Mid-Year Motivation: How to Revive Your Goals and Achieve Success


We have made it to the halfway point of the year! This can be a challenging time for many of us who started the year strong with important goals, but have yet to achieve them. Others might be on track, but find motivation waning as the year progresses. Regardless, it is important to remember that your goals matter; it’s not too late to refocus on the finish line, keep the pace of your progress, and continue on towards achieving those things you hoped to tackle this year.

Sometimes when we make goals, we can put too much emphasis on the goal itself, and lose sight of the journey. When this happens, it is important to remind ourselves why we set goals in the first place.

So…why do we set goals in the first place? 

Often it is because we recognize we want to change, grow, or experience something new. Whether it is something like weight loss, gain in finances, or investment, accomplishing something with learning, the objective is to grow spiritually and to mature.

When working towards a goal, things such as receiving compliments, recognition of progress, or actually meeting the goal can encourage us to keep striving towards that endpoint. However, for so many people, it is so easy to get off track. A lot of times this happens because we make the goalpost the focus, rather than the goal being the means by which we change. When our plan doesn’t go perfectly, we throw in the towel.

We must remember that the change itself is what we are truly pursuing, rather than getting hung up on any specific goal. If not, we may feel as if we failed to attain the goal, and then quit. When this happens, we miss out on seeing the actual change that has been happening all along. Goals are good to have, as long as we can remember that the progress we make day by day is what we are really pursuing and the goal is simply the means by which we change.

How do you get back to it when you have fallen off the wagon?

  • Encourage one other that it’s ok and to keep going.
  • Change our mindset that our life being transformed is the true goal.
  • Remember you are better today than you were yesterday.
  • Just take the next right step. 


What else helps? 

  • Identify what is stopping/slowing you 
  • Give yourself grace and room to slide around forgive yourself 
  • Give yourself permission to try again when you feel like you failed 
  • Revise the plan – strategy – break down into smaller bites 
  • Set a new goal post timing

How can we help our spouse in personal pursuits?

  • Acknowledging their effort 
  • Sensitive to not be judgemental but also not taking what they say personally
  • Patience with each other.

Remember that the journey is the destination, and the goal is simply the means to the journey.


Aaron Smith (00:04):

Entering the halfway point of the year can be deflating for some people who started the year out strong with important goals, but have yet to achieve them for others. Maybe you’ve been on track, but always find a sluggish second half with a motivation WA in the end of the year, benchmark has never reached. Here we are today, halfway through another year, and we’re eager to remind you that your goals matter and that it’s not too late to set your eyes on the finish line. Let us help you keep the pace of your progress and cheer you on towards some of those things you hope to tackle this year. It’s go time.

Jennifer Smith (00:35):

Hey, we’re Aaron and Jennifer Smith, your host of the Marriage After God podcast. Today’s episode is brought to you by the marriage after God’s store, which has been up and running since 2015. Since then, our ministry has been supported by all of you faithful customers who have chosen to purchase our resources books, including 31 Prayers for my husband and for my wife has and wife after God, 31 prayers for my son and daughter, the Unveiled Wife and marriage after God. The coolest part is because it is our store. We get to bundle these sets together and do occasional deals that help with the price of these products. So be sure to subscribe via email so you don’t miss those deals. You can also shop our books, shop dot marriage after god.com.

Aaron Smith (01:14):

Also, we want to give you a great big shout out to our patron team who’s chosen to partner with us in blessing, tens of thousands of couples with free daily prayer emails, and this weekly podcast. You are so amazing and we’re grateful you’re standing with us. We’d love to invite you to join our patron team. If you haven’t already, please visit Marriage after god.com/patron.

Jennifer Smith (01:33):

So here we are mid, well, it’s actually past mid-July now, but yep.

Years gone by really fast.

Jennifer Smith (01:40):

A little bit more than halfway of the year, but this was a good kind of middle point to just reconnect on this topic that we thought would be fun to cover today.

Aaron Smith (01:50):

Yeah, just an encouragement to keep going.

Jennifer Smith (01:53):

Yeah, I know. I need that sometimes. Before we get into that, I wanted to share just how much I love church in general. I just love that the Lord has provided a place where we get to Fellowship weekly together and we meet up with people who we know and are like-minded with, and they’re

Aaron Smith (02:12):

Our friends and our family. Yeah,

Jennifer Smith (02:14):

It really blesses me and even when we’re traveling, we go to Southern California to visit family and we’ll go to church down there. And even though we don’t know everybody there, we still know that we’re a part of something and I just love that so much. So I just wanted to share that encouragement. But also our church has, we’ve been experiencing a few new things lately that I really loved. A new couple came to church this last Sunday, which was cool just to hear their testimony. They were so brave in sharing because they didn’t really know anybody, but we asked them to introduce themselves and their family, and then they went on to share their testimony.

Aaron Smith (02:53):

They did a full story. It was awesome,

Jennifer Smith (02:54):

A full story. It was so beautiful, and it was such a good reminder of reflecting on how God has brought us along and the story of coming to him and just, I don’t know. I really love that. And then also the last couple of weeks there’s been a family who their daughter has wanted, she’s only six, but she or she just turned seven, but she offered to play worship on the piano, and I could tell that she was nervous, but she did it. She was so brave. She

Aaron Smith (03:27):

Did such a good

Jennifer Smith (03:28):

Job, such a good job. And everybody was looking around the room singing along. It was, here I am to worship. And so we know the words, but she did it so beautifully,

Aaron Smith (03:36):

And I love that we do have the flexibility to be able to do those sorts of things in

Jennifer Smith (03:40):

Home Church. Yeah.

Aaron Smith (03:41):

And what they need to be planned. She was like, I would just like to play. And we’re like, sure.

