Goals

30 Days of Motivation: What Are You Really Giving Up

what are you giving upQuote of the Day: “Don’t worry about what you are giving up now. Worry about what you risk giving up if you quit pressing on.”

Scripture of the Day: “I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.”  Philippians 3:14

When we start a diet, the first thing we think about is everything we are going to have to give up to reach our goal. We think about the food we won’t be able to eat, the parties we won’t want to go to (because we don’t want to be tempted) or the time we are going to have to invest in working out. What if we could change our whole way of thinking so this isn’t the first thought?

What if we changed our mindset and we were more concerned about what we are giving up if we eat the junkfood, skip our workout or don’t stick with our program. I mean, what is more valuable? The taste of our favorite cheat meal for 30 minutes or feeling comfortable and proud of our body for 24 hours a day?

This year, let’s focus on the prize more than the cost – because, honestly, the cost is so little compared to what we have to gain!!

 

30 Days of Motivation: Do It Anyway

do it anywayQuote of the Day: “I’m a little tired but I’m going to workout anyway. I’m a little hungry, but I’m sticking to my diet anyway. I’ve failed before but I’m trying it again anyway. I’ll never be perfect, but practice makes me better in every way.” Bonnie Pfiester

Scripture of the Day: “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9

Do It Anyway

We should not let our past, present feelings or experiences keep us from what we want in the future. If you are starting a new fitness routine or diet, you will be sore, tired, hungry, doubful and even frustrated at times. However, you don’t have to let that stop you from trying.

Sadly, there are people who let muscle soreness keep them from going back to the gym. Or, they let a little initial hunger or frustration with the scale keep them from sticking to their diet. We should expect our body to go through some changes as it gets to it’s new routine. Sometimes our body is just fine but our mind wants a treat or a break.

Whatever the temptation is, stick to your goal anyway. Each time you don’t let your body control your actions, each time you decide to stay disciplined no matter what you are feeling, each time you go to the gym when you really just want to go to bed, you will get just a little stronger – and it will make you better and better and better!

This year, no matter what life throws your way, do what you know you need to do anyway.

30 Days of Motivation: Be a Success Today

I am strong, focused & determined 201530 Days of Motivation: You ARE…

Quote of the Day: I AM STRONG because I haven’t given up. I AM FOCUSED because I can still see my goal. I AM DISCIPLINED because that is what success requires. I AM DETERMINED because that is what I require. I AM MOTIVATED because I believe in the process. I AM A SUCCESS because every day, I am a little better than the last.

Scripture of the Day: “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

Learning to think in the present

Why can I say all of these things even if I am just starting fresh this new year? Here’s why you can claim all these things starting today!

I am STRONG: If you are tackling New Year’s Resolutions and continuing to try to improve your health, weight and fitness, that means you are strong because you keep trying and haven’t given up.

I am FOCUSED: If you have set goals, you can stay focused. Focus requires a target. As soon as you set your target up, you are ready to get focused and stay focused!

I am DISCIPLINED: You don’t have to feel like working out or dieting to be disciplined. Discipline is practiced. As long as you are willing to practice discipline, that means you are pretty darn disciplined, because most people don’t even attempt to be disciplined in their fitness at all.

I am DETERMINED: Determination is required for success. You can’t attempt to change your life without the determination to keep showing up and trying. How determined are you to lose weight or get in the shape you desire? That determination will determine just how far you will go. However, if you are reading this, that is already a good indication you are determined because you are making additional investments required for success.

I am MOTIVATED: While I may not FEEL motivated, you are probably plenty motivated to get in the best shape possible. Whether it’s feeling fat, a yucky self-esteem, a competition to lean out for, a race to prepare for, kids to be healthy for or poor health to improve, we all have plenty of things that should motivate us. What is motivating you? All it takes is one thing to keep you motivated.

I am a SUCCESS: Why can I say this even if you haven’t reached your goals? Because you are here today, because you are showing up today, because you are investing in success today – so YES, you are a success today!

Up Close & Personal

Here are my personal goals from last year.

Goals1. Be More Brave: My goal was to step out of my comfort zone and do things I’ve avoided or been scared of for years. So I finally committed to training for a competition. I did it, I reached and surpassed all my goals. Don’t get me wrong, I did it kicking and screaming. There was no part of me that wanted to compete, but I did it and I actually had an extremely good experience and it pushed me outside my box and helped me reach a whole new level of conditioning. As I look back, I realize I need to repeat this goal and continue to get out of my box more and more.

