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.

goals

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 

 

Change doesn’t happen without a plan

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,¬†‚ÄúHe gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.‚ÄĚ