Jennifer Smith (03:45):

Yeah. And some of the other kids are stepping up and wanting to share a verse they memorized. And it’s really encouraging. And I hope that my kids are encouraged. I should ask them about that. But I always get encouraged when the kids share something or

Aaron Smith (03:58):

Well, and I’ve also, over this last year, I have seen a lot more of the kids like praying. Yeah. They’re like, oh, we praying. Yeah, that too. Yeah. Which has been really awesome seeing our children be a part of what we’re doing.

Jennifer Smith (04:10):

Participating. Yeah.

Aaron Smith (04:11):

Yeah. Love it. Some cool. Something that’s was really cool that happened with me this week. A couple times a week I go work at a coffee shop. I just get out of the house and I actually focus really good, put music in and whatnot. But usually I go, like I said, I put my headphones in and I just focus and I’m sitting in my thing and I don’t move. I just have my coffee and a cup of water and I’m working. But this week they got out an interruption for me. It was really cool. I forgot. It was so interesting because it was such a specific thing. You borrowed my charger block, yeah. The other day. And I remember getting up before I left. I was like, oh, I have the cord, but I need to get the charger block. I know Jennifer has it.

And I had that thought in my mind, and I totally left without it. Oops. And so I get all the way to the coffee shop all, it’s like I wasn’t going to come all the way back and get it panic setting. And I’m sitting, I’m like, oh, I opened my bag. And I’m like, oh, no. So I go ask the front desk at the coffee shop. I’m like, do you guys happen to have a charging cord or anything? They’re like, no. And there was a gentleman standing next to me, he’s like, Hey, I have one. I’m going to be here for the rest of the day. You want to borrow it? And I’m like, yeah, thanks. You lucked

Jennifer Smith (05:22):


Aaron Smith (05:22):

So I had the charging cord and I just didn’t think much of it. All I noticed was his name was that, it was the name of an actual Christian band I used to listen to. And I was like, oh, like that band? And he’s like, yeah,

Jennifer Smith (05:34):

That’s cool. So you guys just got to,

Aaron Smith (05:36):

Yeah. So there was a little connection for a second. Anyways, long story short, we just started talking and he started sharing his heart with me about some things in his life. He’s a believer, and I got to encourage him in the Lord and just remind him of the gospel and just remind him of who he is in Christ. And it was really neat. And then I was like, yeah, I’m going to lunch. You want to go to lunch? He’s like, yeah. And so then we spent an hour at lunch, and that was really cool.

Jennifer Smith (05:57):

I love how you let God interrupt you, because I think sometimes it can be hard for us when we’re on the go or we’re trying to do something, get work done, and we’re already in convenience because we forgot the charger or your wife took it

Aaron Smith (06:09):

Well. And definitely in my flash, it’s like, well, I could F be focused or I could talk with this gentleman. But yeah, I like people so that it’s not always that hard for me. It’s not hard for you, but it’s not that hard for me. But

Jennifer Smith (06:22):

It is good that you’re flexible in that way and that you make time for people. That’s encouraging.

Aaron Smith (06:27):

Encouraging to me, another person I get to pray for. And I’ll probably say ’em again, which will be really cool. Awesome.

Jennifer Smith (06:33):

So today’s topic, we just thought we would kind of use this middle of the year point to say, Hey, we started out the year with some goals. Most people, I think write some goals down on a napkin.

Aaron Smith (06:47):

And we did some episodes in the beginning of the year about this, about how to set these, how to have expectations, how to

Jennifer Smith (06:51):

Dream with your spouse. We talk about that a lot in marriage After God, there’s a whole chapter devoted to how you can practically set goals those and

Aaron Smith (07:03):

Put way points, how do we start moving forward?

Jennifer Smith (07:06):

And it’s good to work alongside each other to accomplish things. It feels good.

Aaron Smith (07:11):

Well, and it’s good to have checkpoints. How are we doing? Where are we at? What’s going on?

Jennifer Smith (07:18):


Aaron Smith (07:18):

Yeah. Because the year goes on. And to be honest, a lot of us just fizzle. It’s like, well, life gets in the way. So it’s good to have those moments of how are we doing?

Jennifer Smith (07:29):

So here we are, your podcast accountability partners, checking in on you

Aaron Smith (07:32):

And to encourage you, because we know it, we all have similar stories

Jennifer Smith (07:38):

And weaknesses.

Aaron Smith (07:39):

So here’s a question. Why do we even set goals in the first place? We, a lot of us, probably everyone listening has set either goals in January and if not in January, has recently set goals like, Hey, I want to be at this point right

Jennifer Smith (07:57):

Now. And I think that’s exactly what it is. I think it’s a recognition of wanting change, wanting to grow or wanting to experience something new, something different, something better.

Aaron Smith (08:08):

I would say, not just only in our flesh, like, oh, I’m currently this kind of person. I want to be that kind of person. That’s one thing. But I also think for the believer, we have the Holy Spirit in us not wanting us to remain where we’re at. Yeah. Always wanting us to mature, mature and grow and be transformed. And sometimes have things cut away and things added on. That’s good because he is completing his work in us. I think another question that’s probably almost more important than why we would set a goal is how do we even know if we’ve attained? How do we even know if we’ve made it to the finish line?

Jennifer Smith (08:46):

That’s a good question.

Aaron Smith (08:47):

Sometimes I think it could be really clear, oh, I was trying to hit this number in my savings account.

Jennifer Smith (08:55):

Or the number on the scale.

Aaron Smith (08:56):

Or on the scale or whatever it is. I wanted to read this many books. But how do we know? So we’ve set a goal, we’ve set some sort of thing to attain to how do we know we’ve even reached it? What are some of the evidences?

Jennifer Smith (09:10):

I know for me in my life, I get to scratch it off the list on the piece of paper. I get to put that check, check mark next to it.

Aaron Smith (09:18):

That’s a good point

Jennifer Smith (09:18):

Actually. Yeah. I love that feeling.