2. Be Better: I also wanted to be a better wife, a better friend, a better family member. I set goals to be more giving with my time, to be more purposeful about spending more time with special people. Am I great at this yet? No! But I’m way better! Again, this will be on this year’s hit list too. We can all continue to improve. I think the most dangerous thing is to become complacent and lazy – in our marriage, in our workouts, in our friendships, etc.

3. Get to Know God Better: Last year I committed to spending more time in the Word and praying more. I wanted to read through the Bible, but I didn’t reach that goal. Am I going to beat myself up? No! This is the perfect example of aiming high and even though I didn’t hit my target, I got closer than I ever would if I didn’t aim high at all. I read more than I ever have read before, and I completed 2 semesters of Discipleship training, which required a ton of bible study and as well as an 8-week in-depth couple’s bible study. The more I get to know Him, the more I trust Him and understand Him. Are God and I BFFs yet? haha! Nah, but boy are we much closer!

Of course these are just 3 goals I had last year, but I wanted to share them because in all reality, this year’s goals are a repeat of last year – and we all should have the same goals each year. Even though we may add to it each year, or tweak it. We should always attempt to maintain what we have improved on, and continue to strive to improve so we don’t get too comfortable and slip back into old habits.

Start 2015 Right: 5 Steps to a Better You

30 Days of Motivation

to Day 1 of my annual 30 Days of Motivation! (Subscribe right now!) Most of my posts will likely be pretty short – just a motivational image to ponder, brief comments on that quote and a matching scripture to reflect on. Today is longer because I believe today’s topic is the foundation of lasting true change. Today we are talking about self-examination and goal setting. Sound boring? Well, it’s not a fun topic really, but it’s one hurdle we have to get over on the way to the finish line. Ready? Set? Go! Here are 5 Steps to a Better You in 2015!!

Day 1: Be Your best

aim highQuote of the Day: “If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time,” Zig Ziglar

Scripture of the Day: I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” Philippians 3:13-14

There are 2 big mistakes people make often. They don’t aim for anything particular or they let past failures keep them from aiming higeher. Scripture is clear to forget the past and look ahead, to press on (keep trying), despite past failure. Sadly, I believe it’s past failure that keeps people from even attempting to make New Year’s Resolutions or setting new goals. 2015 is a year to make a change.

 

Step 1: What Are You Aiming For?

Life, like sports, should have a goal. Otherwise, how do you know what direction to go or how to get ahead?

goalsWhile some people may be letting past failures keep them from setting new goals, some people’s problem may be that they treat New Year’s Resolutions more like making a birthday wish. They say what they want to themselves, blow out the “candle” and wait for something to magically happen all year. Others may just not have a good grasp on how to set goals period.

If you want change in 2015, I suggest you set goals. Just like Zig Ziglar said, “If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.” While I don’t think you should wait until the New Year to set goals, I do think this is one of the best times of year to reflect on everything you did right – as well as everything you did wrong. Self-examination is not only necessary for improvement but it’s healthy. Without goals and self-examination, we become complacent. Why do you think we have exams in school? Because teachers want to make sure you are progressing, and find out where you still need work.

2. Exam Time!

Examination -iɡˌzaməˈnāSH(ə)n/
: a detailed inspection or investigation.
: a close and careful study of someone or something to find signs of illness or injury
: a test to show a person’s progress, knowledge, or ability

examThe same way we would be required to take an exam at the end of the school year to test our progress, we should set time aside to exam ourself during different seasons of our own life. Life is a school and our body, in many ways, is a science project. The same way we would examine a science project that didn’t go right, we should look at last year and see what we could add or take away from the equation that could help bring a better outcome.

Even if last year was amazing, we should reflect on what made it amazing and how we can either maintain that or make it even better. The fact is, we ALL have stuff to work on. Whether it’s our health, weight, financial security, spiritual growth or what type of husband, wife, mother, brother, sister, or friend we are – the first step is self-examination. It’s so important, the Bible mentions is many times.

