You don’t like yourself? Good.
Got your resolutions ready? Got your “one word”? Made a list of all the things you don’t like about yourself? Got new resolve about all the bad habits you need to stop doing?
And you finally feel serious about reality; you’re going to quit being so embarrassed?
Because you’ve grown sick and tired of being this way and it’s hard smiling when you don’t like yourself.
And that’s good, because…?
1. Because you’ve seen the goal.
For years, you did not see the happiest people don’t do what you’re doing. I know it’s a shock. But you’ve noticed.
- They don’t grumble, although they do have troubles.
- They don’t lie, steal, or cheat, although they do have to pay taxes.
- They don’t smoke or abuse alcohol.
- They don’t sleep in, even if they read ’til midnight.
- They don’t spend a lot of screen time.
- They don’t have a trashed house, car, or yard.
You know you don’t measure up, but you also know all people start out a lot alike, but somehow you missed the golden ring. And you’re unhappy.
And that’s good, because…?
2. Because you’ve seen yourself by comparison.
Suddenly you’re squirming.
How do they do it?
You promise yourself you will drag yourself up. “I will stop being uncouth. Starting tomorrow, I’ll not sleep in, I’ll quit putting off laundry and housework… Makes you feel better to read it, right?
The tiredness you anticipate, from so much effort, dissipates when you realize there’s always tomorrow. You can feel industrious. The pat-on-the-back emotions rush over you, and you don’t have to do a thing until tomorrow.
And you know better. You know yourself and you know you will sleep in. You know you will not change at all. You feel embarrassed by the fact: You’ll probably never measure up.
And that’s good, because…?
3. Because you care.
Yes, the embarrassment comes from caring. You don’t want to be bad and sad. You don’t want to cry. You don’t like yelling. No more wasted hours on TV or online. No more cookies. No sleeping in. No. No. No.
Oh, why on earth does everything on earth have to run smack into a big no-no!
That’s All Good!
Can you believe it? Yes! These conflicting feelings and facts are very good. They show your sanity, sweet sanity!
But you do see the need to change although you don’t know how.
And your honesty, at least with yourself, shows reason for great hope.
So. You Don’t Like No-No’s.
Get ready to lick your troubles without no-no’s.
That’s right: No more NO-NO’s!!!
The secret, the big difference between the constantly blessed people and those still scratching their heads?
One. Big. YES.
Say YES to Doing Right!
Now you know the whole secret. Keep reading, because I’m about to explain.
Ever notice how spouses often grow old to resemble each other? And people who keep dogs, often grow to resemble them? It’s so persistent a stereotype, it makes great comedy.
Well, there’s a grain of truth in it and we’ll plant that grain into the fertile soil that is YOUR LIFE, because it’s about to grow.
What grain of truth? Well…
Whatever you dwell on, meditate on, concentrate on, will powerfully affect how you grow. It can warp you or straighten you out, just as a stake and rope can shape a tree.
Try telling yourself “no more pancakes” without thinking about pancakes. You’ll think about pancakes all day. How much thinking about not eating can you take before you’re eating? You’ve hammered your stake into a tall stack and tied your string to a syrup bottle. You have assimilated the pancakes without taking one bite. But take a bite, you will.
Tie yourself to something immovably good and grow strong!
And now you need to know more about “good”. So, consider:
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Philippians 4:8
And in your case, grasp, finally, and dwell on: “I have vision! I have wisdom! I care!”
Feeling more power, now?
So what should your next move be?
Simply said, you should keep your eyes on the positive. (Notice how I changed my advice from, “Stop looking at the negative!”)
So. Instead of exclaiming, “I’ve GOT to stop sleeping in!” calmly state, “I need an alarm clock.”
Then give yourself time; let yourself catch up.
Just as a mountain climber cannot go too high without resting and adjusting his body, you must climb slowly in your new, more rarefied air: You will wake up on time. How wonderful!
It’s best you set the habit, though. That’s where the 21 days come in. Add only a little at once and take your time; settle. New practices seldom gel overnight; they grow best in co-related layers. For a layer you might add after setting an alarm, without waiting long for settling, I would recommend going to bed earlier. You’ll experience tiredness earlier, after all.
If you can master rising early, what a great time to add the new related practice: early morning Bible reading. Settle reading as an accustomed habit, then maybe add the pleasure of a real breakfast. Maybe enlist your crock-pot for that chore, waking to find breakfast cooked already?
But go patiently. Adding a new related habit to an old gelled one, works much better than resuming several new ones you picked up instantly, only to drop them again and again. Beginning the new practices of early sleeping/early rising, morning Bible reading, and a cooked breakfast might take a month or two in development.
Don’t worry. You’re fixing a life, not a chipped nail. Life repair deserves the time invested. Ideally we spend 21 days developing a new habit, but you may feel you can go faster than that.
Maybe you can. But take care.
Following I’ve included possible short lists of 21-day related changes you may add by overlapping start-times, creating a new set of four related life habits in about a month. See if you recognize any needy areas in your life.
- Early to bed
Early to rise
- Read your Bible every morning
Keep an account of ideas you’ve noticed
Fill several journals with daily writings
Publish a book of devotions
- Bake from mixes instead of going to bakery
Bake cake from a mix but make scratch frosting
Bake cake and make frosting from scratch
Learn simple cake decorating
- Learn to iron a shirt
Iron a shirt every day or so
Iron two shirts a day
Take in ironing for spare cash
- In winter, hang one load of laundry indoors, now and then, to boost humidity
Hang a load of laundry indoors every day
Hang a load every day and another every night
Scrub floors for humidity on days when laundry is all done
- Walk the outdoor perimeter of your house four times, every day
Walk briskly on roads or trails for a half hour (roughly two miles) daily
Walk two miles with some running spurts included, increasing as you’re able
Run two miles daily
Do you see how it works? It really works!
Now go for it! What do you need to change? How will you schedule the changes? Let us know!