By Jimmy Page, Fellowship of Christian Athletes
Three Important Lessons:
The same is true in all aspects of life. In Philippians 3, Paul tells us to forget the past and press on toward what is ahead. And in Matthew 6:34, Jesus flat-out tells us, “Don’t worry about tomorrow.” From these two passages, I believe we can take three important lessons:
1. Don’t depend on past success.
2. Don’t be defeated by past failure.
3. Don’t dread tomorrow.
Don’t Depend on Past Success.
Spending excessive time looking back on past successes can make us complacent. We stop pursuing excellence in the present and that leaves us unprepared for challenges in our future. When we depend on past victories and achievements, we often forget all the little things that led to that success—the hard work and the discipline—and we start to compromise.
But success can also be a great encouragement if we keep it in perspective. Winning tends to create momentum, and as long as it drives us to keep doing the little things and staying focused on the goal, it can propel us to even greater levels of success.
When it comes to our health, if we realize how good it feels to exercise and eat healthy food and how terrible it feels when we don’t, we can actually stay motivated to stick to healthy habits and reach our goals.
Don’t be Defeated by Past Failure.
Looking back on failures of the past can lead us to discouragement. We feel like giving up is our best option, and we run the risk of adopting a mindset that we are destined for continued failure. Dwelling on our past defeats creates what I call a “doom loop” that is very difficult to break.
When it comes to pursuing a healthy life, this is particularly true. Most people have experienced some level of failure in this area, especially when it comes to losing weight. They experience setbacks over and over again, enter a doom loop and expect every effort they make to end in defeat.
Don’t Dread Tomorrow.
The feelings we get from past failures can also cause us to dread the future. But instead of looking ahead with apprehension or fear, we must learn to do as Jesus asks when He tells us to seek Him, depend on Him and trust in His provision. What happened yesterday is over. If we made decisions yesterday that were unhealthy, we can’t let them discourage us today or allow them to make us pessimistic about tomorrow. Instead, we must seek God for the wisdom, courage and strength to win today.
This month, I want to encourage you to define how you will “win today.” Write a short list and post it on your refrigerator as a reminder. If you lose the day by making bad decisions, refuse to allow them to become patterns. Forget the past and get back on track. After all, life is really just a series of one-day challenges. So, today—this day—decide what you want your life to be like and go for the win!
Define the Win
As we pursue healthy lives, it is critical to note how we define what it means to “win today.” We don’t have to turn our lives upside down overnight; we just need to make a change and get after it.
In my own life, while I also define what it means to win regarding my marriage, my kids and my job, I define what it means to win each day regarding my health. I’m including my personal checklist below as an example, and I encourage you to create one of your own!
1. Connect with God first. – For me, this involves both quality and quantity. I need at least 45 minutes to connect with Him to be ready for the day spiritually and mentally.
2. Get in a workout. – It could be 15 minutes of bodyweight exercise or a 25-mile ride. It doesn’t matter as long as I do it.
3. Eat a healthy breakfast. – I start the day with oatmeal, fresh fruit, eggs and Ezekiel Bread; or a protein shake with Kefir, fruit and whey protein. These healthy options give me energy and focus.
4. Avoid late-night snacks. – This is big. It can literally undo every healthy decision I have made throughout the day. It’s important to finish strong that which I have started!
About the Author
For nearly 20 years, Jimmy Page was involved in various leadership roles in the medical fitness industry. As the former national director of FCA’s Health and Fitness Ministry, Page now serves as one of FCA’s 12 vice presidents of field ministry and is the co-author of the books WisdomWalks, WisdomWalks SPORTS and One Word That Will Change Your Life. He and his wife, Ivelisse, reside in Reisterstown, MD with their four children.
FCA in Kansas City
Interested in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes? For local ministry opportunities and events, visit Metro Kansas City FCA at kcfca.org or call (816) 892-1137 or contact the National Support Center at (816) 289-0909 or (800) 289-0909.