Win the Next Battle

“If you don’t behave as you believe, you will end by believing as you behave” – Venerable Fulton Sheen

As we move towards a life of discipline, it can be quite discouraging when we fail to reach a daily goal that we have put in place for ourselves. We may be trying to infuse physical training or a path of clean eating into our lives and one thing or another happens and our plans run off of the tracks.

I’m sure that I’m not the only one who has experienced this. Unfortunately, my response to these missteps is, “screw it” and I toss out the remainder of the day as a lost cause. With Lent in full swing, there are things that we set aside for 40 days in order to gain self-mastery, but if you slip up it can be easy to just throw in the towel for the day and convince ourselves to start over tomorrow.

As men, we are pretty susceptible to beating ourselves up when we blow it. This isn’t all bad in the general sense because it implies that we still give a crap and want to improve and get better. However, it is imperative that we don’t listen to the script that runs through our heads which tells us “it’s no surprise,” “we don’t have what it takes,” or simply “you’ll never get it right.” Many of us have believed these lies from the “accuser” and have adopted them as our go to response to struggle. We must overcome these land mines and realize that the battle lay ahead of us at our next decision and not behind us.

We shouldn’t be surprised when we get distracted from our goals or fall to a temptation. This is the normal course of progress after all, two steps forward and one step back. Rather than being caught off guard by these slip ups and blow the rest of the day with subsequent poor decisions, we can put a plan in place for these times so that it is merely a slowing of momentum rather than a complete change in direction.

I recommend looking at each decision in our day with regards to fitness and nutrition as its own separate battle. If we lose the battle in the morning by not waking up early enough to workout, avoid lumping the rest of the day into the lost cause category. Instead, look to your next decision as an opportunity to do battle whether it is a food choice or walking up the stairs to your office instead of riding in the elevator. Even with a loss or two during any given day, we can regain momentum towards our goals by winning our next battle.

“Put on the Armor of God” (Eph 6:11)