  • “But a man must examine himself” 1 Corinthians 11:27-31
  • Examine yourselves…Test yourselves” 2 Corinthians 13:5
  • “But each one must examine his own work” Galatians 6:4
  • Let us examine and probe our ways.” Lamentations 3:40 
  • “Consider your ways!” Haggai 1:5-7

(read more about what scripture has to say about self-examination)

3. Pull Out the Mirror

reflectionSelf-examination requires honestly. There is nothing that is more honest to me than the mirror. I can convince myself I feel like I’m 20 years old. I can still picture myself in my twenties. I can even prove to you I’m stronger and fitter than I was when I was 20. However, if I hang out with teenagers, while I still may fool myself into thinking I’m still young, they remind me I’m not as young as I feel. But one thing I can’t argue at all is what the mirror says. When I pull out the mirror, the rude awakening of facing my image in the glass reflection, the wrinkles and grey hairs, are brutally honest – tellinh me I’m no where near 20 anymore.

Unfortunately, many people do not look at their life honestly. They look at their life more relatively. For instance, they may feel pretty fit compared to their out of shape family. Or someone may feel like they eat really healthy compared to all their pizza-loving, beer-drinking friends. True self-examination requires open eyes and a clear view of one’s real self, compared to the healthiest, happiest, best version of your own self – not compared to someone else’s hot mess.

“I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think (rate yourself) with sober judgment” Romans 12:3

true reflectionAnother words, don’t fool yourself. Rate yourself with a clear head and clear judgement. Ironically, even if we know we have stuff to work on, it’s easy to think more highly of ourself than we should. No one likes to feel like a failure, but this isn’t about feeling like a failure, this is about simply improving. But, many times, in order to feel better about ourself, we are too busy pointing out everyone’s mess to recognize our own areas of weakness. It’s the proverbial plank-eye scripture.

“First take the log (plank) out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” Matthew 7:5

The best way to look at yourself is to look at you now compared to the younger you, the best you, the you God desires you to be. If it was just you and God alone, what are the areas you think He’d want you to work on? Would he wish you’d take better care of your body? Maybe He’d like you to spend more time with Him or be a better spouse. Whatever it is, you must remember you are your only competition.

4. Keep Your Eyes On Your Own Paper

i will beat her quoteIf God had the chance to sit me down, I doubt very seriously He’d do some name dropping. He’s not going to say, “Bonnie, you are doing OK, but have you seen Kristie lately? That’s who you need to be more like”. No way! It would just be about me and Him – so keep your eyes on your own paper during your self-examination time. Remember my quote saying “I will beat her” (pictured right). This year, in 2015, I want to beat the old 2014 me. That’s the only person I want to beat.

Now, if you are ready to begin this journey to a new you, then here are the steps to making 2015 your very best yet!

5. Set Goals

1. Examine yourself – both good and bad. Make a list of your weak areas that need strengthening and make a list of your strengths too.

2. Set annual goals – both broad and specific.

3. Set monthly goals – set a goal just for January and focus on that goal the most.

4. Set weekly goals – set the goals needed each week to help you meet your monthly goal. This can be a set number of days you want to workout a week or how many pounds a week you want to lose. Weekly goals should be easily maintainable and help you stay on track.

5. Set daily goals – Daily goals may be centered on a new daily habit, like going to be early, or sticking to a specific daily caloric budget. Daily goals are necessary in reaching your weekly goal.

Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog if you want daily New Year Motivation this month!

 

Is Your Head Ready for Weight Loss Success?

Fit brainEven though weight loss is primarily a result of reducing calories and increasing activity, there is one part of your body you must get in shape first before you even begin your weight loss journey.

Your mental health affects everything you do, including tackling fitness goals. If you think about it, success always starts in your brain. You have the power to talk yourself into going for a run, as well as talk yourself out of it. The way you think determines the direction you are headed, however, many people neglect to properly prepare their brain before they make New Year’s Resolutions.

In my recent article for Answers.com, I discuss five ways to get your brain fit for success this year. Before you set goals, before you lift your first weight, before you step on a scale, get your brain in shape first – because it’s impossible to be truly healthy with an unhealthy mindset. READ MORE

4 Ways to Find Your Fit

SHAPE MAGAZINEShape Magazine has challenged me, as one of the 10 East Coast against 10 West Coast bloggers, to put our new Fitbit Charge to the test. Each week we compete to see which Coast can take the most steps or log the longest distance, leading to one Coast to be declared the most “Active Coast”.

