“…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
I’ve heard it said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Well, I don’t know about you, but I can definitely identify with that. It’s like we know we’ve taken a wrong turn or are on the wrong road, but we keep going anyway. And, worse yet, we somehow think that we’ll still get to our destination. Instead of taking a look at the map or asking for directions, we just keep driving and getting farther away from our desired destination.
1. Eat breakfast every day (whole grains, fruit and a protein source).
2. Eat living foods: vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts.
3. Avoid sugar. Cut out the sodas, sweets and white breads/pastas.
4. Use smaller plates to cut down portion sizes.
5. Eat only when you are hungry to avoid overeating.
6. Fast from “bad” foods you feel compelled to eat.
7. Stop eating after 7 p.m.
1. Walk or run daily for at least 15-30 minutes.
2. Add all-body strength training three days a week for 15 minutes to boost metabolism and burn fat.
3. Be active every day.
4. Build physical activities into your family time.
5. Train for an event. Try a 5k or fun run to start.
6. Get a buddy to exercise with you.
7. Get advice from a professional fitness trainer.
1. Read the Word out loud every day (5+ minutes).
2. Pray for others every day (5+ minutes).
3. Memorize one Scripture verse every month.
4. Listen to praise music instead of talk radio.
5. Turn off the TV, computer and cell phone at least one hour before bedtime.
6. Get 7-8 hours of sleep each night.
7. Do something “little” for someone else every day.
Every January, millions of people make New Year’s resolutions, and getting in shape or losing weight is almost always at the top of the list. We feel a sense of possibility, hope and optimism that this year is going to be our year—that it’s going to be different from all the rest. We believe we’re going to be consistent and disciplined in our exercise and that we’re going to eat healthy.
Almost always, we get off to a good start. We make a bunch of changes and start to really feel better. Many of us wonder why we ever stopped these habits to begin with. But invariably, the craziness of life provides us with any number of reasons to go back to our old habits, and we jump on the first excuse that works for us.
What really makes it so difficult to stick with our plans to get healthy? I think the Apostle Paul makes it clear. We lack one thing: focus.
Paul was single-minded. He was focused. He had no use for looking back at his past successes or failures, and he kept his eyes and efforts focused on the prize. Paul’s sole aim was to pursue Christ in such a way that every aspect of his life pointed others to Jesus. He couldn’t afford to be weighed down, slowed down or brought down, so he continually purified himself from everything that would contaminate his body or spirit (2 Corinthians 7:1).
Paul had focus like that of Jesus, but he had to choose it. So, in the spirit of creating focus in your own life and choosing “one thing” for the new year, take a look at the chart on the right. Instead of turning your whole life upside down all at once, consider picking just one thing to change from each of the categories and commit to staying focused. Don’t worry about the past. Just focus on getting this done once and for all. You’ll be surprised at how good you feel!
And, as always, rely on the Word of God to transform and fuel you throughout the process. Two great verses to memorize this month are Philippians 3:13-14, listed above, and the aforementioned 2 Corinthians 7:1: “Therefore dear friends, since we have such promises, we should wash ourselves clean from every impurity of the flesh and spirit, making our sanctification complete in the fear of God.”
There’s never been a better time to get—and stay—focused!
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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.