Do You Have a Plan?

Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established. -Proverbs 16:3

As Mike and I have shared multiple times we believe our spiritual lives are closely linked to our physical lives.  Put another way, we have found that practicing self discipline and asceticism in our physical lives has helped our spiritual lives.  When we’re feeling strong and prepared physically we’re better prepared to fight off the many temptations of the world.

Here’s just one more example of how this is working in my life.  I recently redid one of the “CrossFit Games Open” workouts to see if I could improve upon my initial score.  This particular workout calls for 55 reps of various exercises including deadlifts and wall ball shots.

When I did this workout the first time I didn’t know what to expect.  As such, I didn’t really have a plan.  I just wanted to survive!  Once the workout was over I was able to look back and assess where I could have done better.  It was clear that my strategy during the wall ball shots needed some work since my legs were jelly after the 55th rep and I barely made it through the rest of the workout.

So, as I prepared to redo this workout I set out to make a plan.  I did some research to see how other athletes approached these wall balls and I came across some excellent advice from experienced CrossFitters.

Specifically, the advice was to break the wall ball shots up as follows: 12 reps, 6 reps, 10 reps, 5 reps, 12 reps, and 10 reps.  In other words, I would do 12 reps then rest for a few seconds… then 6 reps before resting for a few seconds, etc.

Once I read this I decided to give it a shot.  So, before the workout I used some chalk and wrote this rep scheme on my barn floor.  I also thought about how I’d be feeling at each interval and what I’d do.  I knew, for sure, the 12 reps towards the end would hurt but I committed to fight through it and not stop.  In other words, I prepared for the pain.

I’m happy to say that I followed the plan exactly as I set out to.  And, yes, those 12 wall balls towards the end hurt like I knew they would.  But I fought through it and didn’t put the ball down.

And while this workout still destroyed me… I was able to beat my initial score by 12 reps.  Now, I’d like to think my fitness level has increased a little since I first did this workout.  But, being realistic, I’m not sure it’s improved enough for me to beat my last score by 12 reps.  Instead, I’m quite certain it was the plan I made, and followed, that enabled me to improve.

So what does this have to do with our journey to heaven?  I contend it has more than any of us can imagine.  You see, one thing I’ve learned over the last year is that my Exodus brothers and I are at our very best when we have a specific plan of attack.  And, conversely, we’re at our absolute worst when we have no plan and simply attempt to go through the motions.

And, at least for me, if I don’t have a plan for when I will do my spiritual reading, or when I will work out, or when I attend Holy Hour it just won’t happen.

So, here’s my challenge for myself and for you.  Yes, you.

  1. Write down one specific action you want to accomplish in the next 7 days.  Be specific.  Don’t choose more than one action/task to start.
  2. Tell at least one other person of your plan to hold yourself accountable.  If you don’t have someone to tell you can tell me.
  3. Once you accomplish the task immediately let your accountability partner know.
  4. Repeat every week and add new tasks slowly and consistently while continuing to accomplish all previous tasks along the way.  Keep your accountability partner informed at all times.

If you’re consistent with this I’m supremely confident you’ll be able to increase self discipline and mastery.  And, God willing, you’ll be able to grow closer to our Lord which is obviously far more important than any workout!

Until next time… be holy, eat clean, and do more push-ups!