New Doesn’t Necessarily Mean Different
Before I tackle today’s subject of setting fitness goals, I want to warn you this first post is longer than the rest because there is a lot to think about, goals to set and a plan to make – and I want you to get a strong start. With that said, I want to start off sharing some more personal stuff about myself, what I’m learning and what God is continuing to teach me.
As I woke up eager to start my first post of the year (when I originally wrote this blog series), I sat down to do a devotion first. Because, if anything good comes out of me, it will start with what God is doing in my own life. So I shouldn’t have been surprised when I opened my verse of the day and saw it was the very verse that launched a complete marriage makeover – and a complete life change.
“For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.” Isaiah 43:19
On that day Steve and I read that verse (read our marriage makeover story), we knew God was talking about our marriage. I had no idea He was talking about so much more. I also see now that he didn’t say He’s going to give us something new, He was going to make our old stuff new.
I think sometimes it’s just easier to think the best way to be happier or better is to get all new stuff. To get a new job, not to make our current job better. To get a new spouse, not to make our current marriage better. To move to a new town to meet new people, not make our current home situation better and grow the friends we have, or meet new friends right here.
Notice the verse says “I will make a pathway THROUGH the wilderness and rivers IN the dry wasteland (desert)?” God didn’t say, “I will take you the right path and bring you to the river”. No! He is going to transform your CURRENT place,CURRENT condition,CURRENT situation.
I was so excited about the “I’m doing a new thing” part I never noticed the verse before it until today, which says “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.”
A New Day, A New You
You are not the same person you were last year or even last month. I don’t look like that same girl turning 9 years old in this picture. I’ve changed quite a bit from year to year. The changes may be more subtle in my later years, but I am simply not the same person I was last year even if I look the same. And, today is not the same as it was yesterday so why would you let your past failures or experiences affect your future. Some people don’t set goals for the New Year because of past failures, but we can’t let our past experiences stop us from dreaming.
At the time we read that first “I’m doing a new thing”, I had no idea how God was going to fix us. Our past failures screamed out at us and made it impossible to imagine anything other than a future failure. We had to have faith that all God was asking us to do was to keep trying and not to give up – and BOY, AM I GLAD WE STUCK IT OUT!!
So often we change our goals based on our past failures. We adjust our dreams based on what we think is possible but that is so silly. How do we know what is possible if we don’t try and we don’t have faith that God can do something new.
We can learn from the past, but we shouldn’t adjust our goals based on what we have not been able to do before – nor should we really base them on what we have already done. If you notice, God rarely repeated the same exact miracle. There is only one burning bush that I know of, there is only one time people blew trumpets and pounded pots and pans to win a war. Even Jesus changed things up. He might have healed the blind more than once, but once it was with His words, once with spit, prayer and his touch, and another with mud made from spit and dirt.
Personally, I believe He changed things up so we don’t all go around spitting on every blind man thinking the action created the miracle, but we tend to be a creature of habit and ritual. We tend to base our future actions on our past experiences. We basically spit on every New Year expecting the a miracle simply because we went through the ritual of setting goals.
God wants to do a new thing in your life but He can’t do that if you give up on yourself and what He can do in your life.
This Can Be YOUR Year
For every person who has succeeded, they first failed. Remember that. Every weight loss story, every career, every good marriage, every situation – they all had their share of failures. Not setting goals simply because you fail every year is crazy. Don’t quit striving for what you believe is good for you. Don’t quit trying.
Every New Year people talk about how many people will not reach their goals – but what about all the people who DID?! I know PLENTY of people who succeeded last year after many years of failed attempts. You can be that person this year. Trust God and refuse to give up on the life He wants you to have – which most assuredly is a healthy one.
“Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man. Benjamin Franklin
I love what Benjamin Franklin says, “BE AT WAR with your vices”. That means, keep fighting, stay in the battle and show up to fight every day. The minute we settle or compromise is the day we allow our vices to win. Today is not the day to wave the white flag.
Today is the day we make a new battle plan.
A Battle Plan for a War Worth Fighting
1.) Find your fort. The first thing you know when you enlist is where you will be reporting. My husband, Steve, first reported to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri in 1989. This was where he was going to learn how to be a soldier. He would eat, sleep and train there. In the same way, you must choose your “fort” – your safe place to train, learn and get support. Whether this is a gym, or an online community like LiveExercise, you need to have your own safe place. Then all you have to do is just show up for duty.
2.) Choose your leader. Every good soldier has an even better leader. You need a strong leader who can point you in the right direction. You may not be able to choose your own leader in the military, but you sure can choose who you follow when it comes to fitness. Whether it is an experienced mentor, a personal trainer or nutritionist – you MUST have a strong leader that can teach you everything you need to be a winner.
3.) Build your army.Every good soldier is not alone. Soldiers work as a unit. They train, work and live in a close group and know each other well. They have each other’s back and they will NOT leave you behind. They also recruit new people because they realize they are stronger in numbers. Once you’ve enlisted in this new lifestyle, take people with you and make your unit stronger. Pass along your knowledge to save as many people as you can.
4.) Train for battle. No army expects success without training – and in the military, EVERYthing is training. From making your bed to shooting a gun, every single day there is a lesson learned. You too must treat every day as a lesson. Every meal, every workout and every thought has a purpose, with no time wasted. The enemy will not just go away. High calorie food and laziness will always taunt us so we must be trained and ready to win the war. Training will make us stronger and we will find the enemy has less of an impact on us when we are disciplined in our training.
5.) Always be ready. Just because America is the “land of the free” doesn’t mean we tell all our troops to go home. We don’t quit training, quit learning, and quit looking at plans to defend our country. Yet, when we reach our weight loss goals, we often “send the troops home”. We take down our defenses as if there is no more enemy. This is why so many people regain their weight. I wish I could say you will never battle your weight again, but I can’t say that. It may not be fair, as it’s not fair so many truly live in the middle of real battle all their lives. Some people may battle with their health all their lives too. You have to continue studying your opponent and stay on the defense because the enemy (whatever your vice is) will not ever wave the white flag.
Never Give Up
The fact is you can never win unless you fight. Even if you fight all your life, you still don’t lose unless you give up. You can be the one throwing the most punches or you can take most of them. I choose throwing them! Just because you reach your goal, don’t quit training, learning and protecting your temple.
Be ready, be strong and NEVER let your guard down.