Confessions, Resolutions, and Discipline!

A confession and a resolution

I realize that we are now four days into the new year.  Confessions and resolutions certainly have no place in our lives until this coming Dec 31.  However, I have a confession to make and I want to make my resolutions for 2011 public.  Resolutions kept secret are really just wishful thinking.  I want someone to hold my feet to the fire and I am counting on you.

Here’s my confession:

Over the Thanksgiving and Christmas Holidays I ate a cookie…..
Okay, I ate pizza too…..
Alright, I have to be honest.  The cookie was the size of a pizza….
I didn’t exercise….  I sledded down a hill on the empty pizza pan. (I know that doesn’t count as exercise) Then I rode back up the hill in a Ford F150 pickup and ate another cookie.

All of this is a gentle way of saying I lost all control for about two months.

I enjoyed the holidays and I do not regret one moment I spent creating smiles and memories for my grandchildren, HOWEVER…….

I learned learned during this journey into slothdom that my well being and self concept are directly connected to my ability to stay disciplined.  I am not sure if this connection is appropriate or not, I only know it is real.

My mind, body and spirit function at their peak when i discipline myself to keep the three of them in top condition.  This is difficult.  It requires time and causes pain.  But for me, the end result, a wonderful sense of well being and vigorous feeling health, is well worth the cost.

I know it is good to take a break occasionally to allow our bodies to rest and recover from discipline, but eating entire pizzas and monster cookies probably shouldn’t be a part of the process.  Its also helpful during those breaks to get out of ones pajamas and break a sweat every couple days.

So I learned a valuable lesson last year.

A fulfilled and healthy life doesn’t happen automatically, it requires discipline and a disciplined life doesn’t happen automatically, it requires a vigilant honest assessment of my  current condition and a willingness to do the work to be my best.

My resolution is this

I will discipline myself physically mentally and spiritually to be the man I was created to be.  I have written detailed action steps that will cause me to

Read more
Love on old friends
Make new friends
Exercise more consistently
Eat healthy foods
Watch less TV
Paint again
Date my wife
Write more
Pray more
Be more

None of these require that I DO MORE,  only that I DO DIFFERENT.  There are other goals on the list but I think you get the idea.  All of the above requires discipline and flies in the face of laziness.  In 2011 I hope you will see the difference in my attitude appearance and in my life.

I would love to hear your resolve for the year.  I will check back with you personally on how you are doing.  I expect the same from you………..  Wait!  I smell cookies!


  1. Ken, I think you made a very important point here: “None of these require that I DO MORE, only that I DO DIFFERENT.” I think we all tend to feel overwhelmed with all we have to do, and resolutions can feel like adding more to an already full plate–whoops, bad analogy there, eh? But you’re right that it isn’t a matter of squeezing in more of the right behaviors. There’s plenty of time for them if we stop spending so much time on the negative behaviors. Thanks for the reminder, and for your great ministry.

    1. Author


      Glad you picked up on the Not MORE, but DIFFERENT! That is a key to keeping the whole thing from becoming one big guilt trip.

  2. Oh puke! Who wants to hear this? Reminds me of my diatribe against dietitions who tell us what not to do on holidays. Those ‘substitute’ lists. Ex: “Instead of laying on the couch with a platter of apple pie balancing on the sports dome, commonly referred to as your stomach, take a 2 mile walk.” Oh sure. I want to hear that. Or, “Instead of eating mashed potatoes with so much gravy on them, you can’t taste the potatoes, picture Bill and Hillary having sex.” Too many rules in this. All of which gives me a knee-jerk reaction to break every one of them.

    1. Author


      Wait a minute! This seems so uncharacteristic of the woman who inspired me to sign up for a triathlon and train like a banshee in spite of my peripheral neuropathy and experience a dramatic increase the quality of my life! Is this the same woman who refused to give in to her own physical challenges and began to walk. Who “disciplined” herself to keep doing it and as a result inspired thousands of people. Of course no one wants to hear about dicsipline, but it doesn’t change the fact that it is a key to success. The guy laying in the gutter down town is there because he has no discipline. The concert pianist that moves me to tears is able to do so because he disciplined himself to practice every day. I hate the phrase “no pain no gain,” but the pain I endure to keep active every day has changed my life. I have a friend who eats apple pie balanced on the sports dome as he watches TV all day long. He is in his thirties and weighs close to 300 lbs. He has diabetes, heart disease, and a plethora of other ailments that are taking his life. The doctor has set rules that can save him. He chooses to ignore them. I will never stop encouraging other people or myself to do what it takes to be their best. Because of you – and the discipline you have modeled in your own life – my life has changed. My knee jerk reaction is the same as yours, But your writings and encouragement dear friend helped me throw those knees over the side of the bed and run. For that I will always be grateful.

