4 Ways to Ensure Your GOALS Don’t Become Your GOD

I don’t want to WORSHIP my fitness practices (goals).

But I also don’t want to go back to worshipping food either.  aka: donuts, candy, cake, soda, ice-cream… (I think you get the picture)

We all know these people.  Their health initiatives/practices are their identity.  It’s who they are known as.  I don’t want to become one of those people.  I’m a pastor and a strong follower of Jesus…THAT needs to be my identity.

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This was me about six weeks ago…only not a woman.  Sweets were a distraction.  They were easy, cheap, and tasted great.  Today, I can honestly say that I rarely battle the indulgent temptations that used to cause me to gravitate toward unhealthy things.  I’m enjoying exercising.  I’m doing great at hitting my daily health goals.  And that’s awesome!

But I’ve noticed something.

My quiet time with Jesus in the mornings has been affected.  Nothing serious.  But it could easily become a problem if I allow it.

What I’m really getting at is this.  How do we continue to work diligently at our personal goals AND NOT have our Spiritual growth suffer along the way?  Here are 4 things I believe you and I can (should) do regularly to T.E.S.T. where our priorities are.

Think | Right now, think about it and really ask, “Is _______ taking priority over my Spiritual growth and life?”  It starts by honestly asking ourselves this.

Evaluate | If something is out of order, why?  How did this happen?  Really take time to pray about this, because knowing the answer to this will become key in getting things back in alignment.

Scheme | Take what we know from that evaluation time and scheme a plan.  Somehow, we need to move forward with our goals differently so that we can avoid the mistakes that landed us here. Change things up a little.  Same goals, altered approach.

Tweak | (careful, not Twerk)  Similar to scheme, but this is taking that step.  This is making the new plan a reality.  Also, share your new plan with someone.  Ask them for accountability.  Trust me, this really helps.

For me, this simply means I don’t go into social media areas at all in the mornings until AFTER I’ve had my quiet time.  After I’ve at least read a devotional thought and prayed for my day.

Call To Action!  Has this been you?  What would you add to this list?  May you achieve your personal goals, and may Jesus walk intimately with you every step of the way.

I love hearing from readers.  Feel free to leave a comment below.  And be sure to hit the ‘SUBSCRIBE NOW’ button above to receive my FREE eBook!

photo credit: www.vegansgoraw.com
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Success is a Journey…NOT a Destination

You know why this title is true?  Because if success was a destination, success (or progress) would cease once we hit our target.  And we don’t want that.

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I wrote a blog post 4 weeks ago on the beginning of a new approach to my eating habits.

At 6′ 4″ tall and 44 years old, I had hit the most I had ever weighed that morning.  260!

Now, it’s pretty easy to disguise 260 when you are 6′ 4″…BUT I knew something had to change.

Something ‘SNAPPED’ in me that morning.  I believe it was Jesus kicking me in the rear.  I’ll admit, I haven’t kept to my goals perfectly through those 4 weeks, but I have made great progress.

I weighed myself this morning after 4 weeks, and I’m at 251.  I dropped 9 lbs!  My long-term goal is about 200 lbs, but I’m focusing all my energy on daily goals rather than looking too far ahead.  This allows me to measure results and bounce back from slip-ups quicker.

So why am I putting myself out there like this?  Just two reasons.

1. Accountability | By putting this in a public blog and on various social media platforms, I’m really making myself vulnerable.  I want this to be a permanent change.  So, this has resulted in a number of people asking me how I’m doing.  Am I meeting my goals?  Where am I slipping up?  Others have also been very encouraging as well.

2. Processing | Some people journal.  I write.  And my preferred medium is blogging.  It helps me mentally process things I’m growing through in my own life.  And if it happens to help or encourage someone else along the way…..awesome!

I’m thankful to God for giving me the strength to succeed each day.  And I’m thankful to my amazing wife.  It’s not easy feeding a family of 5 on a tight budget when one of them is limited to a lot of specialty foods.  She has been so understanding and gracious with me.

