With over a decade of experience, and over 25,000 sessions completed at Hoffacker Health and Fitness, Devin Riley is a true marathon man. If he’s not running or riding his bike, he’s mindfully pushing the weight to get the most out of his body in the least amount of time. Devin has attended Heartland Church with his family since 2006. If you don't see him in the sanctuary, chances are he's onstage entertaining and educating your little ones in the Crossroads (K-4) Ministry. Connect with Devin at email@example.com
Anything that’s good is worth the struggle.
I want to thank my friends, who have been reading this blog for prompting me to get busy, make my re-writes, and get this blog published. Their good-natured criticism of my lack of productivity was the accountability and encouragement I needed to get this post done.
It’s a perfect illustration of Friendship, the final installment of Rick Warren’s Daniel Plan. We’ve covered the other four areas already, "FAITH, FOOD, FITNESS, and FOCUS." Just as I likened FAITH to the driving force that pushes you to make better decisions, your FRIENDS provide the influence that can help you succeed. Or, they can unknowing (or knowingly) pull you back into old habits.
Whether you’re experiencing times of strong faith or moments of despair, good friends offer love, support, and honesty. Good friends who have blind spots in their own behavior or self-consciousness might sabotage you taking steps to improve yourself. It could be as subtle as an invitation to “Taco Wednesday” or as overt as making fun of you for exercising.
Countless studies have been done about how exercising with a partner improves your chances of sticking with it. In fact, you can substitute the word exercise for ANY type of behavior change that you are trying to initiate. When you surround yourself with like-minded individuals, your probability for success increases.
You’re thinking: “Duh.” I’m responding with: “Then why are you struggling with _____________?” (insert your issue(s) here)
You’re struggling because you haven’t gotten past “good intentions” and into “good actions.”
Here are three things that you can do to initiate successful change in any of the five (Faith, Food, Fitness, Focus, Friendship) areas.
1. Be simple and deliberate.
- Want to be more faithful? Read the bible 3-5 minutes per day. Start with the book of Romans. Shut off the radio and put down the phone on your commute. Pray.
- Want to make better food choices? Drink more water. Don’t like it? Learn to like it.
- Want to be fit? Get an activity tracker like the Polar Loop. It measures your activity, your sleep, and calories burned for the day/week/month. It’s awesome. Or just be more active. Like, now…stop reading, and get moving!
- Want more focus? Make lists. Old fashioned lists. On paper. With a pencil. Crossing things off is invigorating.
- Want closer friendships? Get involved with a LEAD group.Keep going.
2. Get out of your own way.
- Want to be more faithful? Take the next step in your faith. Get involved at your church. Go to a Bible Study.
- Want to make better food choices? Plan your meals. All of them.
- Want to be fit? Schedule time to be active. Want to spend time as a family? Play together.
- Want more focus? Learn to say no to other and yes to you occasionally. You don’t do anyone any good if you don’t take care of yourself.
- Want closer friendships? Be honest with yourself. Then learn to be honest with others. Being vulnerable is exhilarating.
3. Turn good intentions into good actions.
- Want to be more faithful? Pray the scariest prayer you’ve ever prayed: “God, please help me to see my blind spots, and help me overcome them.”
- Want to make better food choices? Keep a food journal for 1 day. Tally your calories, grams of fat, sugar, etc.
- Want to be fit? Find a friend to exercise with. Keep each other accountable.
- Want more focus? Start a journal. You don’t need one that has a little lock on it and begin every entry by saying “Dear Diary.” By chronicling your life, you can look back and chart the evolution of your faith, food, fitness, focus, and friendship.
- Want closer friendships? Put time and effort into your relationships. When you’re invested in something, you care about it. It’s especially true with people. Invest time and energy in people, and find those people who are willing to do the same for you.