1st Challenge: Take a Hike!

Shape FitBit ChalllengeEach week we will get a challenge to complete (follow #MotivationMondays and #FindYourFit to follow the challenge). This week’s challenge was “Take a Hike“. I don’t know about you and where you live, but there isn’t a lot of “hiking” here. There are no mountains, hills or parks to go “hiking” around – at least, not how I think of hiking. While there IS one trail called Jungle Trail, one town over, hiking isn’t something you think of when you think of Vero Beach.

On top of it, Monday for us was a crazy travel work-day for us Pfiesters. We were up at 5am, on the road by 7am to Boca Raton where we shoot our LiveExercise workout shows, then we had to fly back to train clients, teach kickboxing and teach BCx Shred Camp at our gym, Max Fitness Club. But, I still planned on getting my hike on despite my insane day! Did I mention I was also temporarily blind?

Bonnie Pfiester 4-eyesI’m going through a special contact fitting (created for hard-to-fit blink folks like me). This fitting requires me to wear a special contact lens (and I still have to wear glasses over them to see! That’s how blind I am! haha). Anyway, I have to wear these contacts for a few days to help the doctor (Dr. Joyce Desrosiers of the Eye Clinic of Vero) measure my eye. So, not only did I not have an ideal path, I can’t even really see a path at all. Ha! So, instead of sitting on the couch in the office waiting for Steve’s show to end, staring into space, I was on a mission to prove to everyone you can have all the excuses in the world and still choose not to use one of them. So, in between shows, I decided to hike my semi-blind self through Boca’s industrial area.

image8To my surprise, I actually had a lot of fun exploring through parking lots, loading docs, sidewalks, breezeways and side streets – and even found a pretty lake-veiw spot to sit and relax a bit.

Even when your day is busy, even when your circumstances are not ideal, you can still #FindYourFit!

Follow me on Intagram & Twitter to join in the weekly challenge and follow my teams progress at Shape.com.

FindYourFit

Here are a few pics from my city hike! lol ;)

4 Ways to Find Your Fit

circles1. Don’t be afraid to walk in circles. Before I decided to walk through the entire industrial plaza on the street where our studio was, I first decided I’d just walk around the building. Even if I had to do 20 laps, I would still get some steps in, burn some calories and find my fit. I think many people are looking for the ideal path, not just any path. To #FindYourFit, you have to improvise.

10-minute-clock2. 10 minutes is ok. When it comes to exercising the heart and lunges, exercising for only 10 minutes at a time is effective. Don’t feel like you have to have a whole hour to workout. While your co-worker takes their 10 minute smoke break, take a 10 minute walk break! You’ll come back more refreshed and alert than your nicotine-filled friend.

HIIT3. Make the most of the time you have. If you are limited on time, incorporate HIIT (High Intensity Hit Training) into your walk. You can set your Fitbit Charge to cue you every minute (or desired time). Rotate between a run and a walk, or a sprint and a jog, to burn more calories and take your cardiovascular training up a notch.

Blue-Jump-Rope-14. Walk a mile without leaving. There are other ways to take steps without even leaving your house or office. Butt-kicks (jogging in place), jump rope, high marches and jumping jacks can help you get your steps in even if you can’t step out. Here’s an example of a workout you can do with nothing but your bodyweight and a jumprope to get increase your steps and #findyourfit!

Warm up: Watch Video

25 Butt-Kix (jog in place, heels hit your butt)
25 Jax
(repeat 2x)
25 Squats

25 2-Step Heismans
(repeat 2x)
Jump Rope (2 minutes)

THE PUSH: Watch Video 

(3 rounds for time)
30 Jogs

30 Butt-Kix
30 Jax
10 High Knees (one big jump in the air lifting both knees as high as you can)
1-Minute Jump rope 

SSS (SkaterSquatShuffle): Watch Video

3 sets for time
20 Skaters (lunge from side to side, touching opposite hand to the lunging foot)

20 Butt-Kix
20 Squat Front-Kix (squat with alternating kicks)
20 Butt-Kix
20 Shuffle (quick switch)
20 Butt Kix
Record your time at the end of the third round!