  3. Hey Ken,
    You are always an inspiration!!! I only hope I can get half of your enthusiasm, to get my butt in gear to do the same. I was thin my whole life, until about age 45. When I was 50, lost the weight I needed to, then later decided I didn’t want to diet my whole life. I now weigh more than I ever have, and a little more than a year ago was diagnosed with a hypo-thyroid. In my mind, that has pretty much been my excuse for not trying to loose the weight, being afraid of all the hard work and failure to boot. I do want to loose the weight, for a couple of reasons. 1~Just so I’ll feel better. 2~So I’ll have more energy for our grandchildren. I go back and forth on exercising, and unfortunately have become somewhat of a couch potato(due to injuries and illnesses). I want to get back the unlimited supply of energy I used to have…
    That being said, it’s time to get to work…

    1. Author

      Proud of you Jeannie, Consistency is the key. Don’t give up when you fail. I fail a lot. I just get up and keep going. Last night I heard someone say that the biggest problem comes when folks give up for the day. So they pig out, or lay around and do nothing with the excuse. I will start tomorrow. The persons advice was stunning. Start now. Look forward to hearing of your progress.

  4. Ken,

    I loved Confessions, Resolutions, and Discipline! I completely agree with Brian, that I loved how you suggest that we DO DIFFERENT, instead of DO MORE. I love it! I come from a legaistic religious background and have left all of that and have been healing from it in the past almost 7 years. We were always driven or taught to DO MORE and I ended up “crashing and burning’ pretty severely many years ago before I realized I needed to get out of it all and seek real help. I was in the ministry way back then and did everything just the way I WAS TOLD to do it.
    The Lord has shown me to learn to listen to His still small voice and to learn to rest and He has taught me how to improve myself slowly over a period of time, instead of pushing and shoving myself to the point of exhuastion, as if that was the heroic way to do it. One day at a time is one of my favorite slogans now! I have often LOVED your quick “Lighten Up” moments on Christian radio as well. You have “lightened” my load many times with your humor. Thank you for sharing your funny stories with all of us!
    Thank you for your minstry! I love your humble sweet spirt and I also sincerely appreciate your transparency as a Christian.
    May the Lord bless you and your precious family in this New Year!

    1. Author

      The thing that keeps me going is how much better I feel. I am a better dad, husband, and I am a better follower of Christ when I am doing my best to take care of myself. It is one thing to be sick. It is another altogether to CHOOSE to be sick. You go girl. I will check back with you.

  5. Oh Ken, I admire your resolve to “make less” of yourself in 2011 than you did in 2010. I found a sure-fire way to do just that, and it can all be summed up in one word: FOOD-POISONING! Sure I baked homemade cookies and all the other things customary for the holidays but just one go-around with food poisoning and I can assure you your appetite will be gone! Oh yes, after all the sickness and diarrhea were done, I started the new year having lost weight over the holidays. Now how many people can say that??? On top of that, 2011 now looks better than ever!

  6. OK, so I went off the wagon a little at Christmas and ate dark chocolate caramel fudge with walnuts. Lots of it. And a few other things I could have done without, but now I am definitely hungering for my “rabbit food” as my son calls it, and he has learned to like it, too.

    This year I want to be better to myself: less condemning, more compassionate, more disciplined in how I manage my time. I find that being better to myself results in being better to those around me, making me more available and more loving. Being better to myself involves doing the things that God has deemed good for me, including spending more time listening to Him, being a better steward of all His resources, and living in a determined fashion according to His plan.

    I allowed myself to cry today for other believers who are suffering, and I allowed myself to laugh tonight with my kids and friends over Chinese food. And its ok if I get angry, as long as I don’t stay that way, or sin in being there. And its ok if I do something stupid. It will be another chance to laugh. And its ok to pursue the things God has put on my heart even though it may seem silly. I will never know if it is God’s will if I don’t ever get up the nerve to try it.

    This is the first year of the rest of eternity for me. I am going to live it with my Best Friend at my side.

    1. Author

      Leanne, I love your resolve. Don’t be afraid to get back up when you fall. I do it all the time. I am glad you’ve decided to stop beating yourself up. Other people often will take care of that for you. Happy New Forever!

