Read an Excerpt
The Daniel Plan Journal
By RICK WARREN, Andrea Vinley Jewell, Jim Ruark
ZONDERVANCopyright © 2013 The Daniel Plan
All rights reserved.
Before You Start
Take a few days to set goals, review The Daniel Plan food guidelines, assess where you are with each of the five Essentials, and record your current state of health. Proverbs 4:26 says, "Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways."
Set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound) Goals, similar to what we talked about in chapter 6 in The Daniel Plan on the Focus Essential. Goal setting is a spiritual discipline like prayer and spending time alone with God. In fact, goals can be an act of stewardship or worship where you say, "God, I want to make the most of what I've been given" or "God, I give you back the life you've given to me, and I want to go in your direction."
Specific goals are clear and distinct. This is where you understand exactly what is expected and why it is important. A specific goal usually answers the five "W" questions:
Which? (Identify the requirements and constraints in the areas of faith, food, fitness, focus, and friends.)
To set specific goals, you need to know the difference between pressures and priorities, activity and achievement, and what's urgent and what's important. If you focus your energy on goals that aren't God-directed, your energy won't have much power. Paul modeled this in 1 Corinthians 9:26: "Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air." Energy that is focused has enormous power.
Measurable emphasizes the need for tangible benchmarks. If a goal is not measurable, how will you know whether you are making progress? Measuring your progress helps you stay on track and keeps you excited. A measurable goal answers questions such as "How much?" and "By when?"
Attainable means the goals need to be realistic, even though it's okay to have big dreams. Extreme goals usually invite failure and frustration. When you identify the goals that are most important to you, you will figure out ways to make them happen.
At the same time, you also need to realize that attainable doesn't mean only the goals you can accomplish in your own power. If you can do it in your own power, then you don't really need any faith. Goals can stretch your faith and affirm your trust in God.
Relevant means goals that matter. A relevant goal answers "yes" to these questions: Is it worthwhile? Is this the right time? Does it match your other efforts and needs?
This also means your goals are relevant to God and bring him glory. Any goal that brings you closer to God and makes you want to serve him and others is a goal that matters. The apostle Paul encouraged us to "make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it" (2 Corinthians 5:9).
Time-bound stresses the importance of attaining the goal within a certain time frame. When you use time-bound criteria, you will be able to measure your goals and focus your efforts on a specific deadline.
Here are examples of seven SMART Goals:
1. Lose 30 pounds in six months.
2. Walk, as if I am late, four times a week for forty-five minutes with my walking partner.
3. Do a complete kitchen cleanse (that is, clean out the kitchen of all unhealthful food) once a week.
4. Spend one night a week with friends reading and discussing The Daniel Plan material. Call in between meetings for encouragement and accountability.
5. Spend five to ten minutes a day journaling my progress.
6. Spend ten or more minutes a day in prayer or reading my Bible.
7. Eat Daniel Plan–approved foods at least 90 percent of the time.
Working toward SMART Goals will give you the direction you need to focus on what's really important. You will record these on pages 22–24 and revisit them every ten days.
THE DANIEL PLAN PLATE
Over the next forty days you will be tracking your food. That is why we created The Daniel Plan plate. Following the plate as closely as you can will keep you focused on foods that truly love you back! As you learn to use the plate guidelines, you will maximize your energy, kick-start your metabolism, and curb your cravings. Don't worry, we know that every day is not perfect. In fact, The Daniel Plan journey is all about progress, not perfection. It's about taking steps in the right direction.
The Daniel Plan gives an easy guideline to use for any meal:
50% non-starchy veggies
25% healthy animal or vegetable proteins
25% healthy starch or whole grains
Side of low-glycemic fruit
Drink—water or herbal iced teas
Here are some great choices to start with. For more ideas, be sure to visit danielplan.com or download The Daniel Plan App for delicious recipes and more.
THE DANIEL PLAN 5 ESSENTIALS SURVEY
It is very important to remember that we all have different starting points. It's a great idea to assess your health in each of the five Essentials before you start and at the completion of the program. On a scale of 1–5, please rate your current status for each of The Daniel Plan Essentials. We would encourage you to take this survey before your program begins and after it ends.
DANIEL PLAN ESSENTIALS SURVEY RESULTS
Congratulations! Now that you have completed your survey, transfer your scores for each area of wellness (Faith, Food, Fitness, Focus, and Friends) into the following table in the "My Score" column. Then read the following pages to get a better understanding of what your scores mean and figure out what areas you need to focus on most. Be sure to log onto The Daniel Plan website at danielplan.com to learn about the Stages of Change and how to move forward with your program.
Score of 20–25: Well done! If you scored between 20 and 25 points for a particular Daniel Plan Essential, your answers demonstrate that you are aware of the importance of this area to your personal wellness and have developed the habits to rate it so highly.
Score of 15–20: If you scored between 15 and 20 in one or more of The Daniel Plan Essentials, your health and wellness practices are doing well, but you may have room for some improvement. Identify the areas you are dissatisfied with and begin to review tips and strategies in The Daniel Plan, The Daniel Plan DVD Study and Study Guide, and companion tools to help improve your score the next time you take this survey.
Score of 10–15: If you scored between 10 and 15 in one or more of The Daniel Plan Essentials, this may be an ideal area to focus your attention on and set specific goals.
Scores below 5–10: If you scored below a 10 in one or more of The Daniel Plan Essentials, it is time to make some changes. Identify all of the areas where you scored yourself with a 1 or a 2 and consider improving these items.
Now that you have your scores in hand, you may want to focus on one or two Essentials, or maybe all five. Remember this is your journey. We all have different starting points, so stay focused on what you want to achieve. It's great to check in with friends to get ideas, but don't get sidetracked by comparing yourself to others. What's most important is that you are taking small steps in the right direction.
SET SMART GOALS FOR THE NEXT 40 DAYS
Choose one or two Essentials to focus on, and reassess your SMART Goals as you go.
FAITH: (Example: "Start my day by reading the Bible.")
FOOD: ("Clean out my pantry of all unhealthful food.")
FITNESS: ("Walk as if I'm late four to five times a week.")
FOCUS: ("Eat Daniel Plan–approved foods at least 90 percent of the time.")
FRIENDS: ("Find friends who want to go on this journey with me.")
Excerpted from The Daniel Plan Journal by RICK WARREN, Andrea Vinley Jewell, Jim Ruark. Copyright © 2013 The Daniel Plan. Excerpted by permission of ZONDERVAN.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.