WIN A FITBIT CHARGE

Check out all the blogger’s pages (you can click on each blogger’s pic to see their blog) to see how they’re tackling the challenges and get your hands on your own new Fitbit Charge by entering our weekly sweepstakes below. Come back weekly to see which Coast is in the lead and to enter to win 1 of 4 new Fitbit Charges we’re handing out!

fit bit charge

This post is sponsored by the Shape/Men’s Fitness FitBit Charge Challenge.

10 Tips to Kick the Never-Ending Diet

“I tried every diet in the book. I tried some that weren’t in the book. I tried eating the book. It tasted better than most of the diets.” Dolly Parton

When I think of Dolly’s quote I think of how my mother also tried every diet in the book before she finally lost her weight. I know she must have felt like she spent her entire life dieting. The truth is she just made a few common mistakes that just continued to prolong her results – and it happens to so many people. That’s why so many American live their all their life dieting.

10 Tips to Break the ‘Never-ending Diet’ Cycle:

  1. Avoid diet hopping. Some people never stick to a diet long enough to get results before they hop on the next diet that comes their way.  If you chose a diet plan, stick to it.
  2. Never attempt an unrealistic diet. I can’t help but think of the Cabbage Soup Diet, which I was on for all of four very long days. A successful diet is one you can stick with for the long haul.
  3. Don’t rely on the quick fix. We all know better, but our patience often gets the best of us. Don’t give in to weight loss gimmicks. A quick fix is just a temporary fix and only postpones the inevitable.
  4. Be realistic. If you are on a mild diet and exercise plan, expect mild results. The more intense the program, the faster the results. Be realistic when setting and working toward your goal.
  5. Be honest with yourself. People seem quick to recall all the healthy low-calorie foods they eat but get amnesia when it comes to unhealthy choices. The scale will tell on you so, in all actuality, you aren’t fooling anyone but your self.
  6. What you don’t know can hurt you. I find most people who have failed on their diet have been guessing their way through it all. Other people just don’t want to know the truth. I can’t tell you how many times my husband has taken a bite of something and as soon as I begin to read off the calories he plugs his ears saying “lalalalalalalala, I don’t want to know, lalalalalala”!  The fact is the calories are there whether we know it or not.
  7. If you aren’t dieting, you should be maintaining. Even if you lose the weight, you still have to be accountable for what you eat in order to maintain your new size. Many people who hit their goal end up right back where they started because they went back to eating poorly.
  8. The “Weekday Diet” doesn’t always work. Many people diet all week, only to erase their hard work each weekend with poor food choices. Although this may work while in maintenance, this diet faux pas is what makes people feel like they are dieting all the time and never reaping the reward.
  9. Never underestimate the power of the calorie. Weight loss boils down to one thing – calories in vs. calories out. You can’t expect results if you are not sure how many calories you are eating.
  10. Commit to dieting the right way. A lack of commitment just prolongs the amount of time it will take to get results. You can live on a yo-yo diet for the rest of your life and get mediocre results, or you can commit to working hard for a while and live the rest of your life enjoying your results.

5 Tips to Avoid Weight Gain Rebound

Few people can stay competition lean (or should). A little extra weight is healthy - but parameters must be set to avoid rebound.

Few people can stay competition lean (or should). A little extra weight is healthy – but parameters must be set to avoid rebound.

One of the things I hear a lot after someone has lost a lot of weight is that someone gained all their weight back. It’s a big fear for most people. They join a boot camp or do a competition and they reach all their goals, and a few months later they are right back to where they started – or worse.

While, in our gym, there are more people that keep it off than people who gain it back, it happens – and I sure didn’t want that to happen to me after my competition so I sat down with Steve and we made very specific rules. Here are the parameters I plan to put in my life to help me maintain my weight during our “off season”.

Whether you are in between trainers, boot camps or competitions, you can apply these same rules to your own life to make fitness a lifestyle instead of a phase, and make your new goal weight your new normal weight.

5 Tips to Maintaining Your Weight

scale1. Decide on your new ideal weight. If you haven’t reached your goal yet, your ideal weight will be a lower weight. If you have reached your goal, your ideal maintenance weight should be your new weight (unless you’ve just competed and dehydrated – then your weight should probably be 5-7lbs heavier than your stage weight). This weight is what determines whether you should be dieting (eating fewer calories than you are burning) or maintaining (eating the same amount of calories than your burning).

