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31 DAYS MOTIVATION: You Can Change in 2014

I CAN CHANGEAs you reflect on your goals this January, don’t allow yourself to get overwhelmed with how much you need to do. Set your goals, and then look at the reality if you commit to TRYING to reach them – you CAN, and will, improve. Honestly, that is the worst case scenario. For example…

Goal: I want to lose 50lbs.
Reality: I will feel better even if I lose 25!

Goal: I want to pay off my debt.
Reality: It will be awesome even if I pay off a big chunk!

Goal: I want to read through the Bible.
Reality: I’ll read more than last year just trying!

Goal: I want to be live healthier
Reality: The more I workout and eat healthy, the better I will feel.

Even if you don’t reach all your goals, as long as you commit to trying, you can at least make improvements – and that’s a great thing! Think of the things that will improve if you workout more, eat healthier, drink (alcohol) less, go to church more, spend more time with family, spend less time wasting time, spend less, budget more, work more efficiently, be a better steward of your money, time, home, friends, etc. Just attempting these things will change you if you commit to trying.

This year, instead of focusing on reaching a goal, commit to making healthy changes so you can make improvements. As you begin to improve, you will find more motivation to reach your goals, as your goals get closer and closer. Sure, you will never be perfect – but you sure as heck can be better in 2014! Goodbye 2013, Hello to a better year and a better you!

To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often. Winston Churchill 

MOTIVATION: Is This The BEST You Can Do?

Think about your last workout. What if, after that workout, I asked you “was that the best you could do?” What would your answer be?

be your bestDuring the Nixon presidency, a speech writer by the name of Winston Lord was writing a speech for Henry Kissinger & President Nixon. According to an interview, Kissinger asked Lord for a draft of his speech. The next day Kissinger asked Lord, “Is this the best you can do?” Lord replied “Well, I thought so, but I can try one more time.”

Lord turned in another speech and Kissinger gave the same response, “Is this the best you can do”. Well, this went on eight times – Kissinger asking Lord if this was the best he can do and Lord giving another crack at it. Finally, on the 9th time, when asked the same question Lord replied “I can’t possibly improve one more word”. Kissinger’s response was, “In that case, now I’ll read it.”

Giving Your Best

A+ excellentObviously, Kissinger wanted to know that Winston Lord gave him his very best work. This made me think about whether or not “this” is the best “I” can do. Can you imagine if God swooped you up and asked you that question? I would be BEGGING for another chance to come back and do things better. I would want to redo many things. I’d want to treat my body better, be a better wife, be a better friend, be a better boss, be more patient, be more loving, be more giving (the list would go on and on). All in all, I would have to be honest and say “No, this is NOT the best I can do”.

Strength-Training-WeightsCan you imagine how much harder we worked if we worked for God himself? I bet you wouldn’t cheat on your diet or skip a workout if HE was your trainer! However, that is what he asks us to do – He asks us to treat everything we do as if we are doing it for Him. I think we only apply that principle to the areas WE feel are most important. Yet, scripture doesn’t say “in SOME things” it says “in WHATEVER you do – that means EVERYthing”.  Yep, you guessed it – that means the way you act in traffic to what food you choose to eat.

cheat on your diet“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men…” Colossians 3:23

So, if you think you can have great work ethic at home, but a crappy one on the job – think again. If you think you can not cheat on your taxes, but cheat on your diet – the answer is no. We should strive for excellence in ALL we do, whether we are managing our bank account or our weight.

Do-Overs

Every day we wake up, we get to “write a new draft”. We get to look at yesterday and ask ourself the question “is this the best you can do?” – and we get a chance to make corrections. If we treat every single day like this, our life will be very different – and it would be far from mediocre.

run the raceI challenge you this week to treat everything you do as if you are being tested – like you are running a race and going for a new PR. Your work, your workouts, your diet, your family, your decisions – make them your best today.

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain that prize…” 1 Corinthians 9:24-25

Be YOUR Best

be your best copy SM

How to Give Your Self-Esteem a Healthy Boost

Why are we so hard on ourself?

If you asked me all the things I hated about myself, I’d pour you some tea because it would take a while to list everything. Physical flaws, personality flaws, my weaknesses, my fears…I probably could spend all day picking myself apart. By the time it was over, I’d need to check into a mental hospital.

On the contrary, if you asked me to tell you something good about myself, I’d probably draw a blank – at least for a moment. I’d most likely come up with a few things, none of which would probably be a physical trait. Every time I’d begin to say something, I’d immediately think of how that could be better or how “it’s not really that great”. I could come up with a few good personality traits, moral traits and probably some professional strengths but, all in all, it would be one difficult task.

The Remodel Job: You Through YOUR Eyes

Why is it so hard to like ourself? I think it’s because we know our flaws better than anyone else, and can’t see how we look to others. Think of our body like our house. People can come to our house and brag on how pretty it is, compliment the decorating, etc but they aren’t inspecting it with a white glove. Only we know what is broken, how dusty the baseboards are and what parts have been neglected because we are the ones who see it up close every day. Despite what needs work, we make it as presentable as we can to share with others. This happens a lot in fitness. We work so hard to remodel ourselves, and maintain our body (like we do our house), that we are aware of our flaws even more.

The Archie Bunker Effect: You Through ANOTHER’s Voice

Another reason we are hard on ourself is because others can be hard on us. Think of Archie Bunker. We all remember what a jerk he was – a funny jerk, but a jerk still. Yet, we know he loved Edith. He adored her actually. However, he was so darn hard on everyone and rarely gave a compliment.

Unfortunately, our loved ones will sometimes point out our flaws more than our good traits, just like good ole Archie. Ironically, they probably could make a list a mile long of all your great traits. They SEE you better than you probably see yourself, but they often TELL you everything they don’t like a lot more. It’s like having one pimple on your face. If everyone points at it all the time, you can’t think of anything else besides that annoying pimple. You’ll feel ugly and want to hide, no matter how great the rest of you looks. But, the same person with the same pimple is much better if no one points it out. They’ll almost forget it’s there if people let them.

I’m not saying we should ignore our flaws – if they are something we can work on, we should be aware of them enough to want to work on them. I believe we should always want to improve. However, we can’t let them get us down because there are still SO many parts of you that are simply amazing.

Things to Consider:

1. You have great traits whether you see them or not. Others do. You just need to open your eyes.

2. When others point out flaws, they are normally the same few flaws they continue to point out. Tell them “you know, you’re working on it” and to be patient.

3. If you focus on correcting flaws every day, allot extra time to focus on your progress. If you need to pull out fat pictures, do it. If you need to keep a package of Ramen Noodles out to remember when you used to be broke, do it. Support a child in need and post his/her picture on the refrigerator to help keep a healthy perspective in life. Do whatever it takes to remind you where you came from so you aren’t so focused on where you are headed you forget to celebrate where you are.

4. Be thankful. Thank the Lord for everything you DO have and for everything you are. God made you and He thinks you are great. It’s hard to be ungrateful when you are talking to God. That’s like telling an artist you think their painting is ugly. Also, you can’t lie to Him and you can’t get him to feel sorry for you when there are people in the world who don’t know if they will survive another day without food. He knows just how truly blessed you are, and will quickly remind you too. You’ll find your mind and heart will open up in a unique way. He’ll help bring you back to reality. Before you know it, you’ll be overwhelmed with life, your health, your friends, your functioning body and all that you DO have that’s truly great.

Homework:

Write down at least 5 things that you feel are amazing about yourself and write them down. Post it at your desk or vanity to remember every day. Share the love and tell a co-worker, friend or loved one at least 5 things you like about them and right them down so they can post it and remember they are awesome too!

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