I am not much on New Year resolutions. It seems as these types of changes are too scheduled and are setup for failure. That’s just me. Don’t let me be a Debbie Downer if you if you are rocking on with yours. I wish you all the success and I am pulling for you in whatever it is that you have set out to accomplish.
I, on the other hand, am making some lifestyle change that I like to call healthy habits. I jump in to whichever goal I set, when my mind and body tell me it is time. Whether it be exercise, meditation or prayer, reviewing goals or even practicing on my drums. It might be a random Thursday at 10:00 pm when I put my plan into full motion (except for the drumming). When I start, I stick to it. How do I choose what needs to change, where, and how? I evaluate myself and look for what I am not doing to make me a better version of myself. I also look for those things that I am currently doing that is hindering me from being a better version of myself.
One healthy habit that I have adopted is reading, both inspirational books and spending more time in God’s Word. For me, reading is like taking medicine. I really don’t want to do it but I feel better inside and out when I do. One Life has started a monthly reading cycle and the first book is H3 Leadership by Brad Lomenick. I might not complete the entire book by the end of this month, but I am completing 100% more than I did prior to August of 2017. I have made it from the front cover to the back cover in only two books during my adult life. Both have been since August of last year.
During the holiday’s I was reminded of a habit, one that I enjoyed but changed years ago. I had the opportunity to take time off work between Christmas and New Year. Me and my sons spent time in the woods hunting and I did some cleaning out of old items around the house that are no longer needed. I am not a hoarder, but do have trouble letting things go.
I stumbled across three items that mean a lot to me because of how this time in my life started, and why it ended. The three items are a 3-ring illustration book, a framed picture and a plastic pig. Random yet connected, and they are all from approximately 10 years ago when I was one of the Founders of a competitive BBQ team named Glazed & Confused. Yes, you read the name correctly. You need to understand that when we decided to dive into this venture that was thrown to us in a dare, we went all in using the little bit of spare cash that we had to make it happen. This means that we rolled into a contest with less than $2,000 invested in all our equipment, set up and tools that we needed to compete. We were normally sandwiched between BBQ teams that pulled their $50,000 to $70,000 rigs to the contest.
Here is the significance of the three items that I found. The picture was of our first BBQ contest in Monroe, LA. This was a contest that we wanted to go all in, and then evaluate whether we would continue (which we both knew we were). On the day of this outdoor rib contest, it rained. Not for a while, but all day. It was also 45 degrees and we were not prepared for either. Everyone that helped us that day got sick. At the conclusion of the contest, our name was called to collect our 2nd place trophy and nothing else mattered. Well, except we started planning our next contest immediately.
From that point on, we showed up to contest with our small, inexpensive set up, and most of the time we collected trophy’s, winning several 1st place trophies along the way. One year we competed in nearly a dozen contest. For each contest we would start loading up at my house on Thursday evening, leave Friday morning and return home Sunday afternoon.
The 3-ring binder was a presentation for the on-site judges. At each contest we had 3 on-site judges and spent 15 minutes with each of them explaining our equipment, cooking process and serving our finished product to sample. Having been in the insurance business for quite a while I was comfortable with a presentation to talk through with the judges.
The plastic pig was our mascot. He traveled with us everywhere we went. He was never even given a name, but did not complain. Many people have nice cooking outfits at their home with no intent to compete. However, when you officially register your team name, create a logo, build a website, constantly work to improve your presentation and product and spend a lot of money on entering contest then you have committed to the love of smoking BBQ that most never experience.
As I sat in my basement looking at these three items I was reminded of two major things that took place with team Glazed & Confused. The first, the start to our venture. When we decided to compete, we put our money and many man hours into doing everything we could with what we had. I mean, our pull behind smoking pit even had spinner hubcaps and curb feelers, for flair. We went all in and gave it 150% effort! We wanted to win.
The second thing that I was reminded of was the end of team Glazed & Confused. 12 years ago, my oldest son who is now 16, was only 4 and my youngest son who is now 10 was not even a thought. My BBQ partner had the same situation as our kids are close in age. As soon as I realized that this fun time of competitive BBQ contest, all the trophy’s that we had won, all the friends that we had made while traveling the tri-state area would soon take the time away from my son, and now expected newborn. My oldest started playing soccer and baseball. That was basically the end of my BBQ run.
For several years team Glazed & Confused got together for one contest each year. The “Smoking On The Bayou” contest in Monroe, LA., where it all began. We won the contest 3 consecutive years in a row! However, the decision that I made to focus my attention where it was needed most was the right decision and one which I am proud.
What healthy or unhealthy habits do you need to implement or change? When you decide, go at it with everything that you have and when you are ready. However, don’t let procrastination define you. Once you recognize the area that needs improvement or a habit that needs adjustment, start making plans to execute.
If you want something go get it. Make sure keep your priorities in check. If priorities ever get out of order, change.
Romans 12:2 – Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Vice President of Marketing
One Life America