At 5’9″, my ideal weight used to be 144 for me. If I started rising above 144 (my NO! STOP weight was 148), I would diet back down and get my weight back into control. Now, my new normal weight is 136. After the show I stayed in the high 130s and hit 140 and I immediately jumped right back on my diet until it went back down. Today, I weighed 135 today. I will continue to weigh in to keep me accountable.

goals2. Set a new goal. Whether this is a race, a bikini or bodybuilding competition, a weight loss contest, a cruise or a photo shoot, you must put some kind of goal into place. Goals give your training purpose, and make it easier to say no to high-calorie foods and the temptation to skip a workout. My goal is to come into January at a specific body fat percentage, muscle weight and fat weight. I want to know I am starting my diet ahead of where I started it last time. I also want my skin to stay tight and continue tightening up. I can’t do that if my weight fluctuates too much, so my goal is to avoid weight gain so I can improve my skin texture. Plus, I just feel a million times better in all my clothes!

running3. Make a recovery plan. What do you do if you bounce a check or max out a credit card? Do you keep spending what you can’t afford? No. You start making a plan to pay it off and get back in the black. The same goes for dieting. As soon as you go over budget, you have to start paying it off because you can’t afford to eat that much anymore. This is when you step up your cardio (work off your past debt) and reduce your caloric budget (learn to be more frugal with your calories). This is just checks and balances – but you have to make a plan ahead of time. As soon as you get back to your ideal weight, you can afford to have a cheat meal, you can afford to skip a workout. But, until then, you have to stay disciplined and get your body back in control.

chocolate syrup4. Cheats are treats. What I mean is, cheat meals should be a treat, not a habit. There are certain things Steve and I decided we would not buy and bring into our home. This forces us to go out and get it if we want it (which requires more planning and reduces the chance of impulse eating). For instance, we will not buy ice cream. If we want ice cream, we’ll make a date out of it – but I’m not going to have something that available to me. Same goes with chips and other high-calorie snack foods. As soon as I bring them into the house, they can work their way into our daily lives. Then it becomes a unhealthy eating habit. We will continue to have limits on how much we eat out and how much we “treat” ourself. And, we will continue to cook healthy, low-calorie meals and have low-calorie snacks at home.

Maintenance 5. You’re never “off”. One of the biggest mistakes people make is doing a boot camp or competition and then taking “off”. They work hard for 3 month and then they stop completely. You should never be “off” – you are either in weight loss mode or maintenance mode. While a competitor can gain a little weight in off season while they try to build muscle, the more fat they gain, the harder they have to work to get it off when they are in season. Why not try to keep your fat under control so you start your season ahead of where you started it last time.

Stop right now and make a plan of how you plan to control your weight over the holidays so you don’t start 2015 behind where you are right now. If you fail to plan, then plan to fail. Planning is key to success!

Desperately Seeking Success: How to Find What You Are Looking For

When someone is desperate, how hard to they seek to get help? If someone is in pain, how quick to they seek comfort? When someone needs guidance, how much effort do they invest in finding it? If someone loses a job, how hard are they searching for a new one?

Diet helpOver my years in the fitness industry, I’ve marveled at how many people who desperately need help are not desperately seeking it. I think of the story about a crippled man in the Bible who lay by, what was believed to be, a healing pool for YEARS. He literally lay there waiting for someone to pick him up and take him to the pool to get healed. I think many people (including me at times) are like that guy, waiting on someone or something else to do all the heavy lifting. Sometimes it’s because we are overwhelmed by the task that could be required of us to take action. Many times it is just pure ignorance – we have no idea what to do. Sadly, most of the time, it is just pure laziness. We’d rather hope for a miracle, than exert ourselves in fear doing a lot of work for no reward.

Listen, people who work get the reward. People just have unrealistic expectations, and they have a warped definition of the word “work”. They do a little work, and expect a big reward. They work for a short time, and expect the payoff to keep coming even if they quit.

