Regular self-evaluation, or its absence, can greatly determine your degree of success with your goals.
This is a follow-up to a blog post I wrote back in January, 2013.
Little did I know that age 42 was going to be a turning point in my life. Not because of a mid-life crisis, but because of one simple word…..STRIVE. That has been my focus for the past 10 months. It all began with a mentorship experience I had the privilege of having with Jim Wideman. He calls it ‘Infuse.’ This was the catalyst for a major life overhaul. I was stretched in many ways with Infuse, but one thing particularly struck me. At one of our Infuse retreats, Jim said, “When your goals go without a detailed plan and accountability, they never move beyond being a goal.”
So this intensive challenge to high-level self leadership was birthed. I’d like to encourage you today by sharing my struggles and successes through this journey.
It all started at spiritual growth. Now, I thought I was going to learn better team-building methods or how to recruit volunteers in my time with Infuse. Those things became a bi-product of a more central issue. Another powerful statement Jim made is that we can’t possibly lead others to a place we haven’t been ourselves. He was talking about the daily exercise of spiritual disciplines as a vehicle to getting closer to Jesus. In other words, we can’t expect our volunteers and support staff to be ‘good’ with God if we aren’t really practicing this in our personal lives. Progress: I’ve been more engaged in Bible meditation and prayer than any other time. It’s been amazing!
Next came the need for exercise. My wife and I decided we had to put an end to our sedentary lifestyle. We literally had zero exercise aside from walking to and from the car and home or work. We joined a gym just down the street from our house and the change has been incredible. Not only am I more energetic and flexible, but we consider these daily trips to the gym our ‘workout dates.’ Progress: We’ve averaged 3-4 days a week at the gym in 2013, and are now pushing for 2 hours a day when our schedule permits.
My long struggle with bondage to food followed just recently. At 6’4″ and 250 lbs, I realized I needed to do something drastic with my eating choices and habits. During the beginning of a prayer week at our church I was experiencing this overwhelming weight on my spirit (it wasn’t my stomach). It almost felt like an anxiety attack. But after praying through it, the Lord clearly told me he wanted me to experience the Daniel Fast. WHAT? Anything with ‘fast’ attached to it makes me want to run the other direction. But this time was different. I really felt the heart of God in this, and his desire for me to be healthy. So I started that afternoon. The journey was like none I’ve ever experienced before. I went the full 21 days with NO sugar, bread, milk, cheese, or meat! My success with this challenge was due to the high spiritual commitment I had to God, plus the encouragement and support I had from my amazing wife and co-workers like Kelli Wommack. Progress: I’ve lost 11 lbs, but I’ve also decided to maintain many aspects of what I learned about food during those 3 weeks.
Lastly, being the spiritual leader of my home has been a failing struggle for 22 years. All this time I’ve felt inadequate and intimidated at what this really meant. I feared attempting and failing, but in avoiding the issue I failed completely. Upon completing the Daniel Fast, it occurred to me. If I can be successful in that and other areas mentioned above….why can’t I be just as successful at leading my home? So I just stepped out and started. Specifically, I am committed to sharing a verse, devotional thought, or encouragement with my wife and praying for her every day. Progress: So far, so good! I am currently working on building some accountability into this for myself.
2013 has proved to be a turning point for me. I haven’t fully decided on my One Word for 2014 yet, but I’m thinking it may become something like, MAINTAIN.
Do you relate to any of my story? I’d love for you to leave a comment.
Isaiah 40:29 tells us that, “He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.”
2 thoughts on “Change doesn’t happen without a plan”
Great stuff, Brent! So thrilled at how God is working in your life. Big thought for me this week: God will not do through you what He is not doing IN you. Thanks for including me in your journey!
Thanks for sharing! Your experiences have been an encouragement to me. God bless!