Aaron Smith (09:20):

That’s something I’ve been doing a lot more lately to help me be organized. I’ve been bringing my journal and I put check boxes of to-dos. Yeah. And then good. Check them off. Yeah. It feels really good. I love it. So actually visual visualizing that.

Jennifer Smith (09:33):

Yeah. Something else that has happened more recently with me because I have experienced dramatic weight loss, and so physically I look different. And so I’ve received from others a recognition of, well, I could tell you’ve been working on something. Yeah. What’s working for you?

Aaron Smith (09:51):

I want to make a little adjustment. You said dramatic weight, weight loss. It’s been about a year of you doing this and it’s, it’s been a slow process, but I think where you’re at now, so many people are recognizing it. Yeah. It’s so evident. I dont know why, what would change, but that it just did. All of a sudden everyone’s like, wow, Jennifer, you look really good. You’re doing such compliments.

Jennifer Smith (10:12):

Good job.

Aaron Smith (10:12):

Yeah. So yeah, getting other people recognizing that you’ve gotten somewhere. But again, I think none of those really symbolize the actual goal, though. They, it’s an evidence of you going towards something, but it doesn’t necessarily represent the actual goal. It just shows that you are moving towards something. So it’s something we’ll talk about a little bit later, but it’s just interesting that we can have a goal in mind. We can have a direction we’re going, and sometimes we have a hard time even knowing if we’ve hit it or even what it feels like or looks like to get to the goal.

Jennifer Smith (10:50):

So are you saying that they have to stay tuned in order to get the answer to that question?

Aaron Smith (10:54):

Yeah. They have to stay tuned. You have to keep

Jennifer Smith (10:55):

Listening. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. Gotcha.

Aaron Smith (10:58):

Yeah. So what goals did we set at the beginning of this year?

Jennifer Smith (11:03):

So I know, are we doing personal goals or Sure. Together goals.

Aaron Smith (11:07):

Yeah. I dunno. We’ll just mix them up. Well, it’s both.

Jennifer Smith (11:09):

Yeah. So I knew that this year I really wanted to focus on myself and my physical body, including how I was working out and what I was eating. That was a major goal for me. And I feel like in the last six months I tackled that one. I feel like I did it. I’m still

Aaron Smith (11:30):

Doing it. It was a self-discipline

Jennifer Smith (11:31):

Journey. It was a self-discipline journey. Part of that was Jiujitsu, which we’ve talked about, which

Aaron Smith (11:38):

Has been

Jennifer Smith (11:38):

Really fun. Started that in February. It’s pretty cool. And also learning guitar, because that’s a very physical thing. It’s mental and physical. That was a goal of mine this year. And look, I can play songs and sing at the same time, which is still challenging, but good.

Aaron Smith (11:54):

You’ve come like miles

Jennifer Smith (11:57):


Aaron Smith (11:57):

In your skills.

Jennifer Smith (11:58):

Another goal that I had for myself was just organizing the house. Because we moved in last year. I really wanted to get to a place where I felt like everything had a place and not yet, I feel like I’m failing in that I feel like I have not prioritized certain areas of the house that I really want to get to. Still that stress me out.

Aaron Smith (12:19):

There’s a bunch of small corners of the house that need to be some

Jennifer Smith (12:25):


Aaron Smith (12:25):

Of them. I need a dresser for some of my clothes, but someday we’ll

Jennifer Smith (12:32):

Get that. Gardening was another one that I really, really hope for this year. That has been a slow progress.

Aaron Smith (12:37):

You’ve only gotten half of this. Yeah. Because you, you’ve done some flowers and some plants,

Jennifer Smith (12:43):

Landscaping stuff and some landscapes stuff. But I really desired to put in a greenhouse and those cold boxes. So hopefully by the end of this season, we’ll get some of that going for next year. But we’ll see how far we get

Aaron Smith (12:56):

At least some planning. Sorry. Me personally, I actually was thinking about it. I don’t feel like I set a ton of major goals for myself. So juujitsu necessarily a goal, but it was so

Jennifer Smith (13:12):

It was a commitment you made to

Aaron Smith (13:13):

Starting. It was commitment and made, and we’ve been pretty consistent with it. One,

Jennifer Smith (13:16):

Although after you started, then you made the goal of doing your first competition.

Aaron Smith (13:20):

That was

Jennifer Smith (13:20):

Cool. Which came and went really fast. But you trained for that, which was cool.

Aaron Smith (13:25):

One was getting the house kind of landscaped. And the main reason for that is we have all this really dusty dust on the ground. And I was like, I just want to get most of it covered up to keep the dust off the kids. And what’s funny is that’s their favorite thing to play in is the pile of dirt. So we still have a pile of dirt, but most of the art has done really well, and I’ve done most of the work myself, which has been awesome. So I’d say I’ve done pretty decent with that. There’s a handful of things that I haven’t finished, but I don’t think I’m going to be able to

Jennifer Smith (13:54):

Finish on this yet. Another one that has to do with that is putting the fence in, which,

Aaron Smith (13:58):

So that was a goal, but I, man, praise God for some of the men in our church, because I didn’t know when it was going to happen. I was like, I don’t know, it just seems so daunting to me. And a friend of mine was like, all right, we’re come over this weekend. I was like, what? And we literally got it done mostly in a few days. And I was like, so cool. I was so blessed. So sometimes our friends help us achieve our goals. Often, I would say some of the biggest ones were in our marriage and business as a together goals,

Jennifer Smith (14:32):

Setting up to do the podcast. And usually the last couple of years we’ve broken ’em up into seasons, like 12 episodes and then taking a break. And this year, I don’t know what’s wrong with us, but we were like, we’re going to do it every week.

Aaron Smith (14:44):

This was your idea.

Jennifer Smith (14:45):

I know. But

Aaron Smith (14:48):


Jennifer Smith (14:48):

Like it. It’s been really cool and really good for us to be able to commit to something like this. It feels huge. And we have missed a couple of weeks.

