A Product Worth the Process

139. What is relevance of that number about you ask? Well, that is now the number of days left until you get to celebrate your New Year’s Resolutions being achieved! January 1, 2014 is the day to begin new resolutions that you haven’t made every year for the last 10, 20, 30 years! What are you waiting for? It’s the middle of the week: Wednesday, hump day, the beginning of the wind down to the weekend…however you think about it. Maybe it isn’t the most traditional day to begin something new, but it can be! By Monday you will be on a roll, not looking at getting started, that sounds great, right?

I’m involved in an online Bible study right now and we are reading a book by Lysa TerKeurst called “What Happens When Women Say Yes To God?” Something that I read this week that struck me is that in order to get any product it takes a process. The process may be simple or complex dependent on the product. The process required to obtain a Latte (from growing the coffee beans, to the alarm clock of the server going off as planned, to the technical details of your preferred drink…) is different from the process required to obtain a college degree, but both require a process. The process required to go for a run is different from the process required to watch TV, but both require a process. As I let the truth of this soak into my mind, I thought about our journey to live a healthy lifestyle. Why am I so frequently surprised that it is a process and not like a light switch? Shouldn’t I get that by now? Why do I get frustrated when I continue to struggle against cravings and habits when I know in my head that a process is required?

The surprise and frustration come from not fully comprehending the reality of the required process. The process may be impacted by our backgrounds, our families, or our daily lives, and when it comes to a healthy lifestyle, it is unique for each individual! For instance, it is not a complex process to plan out meals for a week that are healthy and balanced. There are many websites and magazines that suggest menus for whatever product you are trying to obtain. The planning is not so much the hard part of this process to comprehend. The difficulty comes when the truth of the process steps outside of our comfort zone or requires sacrifices we did not count on, or we discover we are opposed to accepting. The process of preparing healthy meals involves taking the time to shop for ingredients, preparing recipes we are not familiar with, adjusting our routine, all on top of sacrificing tastes and conveniences we are used to, and potentially serving new dishes to picky eaters. The obstacles to living a healthy lifestyle are abundant, so understanding the process and the benefits are crucial. The motivation to stick with the process and maintain changes long-term comes from knowing and believing that the product is worth the process.

healthy lifestyle picSo, what is the product? The product I desire and my motivation to live a healthy lifestyle that involves, physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional health is a life that is balanced, a life where I feel good physically and eliminate as many visits to the doctor as I can, a life where I can work hard and play hard and have a ton of fun, a life where my heart is full of love and grace that will spill out onto those around me, a life that cultivates solid, lasting relationships, and a life that pleases God. The process is never-ending and requires constant maintenance, but it is worth it!

What product are you striving for? What are your goals? Identify the process the best that you can and get started, knowing that there will be ups and downs and you will learn as you go, that is just the nature of a process. Start stepping forward towards your goals, accept that you will face obstacles, and enjoy the awesome feeling of accomplishment as you break them down and see your product coming into view!  You can do it!

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Just like Christmas in July

I saw a status on Facebook the other day that mentioned Christmas shopping and I was amazed again at how quickly time passes! Before we know it we’ll be bringing in 2014! (148 days to be exact) As I was running this morning I was thinking about all of this and it occurred to me that it is the perfect time for a challenge! How about if this New Year’s Eve we celebrate achieving our resolutions? Think about what you were wanting to change as you toasted with your friends and watched the ball drop into 2013, do you remember? I bet you do.

So, how are you doing at achieving your goal? The wonderful thing about re-evaluating now is that you still have time! Maybe new beginnings are fresh on my mind because I celebrated a birthday yesterday, but I think it is an excellent time to take inventory of how things are going in our lives. I want to focus on living intentionally and making sure I make decisions that result in celebrating and a sense of accomplishment when resolution time rolls around again. Don’t you? Maybe as you think about making it change it just seems overwhelming, maybe you don’t feel like you know where to begin. Well, I’m here to help you!

Here are some tips I’ve learned over the years as I’ve been creating a healthy lifestyle that can be adapted to meet goals in other areas as well.

1. Start today. Yep, at 4 pm in the afternoon, start moving towards your goal.
2. Start with small, measurable goals.
3. Share your goal with a trusted friend. Verbalizing that you are taking a new direction will help you stay the course.
Maybe they will even join you!
4. Understand why you want to achieve the change and keep it in front of you. Write it on your bathroom mirror, or in your planner, somewhere that you will see it on a regular basis and can be reminded when temptation to quit comes along.
5. Identify obstacles in your daily life that are stumbling blocks to achieving your goal. Planning ahead of time for success is critical.

These are just a few hints to get your started. If you are a person that consistently allows life to toss you to and fro instead of deciding where you want to go, the time is now to create the life you really want! You can do it!

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Surviving life with grace and hope

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Create the life you want