Seek and You Will Find

It is rare that I see someone really seeking to lose weight who doesn’t lose it. People will often say “I tried, I really tried”, but if you were to reach deeeeep within their soul and could get the truth out of them, the real answer is “I tried a little”, “I tried once”, “I thought I tried”.

piano lessonsIf you try to play the piano for the first time, you don’t expect to play Beethoven within a few “tries”. No, you don’t even learn a song at first. You start by learning the basics (#boring #uneventful #nofun). You have to learn the fundamentals before you can even read music or learn a song. With practice, you finally get to learn a song. You celebrate when you can finally play “Mary Had a Little Lamb” with one hand. Then, you celebrate again when you learn to add your left hand. Then, after practicing, practicing and practicing, you begin to play the same song a little better, a little easier. Then you are ready for the next song – and it will be just as elementary as the first.

I can remember piano lessons, and I admit I was SO impatient. I would get so frustrated. I wanted to immediately jump in and play a more difficult “cool” song effortlessly without much practice. As a result, I’d take shortcuts. I’d play by ear, instead of reading music. I’d make up things that sounded good just so I could keep appearing to move forward. The problem was, I wasn’t moving forward. I was exactly where I left off. I might have “sounded” better, but I had not improved.

How often do we act like this in life? We do what we want to do to make us appear more successful (with our job, with our weight loss, with relationships, with God), yet many times we are exactly where we left off – exactly in the same place we were when we stopped actually WORKING.

I want to challenge you today to SEEK HARDER. Seek the things you desire to improve in your life with all your might. Seek answers to your weight loss plateau, seek help in your marriage, seek God in your life – and seek until you find.

man-looking-inside-fridge-artGod doesn’t ever ask us to do work for no reward. A matter of fact, He constantly talks about what we “get” when we seek Him. The key is understanding the word seek. I think we think of the word “seek” more like Steve seeks something in the fridge. He opens the door, looks at the contents and closes the door saying “Bonnie, where’s the BBQ sauce?” I’ll reply with “it should be in the door”. He’ll tell me he looked there. I will go on to list a few other places it could be and he’ll tell me he looked there too. The fact is, he didn’t really SEEK, he looked. Of course, I’ll go right to the refrigerator, open the door, move a few items out of the way and find it within 30 seconds. Why? I wasn’t looking, I was seeking.

Vines Dictionary’s definition of ‘Seek': 
Strive for
Desire
Endeavor
To “seek” to ascertain a meaning (meaning, seek until you understand)

SearchingAre you seeking things like that? Are you seeking God like that? Are you seeking answers to your marriage issues or weight issues like that? Striving for, seeking until you fully understand, seeking until you find what you are looking for?

I had to laugh when Joyce Meyer was talking about how people act like they don’t understand what “seeking God” means. She then listed off a few examples of how we seek out stuff in life, like the woman seeking a 75% OFF sale or the guy in the deer stand seeking the deer in the freezing cold.

Don’t you think your life is worth the effort to REALLY seek the things that really matter? Your physical health, your spiritual health – happiness, joy, peace and well-being?

Today, make a commitment to stop looking and start SEEKING.

Today’s Spiritual Workout:

I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me. Proverbs 8:17

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Matthew 7:7-8

Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually! 1 Chronicles 16:11

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matthew 6:33

The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing. Psalms 34:10

 

Fitness Motivation: Fear to Greatness

People aren’t just born awesome, they decide to TRY to be awesome – and with practice, they become more awesome every day. Fear is the #1 roadblock to greatness. They don’t let fear stop them from dreaming, trying or quitting. They recognize there is a risk on the quest for greatness. Your “greatness” maybe being a great mom, the healthiest you, a successful career person, a person who dedicates their life to making a difference. I’m not talking about money or power, I’m talking about being the best you can be. The healthiest you, the strongest you, the best you.

Conquering Fear

Sure you may fail. You may feel embarrassed. You may not get the results you want fast enough. You may not be the greatest on the planet, but I guarantee you, if you TRY you will be better than you ever could be without trying. What you should really fear is never trying to find out what you could do and who you could be if you don’t let fear get in the way.

Stretch Yourself

Is what you are doing right now stretching you? Are you a little uncomfortable? Are you are little scared? Are you pushing your body. Are you challenging yourself with good habits and discipline? Are you depriving yourself of the temporary to be better longterm? If you aren’t doing these things, you will never see your very best. You will never become the best you possible.

Get ready to be motivated and be ready to take your life to the next level – more commitment, more confidence, more determination, more dedication, more perseverance. You. Can. Do. This!

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