I love to run! In the beginning of 2020, one of my new year’s resolutions was to run three miles daily! I started strong, but within only a couple of weeks I began to struggle to find motivation to continue my resolution to run. I had a friend that also ran and discovered that he used an app for running. I downloaded the app to see if it would help, and not only did it help, it changed my life! The app was like a video game. There were badges I could earn, levels I could progress to, achievements I could unlock, and so much more!
The concept of “Leveling up” started a whole new trend for my life. I thought, “If I could implement this concept in my own running, could I implement it in my life?” School work, responsibilities in my job, working out, reading books, spending time reading and praying, and more could be accomplished! How do we accomplish major milestones in our life, improve our day-to-day, and live a life that, as scripture says, is from, “Glory to glory”? These questions sent me on a journey to find out how to truly “level up” life and receive everything God has for our lives.
1) Create Levels
I can be described as having an overly ambitious personality! I love creating ideas, solving problems, and am a goal-oriented person. However, executing the projects or tasks I come up with is a different story. I believe we can all agree that we do this in some way or another. We finally say we will go to the gym every day for an hour, we’ll pray for a couple hours every day, we’ll start eating clean, and we’ll even stay off social media. Today turns into tomorrow with this logic am I right? It’s insanely difficult when we put this much pressure into our day-to-day, but we often think in our minds it will happen. Instead of falling into this cycle, we need to first start with creating levels. Just like how you can’t play a video game without levels, neither can you progress in a day-to-day without levels. What does this look like? Start easy! Put some easy levels in your goals. Below is an example of what my morning typically looks like:
1. Wake up, drink water, and a pre-workout drink
4. Guided prayer from Pastor Judah Smith
5. Make bed
6. Get ready for the day
The two main things I want to accomplish in the mornings are working out and prayer and reading. I surrounded my main objectives with smaller and easier levels that I know I could accomplish and that will only take a couple minutes. When we accomplish something, it drives us to do another task. So, surrounding our main goals with smaller achievements can make our goals more appealing.
2) Priority > Possibility
If your goals are not priority then they will never become a possibility. The difficulty is not creating the goal but pursuing it. This stems from whether the new habit or goal is a priority for you. Every day is filled with decisions and each decision is based from what we want to do rather than what we should do. Escaping this circle of comfort is tricky but doable. It all rests in what our priority is.
We must find why we want to do what we want to do. Ask yourself a few questions. Why do I want to work out? Why do I want to learn this language? Why do I want to study better? When you find the answers to your “whys,” you discover your priority. It no longer is a goal, but it has created a connection to your life. When we make things priority, we take them seriously. Maybe there are a few things in your life right now that are “priority” that, when you look at it, shouldn’t be.
There are two questions that I have learned to ask myself to check my priorities. These two questions are: will this move me forward and will this move the Kingdom forward? If not, then toss it. It’s probably not worth your time. During my time in college, I played a lot of video games. I tried to bring on new habits that were better for me, but they never worked out. It was until I asked myself those questions that I was able to cut games out more and fill that time with something that was benefiting my life and the kingdom of God.
3) Stay Passionate
There was a week in my running that I lost all passion for it. I didn’t want to get up. I didn’t want to go workout. I wanted to sleep in. There are moments in life that we lose passion for a time. The importance is filling in discipline during the passionate times. I didn’t want to get up, but I knew I was disciplined enough to keep going. It became a habit and a part of my life where if I didn’t run, I felt like I was missing something as a part of my day. Discipline overtime boils into desire.
Another important aspect is having passionate people around you. Tell the people around you your goals! Help them keep you accountable, motivated, and excited for what you’re doing. When you have a team that has your back it feels like you can do anything. It’s crucial to have people around you to push you forward and cheer you on!
We can’t do anything without prayer built in as a foundation. It may sound funny, but I prayed when I began running. I hated running when I started. I was not good at it and was continuously frustrated. I realized that I had not been praying for help and health. I started praying and instantly felt better and progressed in running. God cares about each and every need in your life and is working all things out for your good! 1 Corinthians 10:31 says,” So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” God wants to help in your studies, your workouts, your relationships, and your goals. When we call on God to help us, He is already giving us victory!