“You were born to win, but to be a winner, you must plan to win, prepare to win, and expect to win.” ~ Zig Ziglar

I’ve learned by traveling the world as a motivational speaker that you have to know where you’re going before you can get there. When I left for The Biggest Loser in 2009, I knew two things: God gave me this opportunity, and it was my responsibility to act on it.

180 pounds was my destination – quite a long road from 430 pounds! But if I never set the destination, how I would I ever get there? There are two things you must know to navigate to your destination: Where you are and where you are going. The first step is to acknowledge where you are, which we talked about in last month’s column. The second step is defining where you want to be. Only then can you “map” the road to success! I had less than 7 months to get there, so I had to devise a plan!

First, games weren’t in the plan. My job was hard work and staying on the ranch! I was going to help everyone I could while keeping my nose to the grindstone! Second, I learned about losing weight! Let me explain.

I learned that 3,500 calories equaled a pound. I made a goal of losing of 1½ pounds per day – a 5,250 calorie deficit. If I ate 2,000 calories, I would need to burn 7,250 calories per day to reach my goal. This gave me a mark to hit – a target! Some days I would fail, some days I would succeed, and other days I would exceed the mark! The show’s nutritionist Cheryl Forberg and Trainer Jillian Michaels taught me what to eat, and Bob Harper and Jillian taught me how to burn calories – SWEAT! Then I hit GO on my GPS.

When you are in debt it can seem overwhelming. I know this. We owed $62,700 of unsecured debt just a few years ago. Darci and I paid off that debt in just a few years – WITH A PLAN! At my YouTube channel, you can see the video of Darci and me seen on Joyce Meyer earlier this year describing our journey! It took a plan and self discipline to get there.

In marriage, it is wise to counsel with your fiancé and learn each other’s goals BEFORE saying I do! Then you can know where you both presently are and where you both want to go – and you can agree on plan to get there. In whatever area you are looking change – health, finances, marriage, parenting, any area – you must devise a plan. I urge you to find wisdom from good people who can help you such as your pastor, a counselor, or a trusted friend or support group. Then follow that plan to focus on the future you want, not the future you might happen upon! As Benjamin Franklin said, “If you fail to plan you are planning to fail.”

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