Aaron Smith (14:56):

We have, but that was also a growing thing for us of being okay with. Yeah, because when we missed, it was good things. It’s like we were going to California. Yeah, we were family. And then just getting right back on us. Something again we’re going to talk about. Yeah. But that was one of ’em was getting to doing the podcast more consistently,

Jennifer Smith (15:12):

Working on our next book,

Aaron Smith (15:14):

Working and finishing and launching our next book, which comes out in October.

Jennifer Smith (15:18):

Very exciting.

Aaron Smith (15:20):

October 17th. So that was one of ’em. But in our relationship, one of the things that we wanted to work on was being more easygoing with each other,

Jennifer Smith (15:31):

Which I feel like we’ve been doing really good at. We have

Aaron Smith (15:34):

Mostly any married couple. We have our moments, but it’s something I’ve been, I feel like I’ve been definitely trying to work on, and I know you have been too, is being lighter with each other, being much quicker to resolve to forgive. Understand. To understand. Yeah. Understanding’s. Another one that I’m trying to work on is being better at understanding because I’m such a

Jennifer Smith (15:59):


Aaron Smith (16:00):

No, it’s because the Bible tells me to live with my wife an understanding way, and I, that’s something I should detain to, I should strive for. So that’s something we wanted to work on, is more easygoing in our communications.

Jennifer Smith (16:15):

So would you say we’re on track?

Aaron Smith (16:19):

Yes and no. Yeah.

Jennifer Smith (16:20):

It’s both

Aaron Smith (16:21):

Because it depends on what the goal goal is. We didn’t mention it, but one of them was when I started the year, I was like, I’m going to get into a one year reading plan. And I was crushing it for two, three months, and then I got so far behind on it. I

Jennifer Smith (16:40):

Think that the gave up on

Aaron Smith (16:41):

My reading

Jennifer Smith (16:41):

Plan. I think that can be a common feeling for some people when it comes to reading plans is the moment you get set back, it feels too daunting to jump back in because

Aaron Smith (16:49):

It’s a lot when you’re doing those one year reading plans, how much they give you. And if you miss a day, you’re like, now you’ve doubled it. If you miss three days and you’re like, oh geez.

Jennifer Smith (16:57):

So at that point, would it be better to either skip the portions that you’ve missed and just jump in where you’re supposed to be? Or should you push out that benchmark goal and maybe go into next year and then keep going so that, yeah,

Aaron Smith (17:13):

I know that there’s different strategies. One of the, we’re going to talk about this idea of just starting back up, but there’s a huge mental barrier. Totally. It’s like, oh. And then we forget, and then we forget, and then we forget, and then we move on and it’s like, oh, it’s behind us.

Jennifer Smith (17:28):

So I think too, when we’re talking about goals, when we start fresh in the new year, we have all this motivation to list several things as goals or things that we want to work on or achieve. But the truth of the matter is we’re only given so much time and so much capacity to actually attain them. And that’s why when I was going back through listing the things that we set out to do this year, there’s definitely things that I see that I excelled in. But those are the things that I gave priority of my time and my efforts to, and the other things that I had a desire for but could never get to are the ones that I feel like I’m failing in or got off track with. But it’s because I’m not intentionally putting my time there.

Aaron Smith (18:14):

A question for you, so you have some goals that you feel like you are rocking in and then some that you had that you’ve f are failing in the ones that you’ve dropped the ball on or you feel like you’re failing in. Do you feel like that over, does that cast a shadow on the ones that you’re doing great in? Like you say, oh, I’m failing in this one. Yeah. I feel like a failure just across the board. Is that,

Jennifer Smith (18:38):

Would you say that’s true? I actually do wrestle with this tension in my mind of being frustrated at myself or feeling that weight of I’m not doing the best that I should be able to do because I’m not getting to those things that I really want to get to. But I have to remind myself that of what I just said of, well, I only, I’ve been putting my time and effort into making sure I, going to my classes and learning the things that I have been prioritizing. And so there’s like this give and take. And so mentally I have to do that give and take of justifying why I’m at where I’m at. Yeah. Does that make

Aaron Smith (19:15):

Sense? Yeah. Well, and I was bringing that up because that is something that a lot of people struggle with. I may be doing great in this area over here, this direction. I’ve been trying to go health, spiritual, spirituality, whatever it is. And because over here I have this other thing that I was also wanting to grow in, but I’ve dropped the ball on that and failed in it. Then I used that to define the whole thing. I’m like, oh, I’ve just failed. Rather than seeing, wow, look how much progress I’ve made because I had that goal. Oftentimes we set these goalposts, whatever it is, and it’s out in the distance somewhere. And we think because we didn’t make it to the goalpost, we didn’t do anything at all. We just completely failed when in reality we’re a hundred miles from where we started.

Jennifer Smith (20:08):

So I’m kind of dealing with that literally today because I talked about this weight loss journey that I’ve been on, and I feel like I’ve reached that point where I, I’m happy with where I’m at, but I’ve had a day where I was loose in how I ate, and I’m feeling it, I’m feeling bloated. I’m feeling like I failed myself and lack of self-control. And instead of looking over the last six months and saying, well, I made progress. I actually just fell down on myself because of what I chose today. And feeling like I didn’t do it. I didn’t do it right or something.

Aaron Smith (20:47):

Well, and there was a couple of

Jennifer Smith (20:48):

Times, or I didn’t actually learn.

Aaron Smith (20:50):

You shared something like this with me, and I’m like, well, what did you actually eat? And then you share what you had. And I’m like, well, that doesn’t sound anything. Like what you used to do, how you used to choose. And I was like, you chose well for splurging. You chose really well and had self-control. Like, I guess you’re right. And it’s a perspective thing because having that goalpost that we’re moving towards in the Bible says that we run the race to win the prize. It says, not everyone wins the prize. Only one wins the prize, but run as if you’re going to run the prize. The running is what we’re called to do. The prize is almost irrelevant, but it’s run toward the prize knowing that we’re going to fall, knowing that we’re going to trip. The fact is that we’re running, that we’re on the path that we are moving forward, that we’re like, so, or weight loss or savings, right? Oh, we didn’t make that. We wanted to save a thousand bucks this month and we only made it to 850. We failed because we went and bought that a hundred dollars. Whatever. No, you saved $850.

