize waiting for you at the finish line? How do you keep your focus on the destination?

Focus on the Destination
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