The beginning of the new year can mean only one thing: my gym will be FLOODED with resolutioners.
Every year it’s the same. Somebody decides they need to get healthy and start working out. What better time than the beginning of the new year to begin working on that perfect beach bod? Who cares if you haven’t seen the inside of a gym in more than ten years? You’ll be ready to strut your stuff in New Smyrna in May, no doubt!
The gyms know people think this way so they run specials to entice people. One gym I was a part of would let you sign on for fifteen dollars per month after a one hundred dollar start fee. It was an automatic withdrawal every month and their business plan banked on the fact that people would work out consistently in January and February, then begin tapering off in March, until they finally quit going altogether by April or May. Then the gym attendance would go back down BUT they would still be collecting $15 per person per month. Because it was an automatic withdrawal, people would never call and cancel. They thought, “Hey, it’s just $15…I can go back whenever I want!”
They never do, though. Instead, they stay out of the gym and give up on their health goals. They get frustrated, but never frustrated enough to actually do something about it. They forget the original motivation and drive that pushed them to change, I believe, because they never really thought about it or had a plan to begin with.
We all want that thing we can envision, whether it’s a beach body or to be out of debt or to have a more robust spiritual life or whatever. The truth is that most of us just aren’t willing to pay the price and do all of the hard work to attain the goal. The great motivator, Les Brown, says , “People only change their lives when they get tired of being sick and tired. When they say, ‘I’ve had it!'”
Have you had it? If so, how are you going to achieve your goals?
I think the first thing we have to decide is WHAT it is we want. What is the goal? Where are we headed? Figure out some specifics and measure your success against those. Andy Stanley calls this “defining the win.”
Then we have to ask WHY that is our goal. Why is that something I want to achieve? Why is that important to me at all? Often we just want something because we think we are supposed to want it; somebody else did that and it seems like a responsible thing to do. If we don’t own it, though, and if it is not our goal, it will fall by the wayside more easily.
And then we have to say, “HOW am I going to get there?” How long will I have to do this? Who will I ask for advice on the road? Who can I get to coach me to the next level. One of my friends has a personal trainer and has lost over forty pounds in the last eighteen months. It was a lot of hard work for him, but he had a coach that would give him the tools to succeed. Give yourself some semblance of a map at the beginning!
If we don’t figure out the what, why, and how, we’ll never have the drive to continue. We’ll never have the clearly set expectations in front of us to know if we are making progress. Antoine de Saint-Exupery has said, “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” I hope you will commit to developing a plan so you can be fit.
My prayer for you this year is that you would commit to being fit in every area of your life; physically, spiritually, emotionally, and financially. I pray that you would be disciplined, but not crazy. That you would be driven enough to develop a plan that you can stick to, but not overly rigid. I want you to enjoy life and know that a little bit of thoughtfulness can make it even better.
Because here’s the thing: people need you. I need you. Your family needs you. Your friends need you. Your church needs you. The people your church is trying to reach need you. And we need you to be at the top of your game. Your life is your testimony about who God has been for you and what God is doing in you currently. Whether it’s physical, spiritual, emotional or financial, your fitness matters for you as a person and for the people God might be asking you to bring into the Kingdom!
Now that we’ve said all that, what are your goals for 2018?