I finished something recently that I wasn’t sure I could do. Everything about it felt intimidating — the length of time, the commitment, the planning, the work. Before I’d even started I’d mentally decided that I probably wouldn’t be able to finish it. I set a low expectation for myself so that when I failed, I wouldn’t be surprised.

I do that to myself a lot. I choose the easy win, the project that can most quickly be crossed off the to-do list so I can feel accomplished. But the problem with staying on the easy path is that I’m never challenged. Sure, I might get a lot of things done, but I’ve come to discover . . .

When I allow God to direct my steps, I experience the most change.

Did you know that 70% of people who start a fitness program never finish it? As February inches along, I wonder how accurate that statistic is for other goals, dreams, and New Years resolutions? Honestly, I have over a dozen documents started on my computer full of ideas for projects, shirt designs, ebooks, and social media challenges that have never seen the light of day. Brainstorming those ideas is the easy part — but somewhere between idea and execution it all falls apart. I become part of the 70%.

Somewhere in the first few weeks of that intimidating program God began to work on my heart and my mind. While I was focusing on strengthening my body, He was working on the truly weak parts. Each day that I woke up and put in the work, God met me and whispered to my heart that He knew I could do it. Over and over again, for 60 days, my doubts and fears and expectations of failure were replaced with encouragement and confidence and a new understanding of success.

I became part of the 30%. Not because every day of that journey was perfect, but because somewhere along the line I stopped believing the lie that I wasn’t good enough and started to believe that God would be my strength when I was weak.

I stopped allowing one bad day to define me as a failure and instead chose to embrace the beautiful new mercies God promises to us every morning.

At the end of that program I wasn’t just physically stronger, I was mentally stronger and knew that I wanted to surround myself with the 30%.

  • The ones who keep going when the road gets bumpy.
  • The ones who don’t let a bad day define them as a failure.
  • The ones who choose progress over perfection and know that it is worth it to keep going.
  • The ones who allow God to take them on the challenging path because becoming more like Christ is more important than their comfort.

Give God your agenda and let Him replace your doubts with His promises.

On our own we will always be the 70% — we can never do enough, be enough, achieve enough, have enough will power or strength to do all the things life throws at us. But with God all things — the intimidating, the messy, the impossible — are possible.

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  • Bev @ Walking Well With God

    Amen!! Being more like Christ is more important than my comfort. Like you mentioned, I often pick projects that I know are a sure win…one’s I know that I can walk through with ease. It’s when God calls me to something beyond myself, like starting the Redeemer Christian Foundation, Inc. that my knees begin to tremble. Already I’ve been challenged to learn A LOT of new things (like reading and understanding legalese). This is a challenge that keeps me leaning into the Lord 24/7. But, I believe that’s where He wants us to be – totally and utterly dependent upon Him. That is what gives us our/His staying power. Congrats’ on your achievement. Joining with you in wanting to be part of the 30%. Great post…thanks for the encouragement this am.!!

    • http://crystalstine.me/ Crystal

      Yes! I always love your perspective and your heart, Bev.

    • Penny


      I hope and pray that everything that you’ve poured into works out in the 30% range.
      Blessings to you,


      • Bev @ Walking Well With God

        Thanks Penny – you are such an encouragement to me!! xx

  • Anna Finley

    Thank you…very timely for me….needed it today…………..

    • http://crystalstine.me/ Crystal

      I’m so glad, Anna. xoxo

  • Penny

    Your post is such an encouragement Crystal. Thank-you for the inspiration.
    I feel as if I’m moving at a snail pace and wanting to fast forward. It can be hard to be patient but I must in order to follow His direction.


    • http://crystalstine.me/ Crystal

      Oh I’m with you, Penny! I like to be a trail blazer but usually that just ends up with me lost and confused about where I took a wrong turn & God waiting patiently on me to figure out that His pace is perfect :)

  • http://www.bethcoulton.com Beth

    Awesome! Love this. What you wrote is so encouraging and challenging. Man, am I ever a 70 percent-er! But I can sense a stirring inside, God calling me into the scary world of the 30%. You are so right- as long as I shoot low, I get lots done but am not very satisfied, challenged, or have much respect for myself. I’m often afraid to step out into the 30% because…what if God doesn’t show up? (silly, I know, but I think it). What if my dream turns out to be a pipe dream and I heard God wrong? What if I get to the 30 but am still not sure what God wants me to do there? Can you see that I enjoy making excuses for why I don’t step out into the challenge of the 30 percent? :) I am my own worst enemy and critic…..

    Okay, today I step. Thanks for this!

    • http://crystalstine.me/ Crystal

      Oh Beth! You might as well be in my head – I say/think/worry about all of those same things. Grateful to have a friend to step forward with today :)

      • http://www.bethcoulton.com Beth


  • Rebecca Jones

    I feel that way. I have never finished a novel, though I have some other things going. I had to seek the Lord first. Joining the 31 day Challege got me off to a good start. That’s why I have to have faith I’ll finish strong.

  • Beth Williams


    I have had to give God my agenda for the past few years. The road has been very bumpy. There are days I feel not good or strong enough. I have come to realize that only with God can I travel this long journey! ” When I allow God to direct my steps, I experience the most change.” I also feel more empowered to tackle what He throws at me!
    I’m aiming to be one of the 30% this year and follow through on all my projects and resolutions.
    Blessings :)