We don’t always want to do the work,
but we always want the reward.
Have you ever flipped through a magazine, gazing at an amazing physique and thought “This is who I want to be”. But no matter how motivated you are in that moment, you skip your next workout? Or maybe you’ve been i n church and thought ” This is who I want to be”, but as soon as you leave, the fire in your heart dies leaves also?
It’s so easy to be focused one day and off the wagon the next. Why? Our flesh wants what our flesh wants – and our flesh never wants what is good.
When I looked up the definition for “flesh”, I had to laugh because the first definition described our flesh as soft. This is so incredibly true. Our flesh is easy to penetrate, it’s not firm or strong at all. It also referred to it as the surface. Again, so true. Our fleshly desires are always shallow, based on what’s on the surface of reality – not what is deep and lasting. Lastly, it describes the flesh as our body opposed to our mind and soul – the physical or carnal nature of mankind. Our flesh, literally the opposite of our soul, is our own worst enemy.
Your #1 Enemy
I hear people say “you should be able to eat what you want” or “you need to live”, as if doing what is good for you is dying. If you think of your fleshly desires, can you ever think of it wanting something good for you?
Think of the Seven Deadly Sins: wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony – they are all led by our flesh. Even if they weren’t considered a sin, there is not one of those things that are actually good for our health. And whether you like it or not, you will constantly battle your flesh for the rest of your life so you might as well learn how to battle it.
6 TIPS TO VICTORY
1. Keep your head in the game. You may not be playing for a national championship or a gold medal, but you have your own goals and they are just as important. The same way a coach would warn you to keep your head in the game, you need to do the same. Do everything you can to avoid distractions, and keep your mind and heart focused on the things that are important to you.
2. Surround yourself with like-minded people. Unfortunately, we all have friends that aren’t “good for us”. They are the first ones to talk us into going out for Pizza or the first ones to invite you to a party. Life is so much easier when your closest friends are also actively battling the flesh too.
3. Keep yourself in check. Ask yourself “will I feel good about this decision tomorrow?” If you feel like skipping your workout, verbally ask yourself how it will make you feel tomorrow. Or how will you feel tomorrow after having that bowl of ice cream? We all know the guilt that comes when you follow the flesh, it’s important you remind yourself of that. Living by our flesh will always lead to disappointment.
4. Invite others to keep you in check. This could be a spouse, a friend, a workout partner, a trainer or even an online friend. Everyone needs the added accountability.
5. Constantly and purposefully refocus. Our flesh constantly reminds us of what we want, so we have to constantly remind our body what WE want. What are you doing every day, and possibly several times a day, to help you stay focused? We need visual cues and text to remind us what is truly good for us.
6. Just do it. Everyone wants to be a winner but few people want to do what it takes to become one. Whether you are just wanting to lose weight or you are a professional athlete, it takes discipline and dedication. If an athlete woke up everyday just thinking about the training, it wouldn’t take them far. They aren’t focusing on the training, they are focusing on the triumph. Train with a purpose. Eat with a purpose, Live with a purpose. And even when you don’t feel like doing the work, remember you will always feel like getting the reward.
As Nike Says: “Make It Count“
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