Jennifer Smith (21:59):

Looking at the positive,

Aaron Smith (22:01):

You’re like, oh,

Jennifer Smith (22:02):

I think Jen, it’s really hard to look at the positive. I don’t know why it blinds us, but it feels like, yeah, defeating that you can’t do what you set out to do. Well,

Aaron Smith (22:11):

And I don’t even think it’s just looking at the positive. I think what it is, we paint our entire journey by the moment of failure, rather than saying, looking at the journey itself and saying, man, so much further than I was yesterday because I’m moving forward because I’m chasing this goal, this idea, because I’m pursuing it with guitar. Yeah. You’re like, man, I can’t sing and play at the same time. I’m like, well, you strum awesome now because I remember that was an issue in the beginning. And then in six months from now, it’s going to be like, man, that song’s really difficult. You’re like, well, but think about the 50 songs that you’ve learned since then. I can’t

Jennifer Smith (22:48):

Wait till I could pick. Yeah.

Aaron Smith (22:51):

See, picking, and this is kind of one of the questions I was having about not even really knowing how to know if we’ve gotten to our goal. Because often we have a goal in mind. And usually when we get to it, it doesn’t feel like we got anywhere. It doesn’t feel like you made it. How many times have you had goals set for your health journey? And the moment you got there, you’re like, well,

Jennifer Smith (23:15):

It’s not good enough.

Aaron Smith (23:16):

It’s always that way. And so we kind of elevate the end above the means when I think the means of what we’re doing is the purpose. That’s cool. The means should be the goal. We want to be in our word more. Oh, I failed. I could have looked at it this way. I failed my reading plan. But man, I’ve been in, I’ve, I’ve just crushed through so much description in the last three months that I haven’t done in a long time. That’s really awesome. Let me just jump right back in and keep crushing more scriptures, even though I messed up on the reading panel. Let start, like you said it, lemme just jump back in where it’s at. Or let me just start from today in the scriptures and then keep moving forward. And so looking, not like, is it done when I’m done reading the whole Bible? No, because I’m going to still be like, man, I want to be back in the word of God. So often I was just saying is we elevate the end result, whatever that fictitious thing is, because we don’t really even know what it looks like. Well,

Jennifer Smith (24:20):

Sometimes it changes

Aaron Smith (24:21):

And it, well, it always changes. It always is moving. And so the encouragement is, that’s okay. Don’t be looking for this magical feeling at the end of this trail experience, that feeling in the process. That’s good. The process is the goal.

Jennifer Smith (24:39):

That’s good. So why do we get off track in the first place if we’re making strides and efforts towards a good thing? What prevents us from that momentum? Well, from carrying it on

Aaron Smith (24:55):

Our flesh and our minds are really powerful. I think we discouraged. We say, oh, we failed. Like we said, I was talking about earlier. We paint the whole journey.

Jennifer Smith (25:07):

I think I get most frustrated when I feel like I’ve put so much effort into something and it didn’t turn out the way that I expected this. I have this expectation of what the ideal is, and it doesn’t, like you said, feel that what it’s supposed

Aaron Smith (25:21):

To feel like. And I think that’s because whatever our expectation is in our mind doesn’t exist. I, I’m being serious. We create an expectation of what the experience will be like. When I get to this, I’m going to what feel in our minds. It seems like it makes sense what we’re looking for, but there is nothing there. It’s a mist. It’s a vapor, not real. And so the feeling of failure is real because whatever it is that we think we were trying to attain, whatever feeling it was, whatever image it was, whatever it is we’ve created, doesn’t actually exist.

Jennifer Smith (26:03):

Okay. But hold on, let me just stop you because sometimes I’m slow to understand what you’re saying. So what if the goal was going back to the thousand dollars in a month? Yeah. Well, if you save a thousand dollars in a month, that’s real. Yeah. So what are you saying?

Aaron Smith (26:17):

So why would you want to save a thousand dollars?

Jennifer Smith (26:21):

To spend a thousand dollars?

Aaron Smith (26:23):

Exactly. Okay. And then it’s gone. Yeah. So, oh, once I have $10,000 in the bank, oh man, that’s going to feel, feel so financially free. Okay. Gotcha. And then the moment you hit that 10,000 mark, either you’re not going to want to spend it, which, cool. Now what? Or you do spend it and it’s gone. That’s why the Bible says don’t, don’t strive to attain to wealth it. It’s like a vapor. It’s got here today and gone tomorrow. Okay. It’s like grass that withers all of the things that we do. You

Jennifer Smith (26:53):

Think that we put too much emphasis on the goal itself?

Aaron Smith (26:57):

Yeah. We always do this. I don’t think having a goal is bad.

Jennifer Smith (27:01):

Is having a goal. Good.

Aaron Smith (27:02):

I think having a goal is really good. That checklist like, oh, I wrote these things down. My goal today is to check this checklist.

Jennifer Smith (27:09):

Cause it gives you something to aim for, something to pursue. Yes. Something to,

Aaron Smith (27:11):

But there’s always another checklist. There’s always another dollar to be saved. There’s actually always another pound to be lost. There’s always another pound to be built in muscle. There’s always, yeah. Another, you name it, I, I’m naming things that are on the top of my head right now, but there’s so many things that you can, anyone listening can be like, maybe it’s a job. Like, oh, I just need that raise. Yeah. Okay.

Jennifer Smith (27:32):

I was just telling some girlfriends, we were talking about something along these same lines, and I said, man, when I start crushing a to-do list, it exponentially grows because I get all this momentum to want to cross things off the list, and it creates a vacuum that all of a sudden I need three blank pieces of paper in front of me because I have so much on my mind that I want to get done and do. But then I tend to overwhelm myself with those whole checking things off the list.

