Do you know anyone who has ever complained “Well, I’m too old to change now, so they’ll simply have to accept me as I am!”
Doesn’t that remind you of the saying that states, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Oh, you can’t? To that, I say “Hogwash!” One should never stop learning and well . . . actually dogs can learn new tricks!
Case in point: Our twelve year old Cocker Spaniel (84 in dog years) has more miles on him than most people. He has traveled throughout 32 states and has lived with us in 5 of them. He’s adapted to different climates with different yards, play areas, gravel and grass. He has chased birds on the beaches of Maine and Florida as well as walked around Devil’s Tower, Wyoming and the deserts and Grand Canyon of Arizona.
Since he’s previously only lived in a motorhome or one story homes, we were concerned about our new home’s stairs. How would he handle it? Our newest home has two stories and we were unsure how he’d manage climbing up and down eleven steps at his age.
Turned out to be no problem at all! All that exercise has transformed him into a lean,
mean, sweet licking machine! He acts younger today than he did five years ago. His mind and his body remain active.
In fact, we can learn an important lesson from an old dog. Change is good for the mind, body and soul! The brain needs stimulation, new habits rejuvenate us and when a bad habit is conquered, our soul praises our Lord. So why do we settle for mediocrity? If we have the desire, anything is possible! Our Cocker simply wanted to go outside in his yard and chase squirrels and birds more than he wanted to hang around the house on his soft cushy bed!
Why do you want to to hang around becoming a couch-potato? Discover an adventure, create a goal! When it comes to health, ask yourself how much do you want it? Going through the motions isn’t much fun when it’s boring, so pack some stimulating goals in your life! Create smaller, reachable goals and reward yourself with a non-food item after each one is reached.
It takes three weeks to create a habit. If you had started at the beginning of the year, that aspiration has already been reached. Isn’t that wonderful?
“But Ellie, I messed up and I stopped doing what I wanted to do. I got discouraged and quit.”
You’re not alone, even the Apostle Paul had frustrations with that, so you are in good company.
“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” (Romans 7:15)
Even Paul wasn’t perfect and he knew it. Do you expect perfection when it’s unattainable? Let me ask you. If you were on your way to Disney World for a family vacation but took a wrong turn, would you turn around and say to your family, “Sorry kids, I’ve made a mistake. Looks like we’ll have to head back home”?
Of course you wouldn’t! You’d find the right highway and head toward your destination. Give yourself this same motivational self-talk when you stumble toward a goal: “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:14)
We’re not perfect and humans will make mistakes every day. Successful people overcome challenges! How much do you want success?