Today, I’m going to review the “I’m taking steps to change” stage and what it means.
This is a great place to be! You made a plan and are walking in that plan.
What is the trait needed most at this stage? Patience.
Here is why.
Remember, your ultimate goal is to build a healthy lifestyle that you can live with. It will likely require that you try different methods until you find the one that fits the way you live.
It requires that you give yourself enough time to work your plan to determine if it is going to work for you long-term.
And if it is not working, then you patiently cycle back and forth between “making plans” and “taking steps” until you find the customization that fits you.
This is normal part of the change process.
Even when you are at the top level of the Change ladder, you may still need to roll back to the “making plans for change” stage temporarily on some aspect of your lifestyle.
For example, when I started this journey, I used to work out 5 days a week for 45 minutes to 1 hour. It worked well for me for years.
However, a few years ago I entered a new stage in my life: I got married. I gained new obligations in my work and ministry too.
What worked well for me before no longer did, so I needed to remodel my lifestyle in the exercise arena and make a new plan there.
I discovered a DVD series in which you exercise just 3 days a week, 20 minutes a session – but you work HARD during those 20 minutes.
I decided to take steps to implement it. It works very well for me and now it’s a part of my life.
I can take care of myself and still have time for everything else I need to do.
Another big issue in the “I’m taking steps to change” stage is how you handle setbacks.
There is a big difference in saying “I made a mistake” to “I AM a mistake.”
Don’t take a temporary failure in following through (which is an event) and turn it into condemnation of who you are!
Learn to see failures for what they are: Learning experiences. All a failure tells you is that your plan didn’t work for you at that point in time.
So it’s just a signal that you need to adjust your approach until you find a solution that works for you consistently.
However, I see many people who adopt a “Woe is me, I’m a failure!” attitude. They use that failure as an excuse to abandon their efforts completely.
Next thing you know, they’ve fallen down the ladder to the “I don’t think I can change” stage. There, they have a full-fledged pity party.
Seriously, why would you use that temporary event to beat yourself up, causing a permanent scar on your character? That is exactly what the enemy wants.
He wants you so focused on yourself that you forget about the victory you have in Jesus.
Consider these words from my pastor: “Failure is an event; it’s not a person.”
Also consider this wisdom from King David to his son, Solomon on building the Temple in 1 CHRONICLES 28:20:
Be strong and of good courage, and do it; do not fear nor be dismayed, for the LORD God—my God—will be with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you, until you have finished all the work for the service of the house of the LORD.”
Today, our bodies are the temples, the house of the Lord. Taking care of them is part of our reasonable service and that responsibility does not end until we leave our bodies behind to go on to our heavenly homes.
So commit to this good work – and see it through to the end.
Remember, it takes faith AND patience to inherit the promises (see Hebrews 6:12). Don’t let impatience ruin your good efforts.
Keep pressing on with those steps until your change comes! You’re just a heartbeat away from the top.
Author of the Take Back Your Temple program
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