It’s amazing how one weekend can change everything.
Last weekend I saw both my favorite college football team, Florida State, and my favorite Nascar driver, Dale Earnhardt Jr., fall out of the top 10 for each sport. This was supposed to be the year that FSU competed for a national championship again. This was also beginning to look like the best opportunity for Dale Jr to take home the coveted Sprint Championship. Incredibly, after one mind-numbing wreck at Talladega and a devastating loss for FSU to North Carolina State, it seemed that all of the time, the effort, and the dream was gone. In essence, both FSU and Dale Jr. have now lost their chance at winning their championships.
Everything changed. In one. short. weekend.
Yes, one weekend can change everything! As I thought about how that weekend had changed my hopes of national championships, my daughter Brittnee reminded me how one weekend in August had changed everything for me personally. She was referring to the weekend that we competed in our first sprint triathlon. Here I am, 2 months later, getting ready to compete in my second triathlon tomorrow. I have already scheduled a 30 mile bike race in November and another 5k after that. All of this change occurred because of one weekend. Because I committed to and competed in my first triathlon, I have found my whole life has totally been changed for the better.
Many times we fail to realize how just one weekend—or even just one day—can change a whole year or more of our life.
What are you planning to do this weekend? Maybe this is the first weekend that you go back to church. Maybe this is the first weekend that you go online and look at going back to college or a trade school. For someone else, this might be the weekend that they spend all their time focusing on their spouse and family. Me, I am going to go to Amelia Island and competing in my second triathlon. I hope to get a better time than the first time I got in August. I hope to be closer to my goal weight. I’m excited because I know that this weekend is going to change me.
Its true-a weekend can change everything!
What is your authentic self? How do you find it?
1. Refuse to believe the lie that you can never change. Finding your swing, or becoming the person you want to become, begins with the idea that you can change.
2. Don’t focus on what you don’t want to be; focus instead on what you want to become. To find your swing you have to be looking for it. That means you’re not looking at your current circumstances. As Bagger Vance told Captain Junuuh: “You’ve lost it, but now we have to go and find it. You can look at your circumstances or your current conditions, or you can go looking…go looking for your swing.”
3. Embrace change. To keep from getting what you’ve always gotten, you have to do something different.
So find out who your authentic self is. Go looking for that swing. You may just be one challenge away from glory.
The Importance of crossing lines, breaking old records and doing things that you’ve never done before.
Yesterday I did something that I have never done before. I actually swam one mile in the pool that I train at each week. The pool is 25 meters long so one mile is 33 laps or 66 lengths in the pool. The most that I had ever done before Saturday was 18 laps or just over a ½ mile.
Saturday morning I was training with my good friend Jayson Keener when he said that he was going to try and swim a mile. I thought “Man you are crazy” “There is no way that I could do a mile in the pool” “That would take at least an hour”. I am sure that there are some of you that have swam a mile before and it might not seem like such a big deal, but I can still remember the first time I got in the pool and only after 4 laps I was out of breath.
I started by saying “I will just do 18 laps” ‘That’s a good workout”. Then at 18 laps I thought why not 20 laps. Once I did 20, I thought lets do 23 and then I will only be 10 laps away from a mile. Well after swimming for 55 minutes straight, I had not only finished my first mile long swim but I had also done something that seemed way past my ability.
In my 356to50 challenge I have to accept and embrace that there are going to be things that I will do that I have never done before. You may have heard the saying that “If you want to keep getting what you’re getting; then keep doing what you’ve been doing”. In other words if we are going to get different results then we have gotten in the past then we are going to have to cross some lines, break some old records and do things that we’ve never done before.
My point is this: if we are going to succeed in charging and overcoming our mountains, then our resolve and belief on the second, third, or even the fourth attempt has to be stronger than the initial resolve and belief which we possessed the very first time we tried.
You can’t go all the way with a halfway commitment. My very good friend Jason Keener likes to describe it this way: “All In”. Just as in poker, sometimes you must be all in.
In life, we are going to experience failure and defeat. What we must decide is whether the mountain is worth the effort. Ask yourself today: do you still want to conquer that same mountain? Do you still have that desire? Despite your feelings of frustration, do you know that deep down inside of you, you still want it? If that is still true, then you are going to have to be “all in” to get it done. Some things are just worth believing in more than once!