  7. If it’s alright with you, may I borrow your list of resolutions? It seems as if you were reading my mind!

  8. Hello Ken, I want you to know you are one of my favorite people in the world. I very much have enjoyed your humor, wisdom, spiritual encouragement over the years. I can relate to the cookies and pizza!! I get up in the middle of the night and eat Oreos in milk and I can usually polish off a pizza my self. I am not really to over weight but could feel and look better. My name is Martin Lien and I live with my precious wife Marilyn and precious kids Nikki, Hayden and Danie and right now I am an out of work truck driver trying to find a better way to make a living and also be here for my family and also use the many gifts and talents God has given me. I desire to be the best loving and supportive husband and father I can be. Also I am attempting to finish classes to be an EMT, taking college classes on-line for a Ministry/Education degree, making unique wood gifts as a ministry, trying to make time to write the numerous ideas I have for stories and aching to be a writer, serving on our worship team and trying to find my voice(Please let me know if you hear it anywhere; I think its lost for good!), leading youth in our church and serving wherever needed, and trying to be available to help others in need and to lead them to know and follow Christ. So with that said I don’t like new years resolutions either; but this year I desire to not be so busy even doing good things in serving God; but slow down and have more quite time with him and in his word and see what he wants me to do and surrender my life and give him control. I would rather slow down and do a couple things really well for God than be doing allot of things not very well. I desire to do my best for God; but focus on him and what areas he wants me in right now. I have dwelt on the fact for years that I wish I would have not wasted so much time and went into full-time ministry and known earlier in life Gods will for my life; but I have a “few” ideas now and just ask God to help me and lead me and know how to pull it all together for him. I want to be all God created me to be and do what he created me to do. I know his ultimate will is for me to worship him in all I do and all I am; but he also has a specific plan for me and I am still searching for that and hope it is not to late. I have so many ideas of ways I want to serve God but want to slow down and join him in what he is doing. At 44 I guess more than anything I want to spend the rest of my life helping youth heal from lifes hurts, be all they can be in Christ and know and follow Him. I am hopeful and prayerful that this will be our best year yet full of challenges and joys! Thank You Ken for all you do for the Kingdom!! Marty from Litchfield, MinneSNOWta

    1. Author

      Marty, Grew up in Virginia MN and spent a lot of time in Willmar. Very realistic approach you have. Anticipate the challenges and find the joy.

  9. Ken, discipline is the answer, but for me, I can’t just say I am going to be more disciplined! It never works! I have to find a deeper inspiration, motivation, reason, etc. etc. that hits me at the core of who I am, or better, who God wants me to be. Last year I did my best to be obedient to God, no matter where it took me. It meant leaving my little “comfort zone” many times and taking risk, but I was determined to live in a place that I would be totally dependent on God and leave the results in His hands. This year I decided against making resolutions. I had seen on twitter where many people were picking a “word” to focus on for the year. A word that meant something to them. I thought of many, discipline being one, but I came to the conclusion that even one word wasn’t enough to make those changes in my life that you talk about. I was reading “Jesus Manifesto” and two questions kept touching my heart. They were questions that Jesus asked Peter. One was “Do you love me?” and the other was “Who do you say that I am?”. I decided that this year those would be the questions I would try to answer. Now that I question whether I love God, but I do question how much I love Him, in light of how much I follow Him, or surrender to Him, or lean and trust in Him. To be like Jesus, I must truly know who Jesus was and is. To find that out I have to do more searching, more studying, more praying, more walking with God. So this year, for me, I want it to be about trusting in, leaning on & walking more with my Savior.By doing that and focusing on that I believe that the discipline, and other things I would have set resolutions about will fall into place.Blessings and thanks for all your blogs and inspirations!

  10. Ken, How encouraging to read your resolutions today! Perfect timing. I, too fell off the band wagon the last couple of months and am doing my best to scramble back aboard now. I DO feel so much better in body, mind and spirit when I am disciplined. This morning I went for a little run/ walk so thanks for the boost! I’ll be thinking of you when I’m debating whether it’s worth it to get out in the cold and MOVE! You can do it, too! The best to you and yours in 2011!

  11. Ken, Thank you for your thoughts and your writing. I pray that in 2011, I will appreciate more the blessings God has granted me. I will effort to show my love consistantly to my family and share the love of Jesus with all who cross my path.