Aaron Smith (27:58):

But yeah, so I want to get a stripe on my belt. Those are goals. Getting a stripe, getting another belt. But in reality, I just want to get better at juujitsu. Right. And whether I get a stripe or not, whether I get promoted, the idea is eventually I will if I just keep going,

Jennifer Smith (28:17):

Consistency over time, consistency over time, and builds that habit of growth

Aaron Smith (28:21):

And wanting it. And also the wanting grows with the consistency over time. So your desire for that thing grows. So in the beginning of your health journey wasn’t easy. Not telling yourself. No, it wasn’t easy. Making different choices. But those choices are much easier today than they were a year ago. Sometimes. Sometimes they are. Okay. You say sometimes, but they really are. I see the way you make decisions now, even when you, yeah, they’re different. Fall off the wagon. They, they’re way better than they used to be. So my, I’m just trying to encourage our listeners to having a goal is good because it puts us in, it points us in a direction, but recognizing it’s the process to get to that goal is what we really want. You want to be a healthy person.

It’s not a number on the scale. It’s not how many calories are you eating a day? You want to be a healthy person, which is a process. It’s a way of thinking. It’s a way of living. Yeah. I want to be good at Jiujitsu. It’s has nothing to do with the belt. I’ve belts mean something. And sometimes they don’t because someone could get a belt that doesn’t deserve it. So being good at Jiujitsu is, like you said, you just go do jiu-jitsu. Yeah. You know, want to save money, practice saving money. The goal could be, we want to save for this trip. Great. But really what you want to be is someone who’s good at stewarding their money. Yeah. That’s the process. Yeah. That’s what the goal is. That’s what you’re trying to attain to, is becoming someone not attaining to something.

Jennifer Smith (29:56):

So for everyone listening right now, who is now thinking about their goals, the ones that they maybe had back at the beginning of the year, some may have been working on them, some may have felt that feeling of falling off the wagon or not being able to pursue them. How do you get back to it? How can we encourage them right now as their accountability partner come in and say, this is something you can work on today?

Aaron Smith (30:24):

Yeah. I was actually, this first one, I was thinking just now as believers when someone sins, yeah. We’re told to encourage them in love and gentleness. And the point is like, Hey brother, get back up. You’re saved by the blood of Christ. Keep going. Do the next right thing. Let’s move forward. So encouraging each other to keep going. Like, Hey, it’s okay. Yeah. You can get up and keep going.

Jennifer Smith (30:54):

And I think to remember too, that to remind each other that even if you failed in something or you seemingly failed in something or didn’t follow through with something, it doesn’t define you as a failure. Nope. I think I need to be reminded of that sometimes. So I’m sure other people wanted to hear that. Just wanted to say

Aaron Smith (31:12):

It, but it’s actually part of the process

Jennifer Smith (31:15):


Aaron Smith (31:16):

Yes. I don’t know, was it Edison who said, he’s like, I didn’t fail. I just found a thousand ways to not make the light bulb to try, or something like that. Yeah. I just found a thousand ways that don’t work. So yeah, encouraging each other, reminding each other. This is, hey, failure is going to be a part of the process because we’re not perfect. We have flesh, we have issues, but let’s stand up. You can move forward. I’m with you,

Jennifer Smith (31:43):

And this is a great thing that spouses can do for each other because you’ve done this for me. I’ve been able to do that for you. And just support each other in that way of knowing what each other’s goals are and pushing each other to continue on in them. I think that’s really good for marriage

Aaron Smith (31:57):

And that it’s okay that we got off track. Yeah.

Jennifer Smith (32:00):

So number two would be to change our mindset that our life is being transformed, that our life being transformed is the true goal. You were talking about the process. Yeah.

Aaron Smith (32:12):

Yeah. The whatever the goalpost is that we’ll eventually move. It doesn’t just stay there and you’re like, boom, we made it. Yeah, yeah. It’s going to move. But recognizing that our, it’s the transformation that we’re looking for.

Jennifer Smith (32:24):

Well, and I think the most important thing about this is so easily our goals can become an idol, a thing we worship to that we strive after and say, nothing else in the world matters. But this one thing for some people who are gung ho about it, and that could be dangerous. So just to recognize good warning,

Aaron Smith (32:48):

An example of what we mean by this, you might have a current goal of, I want to read 20 books this year. A reasonable number. I think for some people that’s a lot of, for others, that’s a lot for me. But really the real goal is you want to become a reader. Yeah. Right? Yeah. So 20 books, a hundred books, it really doesn’t matter. You want to be a reader. If you read a book a month, you are a reader. And so what we’re looking for is finding the truth about what we want is to become someone not attain something. That’s good. Yeah. The third thing is, remember, you’re better today than you were yesterday. This is having a good compass and having a, what’s the word? A sober understanding of just because I didn’t do what I wanted to do today, but I did do it yesterday.

Jennifer Smith (33:43):

I saw this meme that it was said something to the effect of, there’s a version of you three months from now that is saying thank you. Yeah. It’s something like that. It’s yourself will be proud of who you are after making the right choices.

Aaron Smith (33:59):

Yeah. The thought I had was, so we went from doing seasonal episodes, so we would do 12 episodes and then take a break and on the podcast, on the podcast, and then we’re like, let’s do the whole year every week. And in the beginning we were like, if we’re going to do this, we can’t miss one week.

Jennifer Smith (34:15):

I was very serious about it. We’re very

Aaron Smith (34:16):

Serious. And I encourage you, I was like, I just want you to know that it’s okay if we don’t. You’re like, no, we’re doing it every week. And guess what? We’ve missed some weeks. But you know what? We’ve done 20 th This is our 23rd episode of the year. That’s almost two seasons in a row. And

Jennifer Smith (34:32):

We’re not even halfway through the

Aaron Smith (34:33):

Year, and we’re not even halfway through the year. That’s crazy. So even though we’ve missed some weeks, we’ve done significantly more than we’ve done in the past. Past year. Yeah.

