July 23, 2024

#2 How do you eat an elephant?

Gotcha. The answer to that intriguing question will be revealed by the end of the column (or perhaps you’ll decipher it before we get there,) but as for now, let’s talk about the most critical element of ANY self-improvement quest…our own powerful mind. Nothing can sabotage our well-intentioned efforts faster.

It’s the beginning of a brand new year and most of us have set some sort of aspirational vision for ourselves. Whether it be in the area of health, finances, relationships, work, family or faith we’re all hoping and believing that ‘24 is gonna be THE year for our breakthrough. Maybe we’ve written it down privately or taken the bold step of proclaiming it to family and friends or even more vulnerably, posting it on social media for the whole world to see. With whatever level of courage you’ve put yourself out there, the stakes are high…after all, THIS IS THE YEAR!  Right?

Now the hard part.  I hate to kill your buzz, but statistics show that about 92% of new year’s resolutions are nothing but a mere afterthought as early as mid-January. But I believe this year will be different…because this is THE year, remember?  This is the year we won’t cave when what we want requires some hard work, trying some new things and crawling out of our comfort zone. This is the year when we learn to boldly expect our breakthrough…while also learning to manage our disappointments. They say “sometimes you win and sometimes you lose.” But the real truth is “sometimes you win and sometimes you learn.”  That micro shift in thinking is the difference that makes the difference.

My Pastor, Steven Furtick, gave a message that provided a fresh perspective on this and I want to share it with you. Rather than focusing on the year of ‘24 as the year of breakthrough, instead, focus on a different ”24″…the 24 hours you have TODAY. He used the :24 second shot clock in basketball as the perfect demonstration. When you take a shot, make or miss, that clock resets with a fresh :24.

Such are our days…

…each one a “fresh 24” (hours) to do the next thing, take the next step toward the BIG thing we’re believing for. There’s going to be plenty of great days and also some horribly hard ones along the way, the key is to not let your bad days define you.  Meaningful, long-lasting change takes time.  The best news is that our strength is renewed every day…a “fresh 24.”

The challenge is that we all tend to futurecast our lives, saying things like:

”one day when” I lose this weight…

“one day when” I get out of debt…

“one day when” I get a new job…

”one day when” I start my own business…

“one day when” I finish that project…

“one day when” I find that special person to share my life with…

Most of us have been chasing some particular “one day whens,” for a loooong time. So long that it’s easy to get discouraged and overwhelmed to the point where we become beat down and kinda stop believing, stop putting in the extra effort, stop making progress…stop trying altogether.

Furtick went on to proffer the idea of taking those “one day whens” and turning them into “one day WINS.” In terms of improving our health, those are the days when we stick to our meal plan, reach our step goal, remember to take our supplements,  clean up a recipe, drink all our water, prep tomorrow’s healthy lunch, put our phone on ‘do not disturb’ for an hour, don’t kick the cat (just making sure you’re still tracking with me 😆)

I think you catch my drift.  Those 24 hours…Just. Win. That. Day.

After we pile up enough “one day wins,” then we’re able to look back at a great week or month, and realize we’ve gone and created momentum and things get a little easier.  Suddenly, this big, hairy, audacious goal we’ve set seems a whole lot more doable. Be fascinated by this idea of stringing great days together, making progress.  Not looking at the whole big giant year all at once, but chunking it down.  Just one day…then another one…and another one.  Stack ‘em up and just see what happens for you by this time next year.

Whether you’re a believer or not, there is incredible power in his message and I encourage you to watch it for yourself. But watch out…

…it just might change your life.

Click here:

This Is That Day | Pastor Steven Furtick | Elevation Church

Oh yeah, I almost forgot. The answer to “how do you eat an elephant? 

One bite at a time of course…😉