“Brothers, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 3:13-14
In sports, as coaches and athletes, we know that we have to take one game at a time. When a game is over, win or lose, we have to put it behind us, learn what we can and move on. The same is true in all aspects of life. In Philippians 3, Paul tells us to forget the past and press on toward what is ahead. In Matthew 6:34, Jesus flat-out tells us, “Don’t worry about tomorrow.” From these two passages I believe we can take three important lessons—ones that will help us to walk in victory and “win” each day of our lives.
1. Don’t depend on past success.
2. Don’t be defeated by past failure.
3. Don’t dread tomorrow.
Don’t depend on past success.
|Define your Win|
As we pursue healthy lives, it is critical to note how we define what it means to “win today.” We don’t have to turn our lives upside down overnight; we just need to make a change and get after it.
In my own life, while I also define what it means to win regarding my marriage, my kids and my job, I also define what it means to win each day regarding my health. I’m including my personal checklist below as an example. Let it help you create one of your own for each victorious day in your future.
1. Connect with God first. – For me, this involves both quality and quantity. I need at least 45 minutes to connect with the Lord to be ready for the day spiritually and mentally.
2. Work out. – It could be 15 minutes of bodyweight exercise or a 25-mile ride. It doesn’t matter as long as I do it.
3. Eat a healthy breakfast. – I start the day with oatmeal, fresh fruit, eggs and Ezekiel bread; or a protein shake with Kefir, fruit and whey protein. These healthy options give me energy and focus.
4. Avoid late-night snacks. – This is big. It can literally undo every healthy decision I’ve made throughout the day. It’s important to finish strong!
Spending excessive time looking back on past successes can make us complacent. We can stop pursuing excellence in the present, which can leave us unprepared for challenges in our future. When we depend on past victories and achievements, we often forget all the little things that led to that success—the hard work and the discipline—and we start to compromise. Success can be a great encouragement if we keep it in perspective. Winning tends to create momentum, and, as long as it drives us to keep doing the little things and staying focused on the goal, it can propel us to greater levels of success.
When it comes to our health, if we realize how good it feels to exercise and eat healthy food and how terrible it feels when we don’t, we can actually stay motivated to stick to healthy habits and reach our goals.
Don’t be defeat ed by past failure.
Looking back on past failures can lead us to discouragement. We feel like giving up is our best option, and we run the risk of adopting the mindset that we are destined to fail in the future. Dwelling on our past defeats creates what I call a “doom loop” that is very difficult to break. When it comes to pursuing a healthy life, this is particularly true. Most people have experienced some level of failure in this area, especially when it comes to weight loss. They experience setbacks over and over again, enter a doom loop and expect every effort they make to end in defeat.
Don’t dread tomorrow.
The feelings we get from past failures can also cause us to dread the future, which is highly unproductive. Instead of looking ahead with apprehension or fear, we must learn to do as Jesus asks when He tells us to seek Him, depend on Him and trust in His provision. What happened yesterday is over. If we made decisions yesterday that were unhealthy, we can’t let them discourage us today or let them make us pessimistic about tomorrow. Instead, we must seek God for the wisdom, courage and strength to win today.
This month, I want to encourage you to define how you will win today. Write a short list and post it on your refrigerator as a reminder. If you lose the day by making a bad decision, refuse to let it become a pattern. Forget the past and get back on track. After all, life is really just a series of one-day challenges. So, today—this day—decide what you want your life to be like and go for the win!
--Want more? Catch Jimmy Page's 90-second "Fit Life Today" podcasts, now available at www.fcapodcasting.com.
Medical Disclaimer: All information in this article is of a general nature and is furnished for your knowledge and understanding only. This information is not to be taken as medical or other health advice pertaining to your specific health and medical condition. Always consult a physician or health professional before beginning any exercise or nutrition program.