It’s the first week of my 365to50 challenge, and I have already had to battle some challenges and setbacks. When I examine the obstacles which keep me from pursuing my goals, I usually don’t see Mt. Everest-sized giants blocking my vision and making my goal impossible. Instead, I see the normal, and sometimes necessary, day-to-day distractions and obligations which tend to my drain my inspiration and sap my energy. Things like my commitments at work and at home. Little things, like having to wait on hold for an hour to get a billing error corrected. It’s not the inconvenience of the call which keeps me from working out, or from working on my manuscript, it’s just that somehow obstacles like these derail you and bring you back to that place of decision again.
This is why setting goals is so important…
A goal is a target toward which you can direct your efforts.
Without a goal, we all are liable to start moving in the wrong direction and lose focus, thus wasting time and effort. One of the most important elements of a goal is that it is specific. Many times when we make goals, we make them too general; at times they can even be vague or unclear.
The Important Stuff:
1. Be Specific.
2. Write Them Down.
3. Create Start Dates and Deadlines.
4. Make Your Goals Achievable but Also Challenging.
5. Measure and Track Your Progress.
6. Reward Yourself Along the Way.
So that you can follow my progress, I will be sharing my starting goals with you today, as well as my results each week during this process. I will continue to unveil my step-by-step plan over the next weeks and months, but I do know two specific things about my journey right now: where I am starting, and where I want to end.
When you consider your own goals, where are you starting? Where do you want to end up? In the popular board game “Monopoly”, everyone starts at GO. It’s your time to GO! It’s your time to move forward and make changes. God gives us the ability to be the captains of our destiny. We can’t do it without His wind, His guidance, and His protection, but we have to choose to raise our sails when the wind is blowing and we have to chart a course.
My Starting Place.
I am 49 years old.
I am currently 276lbs and overweight.
I currently have two book ideas which I have harbored for years, but I have never written more than a page or two.
I have a very good relationship with God, but there is more, much more.
I have a great career that I enjoy as the manager of a sales department for a growing, successful company, and as a pastor. I know that I can become better at both.
My Ending Place.
I will be 50 years old
I will weigh a healthy 205lbs. I will have competed in several triathlons and bike races.
I will have one manuscript complete, ready to be published and available for Christmas.
I will have developed a deeper and more satisfying friendship and relationship with God.
I will have completed some form of intensive and professional training to become a better manager, coach, and leader.
I will be walking and living out the call of God on my life as a pastor and His servant.
As my 49th birthday quickly approached, it hit me that I had many goals for my life which I had done nothing with—other than to talk a lot about them. The more I thought about reaching 50 and only having a handful of rhetoric to show for myself, the more it bothered me. I had to do something to change now or I would soon find myself at 60 or 70 years old, laden with the regrets of things I should or could have done when I was younger. A friend, Chad Nykamp, had challenged me to run a marathon or even a half marathon. He mentioned how cool it would be for my grandchildren to know that their grandfather had completed a marathon before his 50th birthday. While I was enticed by the thrill of the challenge, I was not so enticed by the thought of running. Being 75 pounds overweight and—in case you missed it—almost 50, I didn’t see that happening.
But it hit home with two things that are very important to me: leaving a legacy and inspiring others. I live to inspire others. And when I’m not living my best life, or I feel defeated, I am unable to encourage or inspire anyone. I don’t want to live that way. I want to win so I can help others win!
My daughter Brittnee suggested that we both enter a triathlon instead. I like biking, I like swimming, and the running part, well, that was do-able. 3.1 compared to 26.2? Thank God. Chad had already informed me that the biggest key was to pay the entry fee, so I pulled out my debit card and we both signed up. Now there was no turning back…
We worked out almost every day for nine long weeks. I lost 20 pounds and all of my old excuses. On August 4, 2012, we competed in our first sprint triathlon. A quarter mile swim, a 16 mile bike, and 3.1 mile run later, I had finished what I’d started. And what a feeling that was!
But it still wasn’t enough. I wanted to feel that same feeling in other areas of my life. I wanted to finish other goals. Thus, the 365to50 plan came about. Starting on September 5th, 2012, I would use the next 365 days to:
- Lose weight. Complete two more triathlons and a 30-mile bike race.
- Write a book.
- Deepen my friendship with God.
Pray. Train. Write. 365 days to go.
Follow me on this blog, and start your own journey alongside me. I’ll be updating weekly as I push myself past the limits of what I’m comfortable with. Past the limits of what I think is possible. I’m going to spend the next 365 days living my life as if it were on purpose. Let’s do it together!