"Now all glory to God, who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think." Ephesians 3:20 (NLT)
My husband Art asked if I would do a 21-day cleanse with him. I wasn't excited.
I thought, I already eat pretty healthy. And 21 days is a really long time to eat like a rabbit. Plus, I don't want to make a commitment I won't keep.
So, I gave him a safe answer: "I'll think about it."
And honestly, that's all I would have done had he not asked me 217 more times.
Have you ever said "I'll think about it" and still found yourself "thinking about it" months later? Me too. But I didn't want this to be another challenge where I just thought about it, I wanted it to be able to say, "I did it! I finally did it!" I knew I needed to place my trust in the Lord to help me accomplish this - and He was faithful.
As we start a new year, I wonder if you are tired of just thinking, and are ready to accomplish some things you've been putting off. If so, I'd love to share what I learned.
Here are 5 crucial things you can do to stop thinking and start doing:
1. Success breeds success.
Get around others who are doing that thing you need to do. Hearing Art talk about and prepare for the cleanse made it more front and center in my life. Being around people who are doing what you need to do makes the first move less scary. And they can help you push through the not-so-fun times.
Remember to pray and connect with God daily. This is key to developing a healthy attitude. Taking challenges head-on won't always be pretty, but going to the Lord for comfort and motivation is what kept me going.
2. Stock up for success.
Art and I went to grocery stores that carry healthy foods to stock our refrigerator with everything we'd need to be successful. Now, I wish I could say this trip was without conflict. It was not. He wanted to spend what seemed like hours making out a list. I'm emotionally allergic to spending hours making out a list. Just take the list provided in the instruction book and get what you need for heaven's sake.
Anyhow, no matter what your new thing is, chances are you'll need supplies to invest in your success.
3. Schedule for your success.
Before we started this cleanse, we found a 21-day time period several of our kids were away during a school break (which meant I didn't have to prepare food for others!) You better believe I did a happy dance over that.
It's important to schedule whatever you're tackling and keep this appointment. Be diligent about not letting life crowd out this important commitment.
Set a start date. Track your progress with mini-goals. Set a completion date with a reward built in to keep you motivated.
4. Share your success.
As you have successes, share them with your friends. They may get excited and join in too! During the 21-day process, I told a friend that I drank both my cleanse smoothies with only one dramatic gag. This was a big accomplishment! At the end of our conversation, she said she'd like to join me.
How cool! I went from being a moper to a motivator. And that propelled me to keep going that much more.
5. Build on your success.
Once you've accomplished your one thing, you'll have GREAT momentum. Use this to help you tackle something else you've been putting off.
While it might feel like you can't face this big challenge, I want to encourage you. Ephesians 3:20 teaches that God's mighty power is at work within us. Many times we try to do things alone and work solely within our limitations as humans.
The Lord wants us to lean on Him. To ask for help to do the impossible. I know it might be hard, but we need to bravely claim God's promise to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.
And with God's Spirit in us, I think 2013 just might be the year we say, "I did it! I finally did it!"
Dear Lord, I'm grateful for another year and another chance to lean on You. Equip me with Your strength as I face my biggest challenges. All things are possible with Your Spirit in me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
If you're committing to a healthier lifestyle in 2013, let Lysa TerKeurst show you how to crave God more than unhealthy food in her New York Times bestselling book, Made to Crave.
The Made to Crave Devotional has amazing daily encouragement as you tackle your greatest challenges. Click here to order.
Reflect and Respond:
Is God calling you to face a challenge in your life?
1) Write down one challenge you'd like to tackle.
2) Make an action plan. Use the 5 tips above to formulate the steps you'll take to create motivation.
Matthew 19:26, "Jesus looked at them and said, 'With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.'" (NIV)
© 2013 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
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Matthews, NC 28105