  12. Loved this one. I had fun sledding with my nieces, nephew, sister, brother in law and brother on saucer sleds in INDY IN. God Bless and keep it coming. 🙂

  13. I’m right there with you…needing to re-think my priorities and streamline my choices.

    My main resolution is to improve at apologetics. My beliefs have been so poorly defined that I’m ineffective. I need to not only know what I believe, but why I believe it and how to transmit that to others.

    I need to learn how to dig deeper in scriptures.

    Lastly, I need to carve out exercise time regularly.

    May God bless us both as we open ourselves to His empowerment.

  14. Ken,
    Always clear, focused and on point! I loved my time in DCW as student and trainee. It will always remain the most invaluable time I spent investing in God’s plan for my future life of ministry. I continue to follow you and read and have recently spent more time with Michele – spending time together working on writing and encouraging one another.

    This weekend finds me away at our Northern MN cabin reflecting and restoring. Your resolutions, while somewhat chafing to some (even me) because they are so lofty it seems, are nonetheless realistic and noble. I have spent the weekend reading “Ordering your Private World,” by Gordon MacDonald and again am stopped short by his wisdom, insight and direct view into my soul it seems.

    Because of this book and spending the time alone to rehash and reflect on the last months of craziness in holidays, ministry and family, I am resolved in two areas:

    1. Take back my time – prioritizing what is fixed v. discretionary (MacDonald) and in that create MARGIN. This involves letting go of non essentials and working on my perfectionist tendencies

    2.Spend more time with God in solitude and reflection as opposed to more time creating busyness and productivity for worldly consumption. If there is nothing in the tank, I can give nothing to the world.

    As I write these down, I pray that God will allow me the discipline (YES – a very hard word!) to achieve these goals for 2011. I am afraid of the ramifications if I do not stay on course and put these in writing as well.

    Thanks for the encouragement today. Glad to know I am not alone in my imperfect Christian journey.

    Hope to see you when you are in Eden Prairie soon!

  15. Ken,
    You have been an inspiration to me for the last 25+ years, and even more so in the past year as you’ve decided to live Fully Alive. Just when I thought no one could relate to the experience of having lost myself and my purpose, as well as gaining very unhealthy amounts of weight, I found I completely identified with your journey, mentally and physically. “Something” inside clicked and I’m on board. Thank you for your transparency.
    Last week, I started the YNY* journey with Chris and Harry, and am encouraged to report a 4 pound decline AND a much brighter outlook on life. It IS real that discipline and self-concept are deeply connected. I keep a picture of your No Belly prize on the wall next to my bed, and it encourages me to fight the Mattress Monster and MOVE, each and every day. My resolution is to send you a No Belly photo of myself by year-end, but more importantly, fight to stay committed, disciplined and HOPEFUL.
    Happy New Year, with much love, to you and your family.

  16. I loved the video of you sliding down the hill on the pizza pan!! Next time you’re up here in the great white north I’ll make you a calorie free pizza sized cookie, decorated to perfection! Just kidding… although I do that… they aren’t calorie free.

    My resolutions for 2011 are:

    Write more
    Publish the children’s Christmas story that I wrote this year
    Eat healthy
    Exercise (not more – more implies that you already are)
    Get off the couch of grief, from which I have harvested a really big butt.
    Invest in a better relationship with my youngest son.
    Read More
    Pray More
    Pray More
    Read More
    Live More
    Cast My Own Shadow

  17. Well Ken, I have the opposite problem. For the last few months I’ve been working with a wild eyed trainer, running 5k races, eating reasonable meals. I put aside all the Christmas goodies, the pumpkin pie, and ate boiled chicken breast and broccoli. I even put it all together and completed my first Triathlon. But I truly miss the cookies. I feel guilty having just one Oreo. I truly just want a few days of bliss. I want to have a slice of pizza… maybe two!

    So to do this, my wife and I have signed up for a cruise. Not just any cruise mind you… a cruise with some very creative people such as Randy Elrod, Michael Hyatt, and even the former Governor of California, Pete Wilson.

    My resolution is to eat a cookie… not just one, but maybe two or three or four. I’m going to have pizza, and a seven course dinner, and a midnight buffet. But then, sadly, I will join the Celebrity Cruise Exercise Brigade, and run around the ship at least five times, run on the treadmill and do Zumba till I puke. But I WILL have a whole cookie. I will put aside broccoli for a whole week. And I will enjoy the humor of one Ken Davis! See you in April!

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