I know what it’s like to beat down. Literally, figuratively. Physically, emotionally, financially. You name it. I have experienced it. I wasn’t the biggest kid in school. Picked on, called names, not able to defend myself. It fueled me. I got bigger, stronger, smarter, quicker. I overcame. When people say hurtful things: You’re not good enough, you’re not smart enough, you’re not athletic enough. It fueled me. No one wants to be picked last for anything. I have been many times. No one wants to be the smallest or weakest. I have been many times. No one wants to be the last to learn something. I have been many times. All of these things have shaped me into who I am today. I wasn’t the most popular kid in school but now people want to know me. I wasn’t the most athletic kid but now I can compete with most. I wasn’t the smartest kid in class but now I can learn whatever you want to teach me. None of this was by accident. None of this was lost on me. Because I was weak, I can now appreciate being strong. Because I was left out, I can now include anyone. Because I was slow to learn, I can now explain in a simplified way to make sure someone comprehends. All of this, is through God’s grace. His love. His design for me and my path in life. Why does this matter to you? Because I know that there are people struggling reading this right now. There are people that are hurting in all aspects of life and you feel like there is no one to talk to. No one understands.
If you are sick and tired of being sick and tired, what do you do about it? Here are some practical applications that you can use to make BIG change in your life, no matter what you are facing.
- You have to be aware of your situation.
If you don’t fully understand where you are in life, how can you change a bad situation? If you don’t realize you’re not achieving all your goals, how can you start getting to your desired level? If you don’t realize you need to lose weight, why would you start making healthy decisions. If you don’t realize you are broke, how are you going to start making wise financial decisions?
Once you have awareness, you can start to make a positive move towards fixing the situation.
People who have no self-awareness are difficult and unpleasant to be around. If everyone else is in your life seems to be the problem, you probably need to look in the mirror.
Again, I am telling you this from experience. At one point, I was 190 lbs in High School. I was working out, eating right, using supplements, and I was in peak condition. In 2008, after about 2 years of marriage, I was 190 again. This time, I was not working out, eating healthy, and the body composition was completely different. When I realized I was uncomfortable with this, I became aware and knew it was time for a change.
- Make a decision to do something about it.
Now that you have become aware, you can do something about it. When you see the light about anything, you wonder how you were so blind in the first place.
Once you know what the problem is, you have to work on a solution of how to fix it.
In the example above, I made a decision that I was going to get back in shape. I made subtle changes that, over time, made a huge difference. I stopped drinking soft drinks all day, I cut out fried foods, started drinking lots of water, and started back to the gym. I went 3 days a week for the first year.
When you make a decision to do something about a problem, it is not going to be easy. Take a step in right direction and then keep moving forward. One step at a time.
- Commit to the decision.
Now that the decision has been made, you have to stay focused and committed. That obstacle is going to seem bigger now that you have decided to do something about it. That voice in your head is going to tell you quit and it’s just too hard. Commitment to your goal, and to yourself, is what allows you to achieve breakthrough in life.
This is the hardest time after you have walked through the first two steps. You are aware, and now you have decided to do something about it. The food will never look better. The gym will never seem more difficult, and you will have to constantly remind yourself why you are making the change in the first place.
Again, if it is weight loss, you have to stand firm in your decision to improve yourself. If you have given up certain food items, don’t even look at them or have them in your house. If you are going to the gym a certain number of days a week, make sure you get there. Showing up is a major part of commitment. Actions lead, emotions follow.
- Have accountability.
It is easy to quit if you are the only one holding yourself accountable. If you don’t have anyone checking on your progress, who is going to make sure you keep going? Even if you have extremely strong will, you need someone to support you in your decision. We all need moral support, no matter the situation.
Have a person, or group of people, who can help you walk out the decision and help you stay committed to your goals.
Maybe you get a workout partner, join a workout small group, or attend fitness classes to help you stand firm. Eat lunch with healthy friends or go to places that have healthy menus. Maybe you join a diet club like Weight Watchers. Again, this all goes back to awareness. You have to know how much support you need. If you need a lot, ask for a lot of help. If you need a little, you still need someone to make sure you are on the right track.
In the Beginning, I shared with you that I have made many changes throughout my life. While the example I used was based on weight loss and exercise, these steps can be used for any area of life change. For me, I went from 190, down to 165, and now I hover around 168. That is where I want to be and I am in the best shape of my life and have been for several years now. My commitment level has only increased over time and I now exercise 6 to 7 times a week. Once you start to see results, your activities will become easier and easier and your commitment becomes a lifestyle change.
Apply these to any area you are struggling in and you can expect similar results: Spiritual, Financial, Relational, Personal, these are universal. I have made positive decisions in all of these areas of life and you can to if you take these steps. I believe in you and your ability to do it. You have to believe you can do it as well. Search yourself for areas that are in need of improvement and then once you become aware, make a decision, commit to that decision, and then make sure you have others holding you accountable. I hope your success story is a great one that you will share with others to make a positive impact in their lives one day. Best of luck!