How about you?  What are you working on, or what are you grateful for?  I’d love for you to leave a comment below.

Photo credit: affirmyourlife.blogspot.com 

 

3 Things I Did To Get Back To My Goals

So, three weeks ago I began a serious refocus on my personal health.  Specifically, regarding my obsession with food.  Then, I spent a week in Nashville for my son’s graduation followed by 4 additional days serving at a Summer Camp for elementary kids.  Let’s just say that those two environments don’t make it super easy to eat healthy and plan your meals ahead of time.

I ate the best I could for the most part.  I also indulged a little, but feel like I did pretty good.  I was able to refrain from most carbs and sugar, and DID honor my rule of not eating after 7pm.

During those 2 weeks, however, I completely stopped my daily push-up challenge.

In the past, I would have felt like I have failed for two solid weeks and thought, “What’s the sense in picking this back up? Why even try?”  And I would have returned to the former eating habits immediately.

Not this time!

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Here’s what I did when I returned home….

Forgave myself | This is a huge first step.  I need to be able to give myself grace in the low moments in order to excel into new higher moments.  Otherwise, I’ll continue beating myself up over the past failures and crippling future potential successes.

Reviewed my original plan | I looked back to 3 weeks ago.  I looked at how I was able to lose 7.5 lbs in my first week.  That motivation gave me the ‘can do’ attitude to pick up right where I left off.  No worries…no regrets…and only looking forward.

Determined to start again | Like Nike says, ‘Just Do It.’  Start somewhere, ANYWHERE.  And I did.  I began today with a goal of getting 30 push-ups done.  You know what?  I did 60!  I was also public (once again) online and with my family about my goals.  Putting my goals out there creates powerful accountability for me.

Now, I’m writing this just two days after restarting.  I’m hoping and praying that a week from now I’ll be able to tell you I’ve been able to #WinToday successfully each day with my goals.  And honestly, I’d invite you to ask me exactly that.

How do you bounce back from a day or more of slipping away from your goals?  Or maybe a better question is what do you need to do that you are not doing to get back on course?

Join the discussion.  Leave a comment below.

Health & Fitness on THIS Blog?

For years I’ve joked that being 6′ 4″ makes it pretty easy to disguise being overweight.

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While this is true, the truth still remains.  It’s impossible to hide it from YOURSELF.  So I got out of bed a week ago determined to make a permanent life change.  Mainly, this had to do with food.  Food has been my idol, my drug of choice, my depression medicine for far too long.

The problem, however, was that I needed some regular inspiration to keep me focused on my daily goals.  So I did a quick search on iTunes and found the Fat-Burning Man, a podcast hosted by Abel James.  Don’t let the title throw you, this podcast is so much more than just ways to burn fat.

Other podcasts I am following include: ReLaunch, The One You Feed, and Underground Wellness.

While I’m on this new journey to much better health, this blog may become more about journaling my progress and discoveries for a season.  BUT the blog title still remains to be fitting.  Because leading ourselves well is the most stable foundation to leading others well.

Why am I posting  this?  The more I can be authentic and public about it, the more I feel like others are watching.  There’s a level of accountability in it.

For me….my desire is to eventually lose 60 lbs.  My new approach, however, is to set daily goals that are small enough to achieve.  I’m not looking past the next 24 hours, other than to plan my meals.  So each day I will strive to #WinToday!  And starting off, a ‘Win’ at the end of the day means I’ve accomplished all 5 of these goals:

     – Nothing after 7pm but water.
     – Cut 90% of sugar and carbs out of my diet
     – Average 30 – 60 push-ups each day
     – Cut my meal portions in 1/2 (they were BIG)
     – Drink about 60 oz of water each day

When we’re not working on something we actually stop developing as individuals.  We become stagnant.  (btw, that’s not good)

What are you working on and what does your process (or plan) look like?