My #7 personal purpose statement is “Train Well”. Most people when they want to overcome a bad habit or character flaw or a sin in their life ” Try Harder”. Trying harder doesn’t change much and usually results in frustration, guilt, and despair. Training as an athlete or a piano or violin player would is what produces steady and lasting growth. A synonym for training is practice, and almost all of us have had experience in sports, music, or other endeavors, and know that to get better at any skill we need to practice. There are five key words that make practice effective. The first word is pressure. We don’t improve without increased pressure that we create for ourselves by choosing harder music, lifting more weight, attempting to run faster, or practice longer. The second key word is gradual. We add or create pressure at a gradual pace so we can grow and change and get better. To much pressure to quickly results in injury in sports and failure and frustration in life. The third word is patience or endurance. We recognize that it takes years of practice to be an excellent piano player so we keep at it without giving up. Those who want to become like Jesus in character in a short time usually don’t even come close because they quit. The forth word is basics. There are basic drills in sports. When players or teams aren’t doing well a coach often takes them back to the basics. There are certain repeated basics that results in automatic responses or behavior in the midst of the game when choices have to be made quickly and without thinking. Living life is the same way. Most poor choices in life are made in the midst of termmoil and pressure because we hadn’t trained ourselves to respond correctly automatically. The basics as a Christian are reading the Bible, spending time in prayer, attending church, examining our life and confessing sin, giving money, worship etc. the fifth word is devotion or commitment or faithfulness. Practice doesn’t work if done occasionally, intermittently, conviently, or comfortably. Daily is usually the price tag for success in any area of life with occasional rest days. The bottom line key for these five key words to happen is personal goals that are clearly written to express exactly who we want to be and what we want to accomplish. If we don’t have a clear picture of what we aspire to we won’t practice faithfully, we just won’t.