Thursday, February 2, 2012

Take The 30-Day Challenge

Many years ago, I drove Dad’s car.
It was a sixteen-year old Mitsubishi Galant. I loved that car. But pretty soon, it was showing its age.   Soon, it was conking out on me. (I noticed that it would conk out on me whenever I thought of replacing it. When I told this to my friend, he said, “When you’re inside your car, never think about replacing it. Because your car can read your thoughts. Magtatampo yan. It will feel hurt—and malfunction more.” What can I say? God has blessed me with very strange friends.)
Each time I’d bring the car to the repair shop, the mechanic would fiddle under its hood, and after a day or two, I’d drive it off again. But after a week or so, something else will break down. (Yes, even if I tried shooing away thoughts of replacing the car.)
One day, I brought it back to the shop. This time, the mechanic opened the hood, shook his head, and said, “Bo, your car needs an overhaul.”
When I heard the word “Overhaul”, I wanted to faint. My entire life flashed in front of me. Because I knew that meant a gigantic amount of money.
He took out a piece of paper and wrote down a list of parts that needed to be replaced. He said, “Your engine is leaking. We need to replace the core of your engine.”
I closed my eyes, said a quick prayer for provision, and told him to do it.
One month later, when I picked up the car, it was like brand new. And I drove it for a few more years and thousands of miles.
Friend, is there an area of your life you want to overhaul?
Is there an area of your life you want fixed? Repaired?
This 2012, I’m praying that God will do a massive overhaul in your lives. I’m praying that God will make you brand new!
To experience a spiritual overhaul, you need four important elements: Purpose, Plan, Practice, and Produce. In the next four weeks, we’ll discuss each of these crucial elements.
And we’ll do something very special during this time…
Take The 30-Day Challenge!
In our 4-part teaching series entitled Overhaul, you’ll receive one of the most potent tools that you can use to change any habit or behavior in your life. The tool is called the 30-Day Challenge.
Perhaps you want to be a more affectionate spouse.
Or you want to remove complaining from your life.
Or you want to wake up earlier each day—so you can exercise, or pray, or write your journal.
Or you want to get rid of smoking.
Whatever change or new habit you want to acquire, the 30-Day Challenge can make it happen for you.
It’s All About Patterns
Haven’t you noticed?
Some people are always making money, while some people are always broke.
Some people are always on time, while some people are always late.
Some people always create happiness wherever they go, while some people create conflict wherever they go.
Some people always achieve their dreams, while some people never achieve their dreams.
It’s habits. Success and failure aren’t actions. They’re habits.
By the way, here are 7 Rules of the 30-Day Challenge.
Rule 1: Select One Habit
       Don’t try to change 19 things in your life.
       Just choose one habit.
       Choose something simple.
       Because it’s the simple things that will cause a massive difference in your life.
       Perhaps you want to complement your spouse every day for the next 30 days.
Or spend 15 minutes with your child daily for the next 30 days.
Or eat more veggies each day for the next 30 days.
I repeat: Pick one habit only!
       Whatever you pick, make a commitment to do it for 30 Days.
       Here’s the magic of this program: If you can make one change in January, you can change another habit in February, and then another one in March… Do you get the picture? That way, you could make 12 fantastic changes in 2012.
       Isn’t that awesome?
2. Aim For 30 Days
It’s got to be for 30 days.
If you miss one day, promise to go back to Day 1 and start over.
Why 30 Days? 
Two reasons.
First, because that’s what it takes to learn a new habit. According to psychologists, it takes 21 days to create a new pattern in your life. It takes 21 days to create a mental pathway in your brain, so that it becomes easier for you to do it.
So why not call it the 21-Day Challenge instead of a 30-Day Challenge? I don’t want to take chances. 21-Days is the passing mark. 30-Days is the honor mark!
Here’s the second reason why 30 Days only: It’s more doable.
 If someone tells you, “Can you read one hour a day for the rest of your life?”, that can be overwhelming. But if someone tells you, “Can you read one hour a day for the next 30 days?”
All of a sudden, it seems more doable. 
3. Do It Daily
Developing a new habit requires that you do it daily.
I repeat: You have to do it daily. Not 3 or 4 times a week. This is crucial. If it’s an activity that can’t be done daily, then try to choose an “alternate” activity that you can do at the same time. 
For example, if you hit the gym every 5pm to 6pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays—why not take a walk around your village at that same time on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday? That way, it’s still a daily experience.
4. Schedule It
Don’t just say, “I’m going to walk daily.”
Say instead, “I’m going to walk at 6AM daily.” That’ll be more powerful.
Don’t just say, “I’m going to make 20 sales calls a day.” 
Say instead, “I’m going to make 20 sales calls a day from 10am to 12noon.”
Doing this little tweak will quadruple your chances of sticking to the habit.
5. Replace It
Empty space doesn’t remain empty for long.
If you remove a bad habit, there’ll be an empty space in your life. If you don’t fill that empty space, the bad habit will come back.
So don’t just try quitting a bad habit. Be sure to replace it with a good habit. 
For example, if you want to quit watching telenovelas, what will you do during those three hours in the evening? Read a book? Learn a musical instrument? Start a business?
6. Study It
Study about the new habit you want to acquire.
Let’s say you want to be more grateful in the next 30 days. Then Google about gratitude. Read articles about it. Look for books on the topic. Talk to friends about the power of gratitude.
And finally…
7. Find Support
Surround yourself with people who already are doing your new habit.
If you want to exercise daily, get your friend or spouse who will do it with you. If you can afford it, get a Physical Trainer.
My friend used to smoke 3 packs a day. Her addiction was so bad, she’d wake up at 3AM just to smoke two sticks—and then she’ll fall back to sleep. Talk about an addiction!
But one day, she really felt it was time to cut the habit. She told me. She told her best friends. She told her Caring Group. (That’s what we call our small groups at the Feast, our spiritual gathering.) And we prayed for her. 
Recently, she texted me, telling me she’s been “smokeless” for 3 years now.
       Friend, go ahead. 
It’s your turn to make revolutionary changes in your life.
Next week, I’ll start talking about the first of the four ingredients of overhauling your life… “Purpose”
       May your dreams come true,
       Bo Sanchez

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