A while ago, when I wasn’t as busy because of sickness and had been spending a ton of time in prayer, I was hyper focused on self-improvement. And let me tell you, It’s a lot easier to improve yourself when your life is at a standstill. I had a ton of time to think about my bad habits and how they formed. I was able to come up with lists of good habits I wanted to create, and since I wasn’t doing anything else, they were easy to make time for. But when my life picked back up I dropped a lot of the work I was doing, not because it wasn’t important, but because I was so busy that things were getting forgotten, or I simply didn’t have the time to chart it all so I lost some of my accountability.
Life happens like that, it comes through and sweeps us off our feet and it takes us sometime to get them back under us.
My life hasn’t calmed down any, in fact, it’s gotten busier. I’m starting a new treatment plan for my Lyme Disease, Chris and I are planning a wedding, and we’re buying a house. A lot is happening, but I’m starting to feel the tug to revisit that list of good habits I wanted to create, because after all, being busy isn’t a very good excuse for not bettering yourself.
It’s harder than it should be to get back in that zone. It’s hard to think about good habits once a day and it’s even harder to make time to form those habits. So what is a girl to do? It seemed much more black and white when I was bedridden.
- Make a list of everything you want to accomplish. Want to be a morning person? Want to do more small acts of kindness? Need to pray more? Struggling to nourish our body correctly? Make a list of all the key traits your best self would have. If you need to make smaller points with steps you need to take to make it happen add those. Once you have it in writing you have a goal to reach.
- Carve out time to review your daily goals and report on your steps to self improvement. Maybe you keep a journal with boxes to check off like I do, or maybe you keep a list on your phone that you simply scroll through, either way, taking time to remind yourself what you’re trying to do and seeing if you’re producing results is a good start.
- Don’t focus on everything at once. It gets so overwhelming if you do. You’re not going to be able to pick up ten new habits at once. You’re not going to be able to stop all your problems cold turkey, and that okay. Pick the ones that our most important. Prioritize your list. What do you really want done now and what can wait till your farther along this journey. Sometimes we need to make progress before we can even start to look at the details. That’s perfectly normal.
- Don’t forget to forgive yourself. I struggled with this the first time around. I started getting really mad and frustrated with myself for not making the amount of progress I wanted to in the time frame I was hoping too. It even took a small hit to my self confidence. I failed to realize that I was doing something really hard. While the tasks themselves might be small, the act of improving oneself is huge, and trying to do it systematically is hard, because it’s pure willpower verses one of our toughest opponents- set habits. Give yourself some slack. You’re only human and you’re trying to make steps to better yourself. That already puts you ahead of the crowd.
- Pray and talk about it. Talking through a lot of your problems is healthy no matter who you’re talking too. It helps us iron out the details and helps us find people who hold us accountable. It’s always a good idea to air things out, whether it be failure or successes. Our plans sound different when said out loud and our brain thinks differently when in conversation. Talking to God is just that on a much bigger level, because it comes with some bigger outside help and it opens your eyes to some higher levels.
- Make sure you give yourself credit when you deserve it. Maybe you’re trying to do something that it seems like everyone else has already mastered, that doesn’t make your success any less. You can achieve great things, and you have already. Make sure you acknowledge when you check the same box multiple days in a row. Make sure you celebrate the voice in your head reminding you what you’re trying to do. Knowing when you’re doing well helps us do better. And it gives you room to celebrate the fact that you’ve done something hard!