Jennifer Smith (34:41):

That’s cool.

Aaron Smith (34:42):

So that’s awesome. Looking at what we’re doing, we we’re podcasters, and if we have a week off here and there, it’s part of the story. It’s part of the process. That’s good. Yeah. You’re so remembering you’re better today than you were yesterday because you’re moving in that process.

Jennifer Smith (34:57):

I’d like to make a little asterisk note here. Maybe it’s an extra step. Maybe there should be five here, but sometimes we need, when we understand our capacity, when we’re not reaching a goal, because we’re not, we’re, it’s because we’re not able to. And so setting goals incrementally could be better for us. Or maybe the word is adjust. Being able to adjust your goal in the midst of it so that you can reach it to

Aaron Smith (35:25):

Be realistic.

Jennifer Smith (35:25):

To be realistic. Thank you. I don’t know why it took so many words to say that, but

Aaron Smith (35:30):

So what you’re saying is sometimes we set unattainable goals. It’s

Jennifer Smith (35:34):

Too lofty. It’s too big. It’s too grand. Not that we’ll never get there, but maybe it’s going to take you two or three years instead of the one year.

Aaron Smith (35:41):

Yeah. Maybe this year is the first step, and you just take that little chunk

Jennifer Smith (35:45):

Out of it, whatever it is. So I think for you listening right now, if you’re struggling to meet a goal, what can yous scale back on to meet a portion of the goal by the end of the year? Okay. That’s it. Cool. That’s good. You say the next one?

Aaron Smith (35:58):

Yeah. The last one is just take the next right step. That’s just a big one is like, okay, it’s been a while. So for me, do I just never read the Bible again because I fell off my reading plan? No. I go sit down in the morning and I open the Bible and I read it. So you just do it. There’s an old Chinese proverb. I saw someone posted a long time ago, and it took me a little bit to find it, but it says, the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time to plant a tree is today. That’s good. So yeah, sure. It’d been great if you would’ve done it 20 years ago, but you can also start it right now. Right.

Jennifer Smith (36:37):

I always get hung up on thoughts like that.

Aaron Smith (36:39):

Yeah. Well, but this it’s wisdom. We got this little tiny what? Japanese maple? Yeah. It came with a free tree. We found it was this little suckling thing, and we were like, let’s just plant it. We don’t even know what it is. It had no leaves or nothing.

Jennifer Smith (36:55):

It was literally a stick.

Aaron Smith (36:56):

It’s like double the size already. If we would never have planted it a handful of weeks ago, it would just be dead. But now we have this tree growing in our front

Jennifer Smith (37:04):

Yard. I had a friend over and I’m like, I don’t know what I was telling her the story. I don’t know what it is, but I can see a little bit of green coming out on one of the leaves, and she goes, oh, I have this app that tells you just took a picture. She just took a picture of it. She goes, Jen, this is a Japanese maple. And I was so excited.

Aaron Smith (37:18):

And it was actually two little sucklings that I planted. We planted next to each other and I kind of twisted ’em together. It’s kind of cool, but it’s growing. So we

Jennifer Smith (37:24):

Planted a tree.

Aaron Smith (37:25):

So the point is, is just start today. Yeah. There’s a lot of motivational people online that they’re like, no, don’t start tomorrow. Because if it’s always waiting to start till tomorrow, you’ll never start today. So today just like, oh, I’m going to do the x-ray thing today for that

Jennifer Smith (37:42):

Goal. So how do you, in the midst of working towards a goal, and you do have a day where you’re unsettled, you’re unresolved. Yeah. You just feel like you took three steps backwards. How do you pep talk yourself into waking up the next day and just going for it again

Aaron Smith (38:02):

I’s a good question. Sometimes

Jennifer Smith (38:05):

Don’t, we’re taking answers. If you just hit us up on social media,

Aaron Smith (38:09):

I would say, man, just man praying like, Hey, Lord, I

Jennifer Smith (38:14):

Need your help asking God to help.

Aaron Smith (38:15):

Because again, that should, okay, this is number six. We can’t really do any of this in our own strength. We need to be, remember that we have flesh and we need this power of the Holy Spirit working in us and just seeking it for God and asking him to help us. So

Jennifer Smith (38:34):

I do think that, because I had mentioned Wake up the next morning. If that was somebody’s goal, I’m going to wake up tomorrow morning and the next five mornings at five o’clock in the morning. That way I can get an hour of time in to do whatever it is. In order to do that, you need to set an alarm. And so I was just thinking, this is your encouragement right here, right now, to go set that alarm, to go write down and make a commitment to the one thing you’re going to do, the one thing that you’re going to work on till the end of the year and just do it.

Aaron Smith (39:06):

So that kind of goes in the next So section of what helps, and this first idea is, so what helps us continue on, take that next extra step, move forward. And the first thing is identify what’s stopping us or slowing us. You kind of mentioned that there could be stuff in our life that are getting in the way. Maybe we need to make an adjustment. Maybe we need to reset our goal. Maybe we need to put that on hold

Jennifer Smith (39:30):

Even. Yeah. Maybe you don’t have the capacity. You thought.

Aaron Smith (39:32):

Okay. Yeah. Okay. So which goes into the next one, which is give yourself grace and room to slide around and forgive yourself. Yeah. It’s

Jennifer Smith (39:42):

Okay. I suck at that one too.

Aaron Smith (39:44):

I know. We all are, we’re so hard on ourselves and so easy on ourselves at times. At times. Yeah. It’s like, it’s so weird. It’s like whatever’s the best for us in that moment, which is usually not the best for us in that moment. Yeah. Why don’t you say the next

Jennifer Smith (39:59):

One? Give yourself permission to try again when you do feel like you’ve failed.

Aaron Smith (40:04):

Yeah. It’s okay to like, Hey, let’s start over. Let’s just do this again. Let’s, good. We already

Jennifer Smith (40:09):

Mentioned this, but revise the plan, redo the strategy, break it down into smaller bites.

Aaron Smith (40:15):

Yeah. And then you put on there, set a new goalpost. Timing. So maybe it It’s for next year. Yeah. Maybe it’s for next year. Maybe it’s a longer goal. Yeah. Not this fast one. Yeah.

Jennifer Smith (40:26):

So how can we help our spouses in personal pursuits? Or maybe it’s business goals or goals or marriage goals, marriage goals, mutual goals. How can our listeners support each other?

Aaron Smith (40:40):

Man, I, encouragement is a big one. We all need encouragement. Hey, I’m on your side. We wrote here acknowledging their effort, recognizing, Hey, I know you’ve worked so hard for this. Don’t give up. Yeah. You’ve been doing so awesome.

Jennifer Smith (40:55):

A part of acknowledgement. Acknowledgement is also compliments. Yeah. Hey, I really love seeing this in you. Yeah. Or I love what I’ve seen in

Aaron Smith (41:05):

You. I noticed that you’ve been getting up earlier. I noticed the choices you’ve been making. I noticed how you’ve been changing your way. You talk to the kids. Yeah. I notice how all the things I notice, I notice you’ve been much more affectionate with me. If that’s a

Jennifer Smith (41:16):

Goal in your marriage, those things are so affirming and it makes you want to keep going because it feels good,

Aaron Smith (41:21):

Man feels good. So talking about compliments, I saw this really good. There’s some things on social media. They’re just so good. And it’s this British guy, and he’s walking around Gotti purple like jacket, but he, he’s, he’s just complimenting people on the street, but he’s doing ’em in such extravagant ways. The way he’s doing the compliment. He’s talking to me, he’s like, especially as an English or as a Brit, he’s like, it’s hard for me to receive compliments. And he’s like, oh no. Oh no. But he’s saying all these really awesome compliments. And I was like, that is such a good talent to say, have creative, powerful compliments.

Jennifer Smith (42:00):

So we should all be working on our

Aaron Smith (42:01):

Compliments. Yeah. Well, I was pretty convicted by it. I was like, wow, those are really good compliments. And he’s just randomly doing it to people walking by how they’re dressed or they’re baldheaded, but they’re like, they’re not making fun of anyone. He’s truly complimenting. It was really cool.

Jennifer Smith (42:16):

I’d say overall, in today’s culture around the world, we could all use a little more

Aaron Smith (42:20):


Jennifer Smith (42:20):

Compliments and encouragement.

Aaron Smith (42:22):


Jennifer Smith (42:22):

Yeah. I love that. The next one is be sensitive to not be judgmental.

Aaron Smith (42:30):

Not tearing down, not being critical,

Jennifer Smith (42:33):

Or pointing out like, oh, you’re not doing what you said you were going to do. That’s not encouraging. That doesn’t feel

Aaron Smith (42:38):

Good. Yeah. It’s the opposite of compliment.

Jennifer Smith (42:39):

Yeah. But on the other side to this, the person that’s striving for a goal, not being overly sensitive to what your spouse does say, don’t take it

Aaron Smith (42:53):

Personally. Well, when they come in and remind you like, Hey, I thought you

Jennifer Smith (42:56):

Were, oh, trying to keep them accountable. Yeah, that’s what I meant. Yeah.

Aaron Smith (42:59):

Hey, you want to, I thought you were going to wake up earlier. Why are you not taking it personally and be like, oh, thank you for reminding me. See

Jennifer Smith (43:07):

It for what it is. Which is it? It is encouragement, but it’s accountability.

Aaron Smith (43:11):

Yeah. And then just having patience with yourself, with each other, with what you’re moving toward. Having patience. It’s okay

Jennifer Smith (43:20):

When you set goals, it doesn’t have to happen tomorrow.

Aaron Smith (43:24):

Yeah. And how cool is it that your spouse or you or both are trying something different and new and trying to attain to a new level of maturity, a new level of knowledge, a new level of growth, a new level of skill, whatever it is. It’s a

Jennifer Smith (43:36):

Great compliment. Yeah. Good job.

Aaron Smith (43:40):

Yeah. That’s practicing compliments. That’s what I got to do.

Jennifer Smith (43:44):

Trying to change for the better. I think that’s our whole point here today, is that we should be striving for these things. For those listening right now, there’s still about five months left in the year to cheer each other on. Oh my. Oh my goodness. So the question is, how can you be supporting your spouse and working towards your guys’ goals today?

Aaron Smith (44:05):

That’s good. How can you remind each other that the journey is the destination? The journey is The process is what you’re going for. Becoming someone not attaining something.

Jennifer Smith (44:20):

I love that. Yeah. That’s quotable.

Aaron Smith (44:22):

That’s quotable.

Good job. Yeah. All right. That was it. That’s what we got. So this month’s growth spurt, we’re on letting freedom ring. It’s the, it’s July. We had the 4th of July. We were celebrating the freedom we have in this country, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. So what do we have freedom to do? Maybe we can go freedom to go shoot some guns. I love that. Freedom to learn something new, freedom to pray. Go to the park with your husband, with your wife, with your family, and pray. Do something like that. So use your freedom this week.

Jennifer Smith (45:01):

Love it. Why don’t you pray for us?

Aaron Smith (45:04):

Dear Lord, thank you for giving us the capacity to set new goals, to experience transformation, to do something new, to learn and to grow. We pray we would take advantage of all that we have been given to do the hard things and see progress. Regardless of how much time we have left in this year, will you motivate our hearts and minds to follow through with the goals we had to achieve? Will you keep insecurity far from us? We pray we’d be supportive in marriage and work together as a team to carry out your will in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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