"Leave 2020 in the Dust"

by Claudia Loucks correspondent

The Rev. Jim Aniol, pastor at Cambridge United Methodist Church has a plan. – A plan to “Leave 2020 in the Dust” and move on.

He said 2020 started out with so much hope…”The year was ripe for great slogans and tag lines. Who doesn’t want ‘2020 vision’ right?”

“But after 12 months of 2020, I’m ready to leave this year in my rearview mirror and move on,” he said. “Some folks usually move into a new year with a New Year’s Resolution. Yeah, I’ve done that also, the problem is that resolutions are based on resolve and that is usually as strong as our will power, so resolutions usually only last into February.”

Instead of resolutions, Aniol said what works best for him is “New Year’s Goals with a plan and a support group. To make it simple New Year’s Goals require three F’s, Faith, Focus and Friends. – The Faith that you can do something, the Focus to stick with a plan, and Friends to hold us accountable and help us through the tough spots.”

The pastor said there are usually two things most people resolve every year – to lose weight and exercise more, and that involves two more F’s, Food and Fitness.

“Now if we could only find a place where we could get help with these five F’s, we would be all set right? Well, in January 2021 we can,” he said. Aniol said he has wanted to teach the Daniel Plan since it first came out in 2015, but never felt he was in the right place for it…”I believe this is the right time for it,” he said. “As the pastor for the Cambridge United Methodist Church, I have a platform to teach a lot and that means people get teaching for free. As a certified marathon coach for Road Runners Club of America, I also know about fitness and food. As someone who wanted to lose weight and get back in shape, I also know that it takes faith and friendship to get through it.”

“What is the Daniel Plan?” Aniol asked and answered, “The Daniel Plan is a program developed by Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church in California designed to help people grow in whole—person physical and spiritual health and wellness.”

The Daniel Plan will begin in 2021 with a six-week sermon series built upon the five basics of the Daniel Plan and use the program to rebuild ourselves into the people that God intended us to be. In 2021 instead of making New Year’s Resolutions, we will build goals that focus on:

-Faith – learning to rely on God’s power to become the people He created us to be.

-Food – how to love foods that love us back. Great for post-holiday dietary redemption!

-Fitness – we will find the type of movement that we enjoy and stick with it.

-Focus – we will learn how to develop healthy habits.

-Friends – we will do all this together.”

At Cambridge United Methodist Church, 120 West Exchange St., the Daniel Plan will begin Sunday, Jan. 3, and continue with a six-week sermon series at 10 a.m. and Sunday school class at 8:30 a.m.

Anyone who is unable to attend at those times, both the sermons and class will be recorded and posted on the church website, cambridgeilmc.org and on face book live.

To help with the fitness portion of The Daniel Plan, there will be a walking class, beginning Monday, Jan. 4, at 7 a.m. in the upper Fellowship Hall of the church using the Leslie Sansone exercise class. The class will be held Monday through Thursday and is open to everyone.

The class will also be on Face book Live on the Cambridge United Methodist Church Face book page for anyone who does not feel comfortable exercising in a group.

And there’s more – People who know Pastor Jim Aniol, know that he loves to run and he invites anyone interested in helping him start a running club in the Cambridge-Geneseo area…He said, “Anyone interested in starting to run or training for races please email me at pastor.cambridgeilmc@gmail.com.”

The Rev. Jim Aniol