An External Force

Have you ever not achieved a goal? Maybe you’ve always wanted to get in shape, but you never have. Maybe you’ve wanted to save a certain amount of money or pay off a certain amount of debt, but you haven’t. Maybe you’ve always wants to strengthen your relationship with God, but each year you don’t feel like you’ve grown at all.

I’ve been there. In fact, as I was going through my goals I set for myself in 2011, there were a lot I did not accomplish. Interestingly enough, the ones that I wanted to accomplish the most are the same ones I didn’t accomplish. That is frustrating. Have you been there?


Dr. Henry Cloud said, ““Where your maturity isn’t good enough to sustain you, bring in an external force.”

My translation: if I do not attain the goals I set for myself, it’s most likely that I lacked the discipline or accountability needed to accomplish them.

That was my problem and always has been. A perfect example for me is getting into shape. All my life I’ve struggled with weight issues. I’ve always dreamed of getting into the best shape of my life, but had never been able to do it.

I worked out and thought I ate ok, but I never seemed to get the results I wanted. Until P90X came out. P90x became and is currently, my external force! It sets up my workouts for me and gives me a detailed nutrition plan to follow. For me, that is enough to help me achieve my goal.

Without an external force, I’d still be struggling to achieve that goal.

We need external forces in every area of our lives. Here are some external forces that I believe will help you reach your goals:

Go Public – share your goals with people who love you and will push you to achieve them. Ask if you can meet with them once a month and have them ask you about your progress.

Get a Coach and Accountability – We need both! If it’s finances maybe you can go through Dave Ramsey’s curriculum with a group, if it’s getting into shape, maybe you should join a class or buy a workout program, if its spiritual growth, join a small group or a class, or go through a Bible reading plan with a friend.

Find Systems that Work For You – I used to hate systems, structure, and routines. The older I get, the more necessary I realize these are. It’s worth taking as much time as you need to find systems that work for you. Develop systems for everything: fitness, to-do lists, setting goals, accountability, getting mentored, etc. Systems serve as external forces.

What are some other external forces you could bring into your life to help you achieve your goals?

What areas of your life do you need to bring an external force into?

I’d encourage you to think through every area of your life, find the external forces you need, and get them in your life asap!


If this post helped you and you believe it could help others, please share it on Facebook, Twitter, Stumble Upon, and the other social media sites listed below. Also, I would love to hear your thoughts on this post. Consider leaving a comment below! Thank you!



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *