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Tuesday, 26 March 2019
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How Small Steps Will Add Up to Lives Saved in 2019

The opening column of 2019 could be about Planned Parenthood’s discrimination against employees (or potential ones) who happen to be pregnant. But because Katie Franklin handled this perfectly in her recent article—and because Planned Parenthood’s hypocrisy will provide me with plenty of columns this year—there’s no use in giving them more attention today.

Or, we could zero in on the positive and the next big thing in pregnancy help, Abortion Pill Rescue (APR). With so many new organizations, physicians and nurses adopting this life-saving protocol, there is a lot to say about APR in 2019. I promise, there will be more on APR, and soon.

Launching into 2019, however, is—for most of us—about “little” things. A New Year brings resolutions, usually big ones. But every major endeavor, whether a New Year’s resolution or a yearly goal, is only accomplished by taking a whole bunch of small steps.

For me, one yearly resolution involves—literally—steps. To keep from getting overly locked in on my laptop and avoid sitting around too much, each year I set a goal for the total number of steps I’ll take. In 2018, the goal was 3.5 million. For those counting at home, this amounts to 9,589.04 steps per day, every day. I realize doctors tell us we need to average 10,000 steps a day, but one day a week I relax a bit.

Twenty-fifteen was my first year to set any goal (only 8,000 steps a day back then) and ever since, I’ve kept track on a spreadsheet. Being a numbers buff, it’s kind of fun. Counting keeps me focused and intentional. Perhaps this is too much information, but when I brushed my teeth this morning, I took 252 steps. Do that a couple of times a day, every day, and that’s 183,960 steps in 2019. Every step counts, right?

I also attempt to take walks through my neighborhood as often as I can. The residual benefits are incredible. I feel better, sure. But I also met my neighbor Eric that way, and he and I are becoming close friends. I also met Russ, Warren, Harold, Roger, Kirk (yep, another Kirk is just six houses away), Joseph, Chris, Al, Don, Jason, and many more. It’s a great way to make connections.

Just so you can hold me accountable, this year’s goal is 3.6 million steps or 9,863 per day. On January 1 my total was 9,963 steps, so I’m off to a good start. 

But here’s the point: Those 9,963 steps aren’t much. Compared to 3.6 million, they are barely a drop in the bucket. Nothing to get excited about. But because I’m counting—every day—I know I’m on the right track. 

Once my goal is set, the keys to success are simple:

  1. Count honestly. My FitBit is nearly cheat-proof, so this one is easy. At any point during the day, I can check my totals. This is important: Knowing where I am at any moment helps me make the adjustments needed to stay on track. 
  2. Be consistent. While a vacation to Disney World—as we took last May—are a boon for my step count, they don’t come along often. Therefore, each day it is important to be intentional and stick with the plan.

I tried to come up with a third or fourth key for you, but really, these two are enough. If I remember these each day, barring unforeseen circumstances I’ll likely make my goal.

In the pregnancy help community, we have so many things we count, from client or patient contacts, to life decisions, faith decisions, and so much more. And in 2019, many of us have big goals, major initiatives to launch. 

Whatever our goals, whatever we are tracking, let’s focus on two things: counting and consistency.

We won’t reach 2,000 new clients and can’t save 100 lives this first week of January. We can, however, begin counting those little steps toward whatever goals the Lord places in front of us. Let’s keep track, regularly—not once a quarter or halfway through the year.

As we count, we may decide to alter our messaging, shift resources or add services as we intentionally zero in on our target for 2019.

On December 29, 2018, I sat down in my chair, checked my FitBit and saw my goal of 3,500,000 steps was complete. There were no fireworks, no Breaking News alerts on cable networks. I even forgot to post it on my Facebook or Instagram pages (@KirkWalden on Insta if you want to connect). But I knew.

I smiled, kicked my feet up, and enjoyed the moment. To me, this was a time to quietly celebrate a New Year’s resolution “resolved.”

My question for all of us in pregnancy help is, “What do we wish to celebrate on December 31, 2019?” One resource center, medical clinic, or maternity home cannot—as much as we’d like to do so—make abortion unthinkable in the coming year. But we can resolve to assist a quantifiable, countable number of women and men in making life decisions.

Tweet This: Here's how hundreds of baby steps will add up to lives saved in 2019. @KirkWalden #prolife

For each of us, what is the number God is giving us for first visits, life decisions, faith decisions—which tell us we are on mission and making a difference in our local culture?

Whatever we resolve to accomplish, let’s get started with those first few steps. These first few steps might take us further than we imagine in the year ahead.

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Kirk Walden

Kirk Walden is a senior writer with Pregnancy Help News, an Advancement Specialist with Heartbeat International and author of The Wall. He also blogs at www.kirkwalden.com. You can find him on Facebook, Twitter (@KirkWalden) and he is a new Instagrammer (kirkwalden). For banquet speaking engagements, contact Gloria Leyda at Ambassador Speakers Bureau.

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