There are some things in my life that I want to change. I’m no longer satisfied with how they are. Yet all I do is wishful thinking and a bit of self-flagellating. Nothing changes.
“If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.” ~Anthony Robbins
I don’t want to be 30 lbs overweight any longer. I don’t like how I look, but mostly I don’t like how I feel. Physically, I feel sluggish, lazy, and heartburn-y all the time. Emotionally, I fluctuate from feeling embarrassed/ashamed to unconcerned, from insecure to confident, and from ugly to pretty (yes, these are emotions!) in about five minutes flat. Instead of eating healthy foods I continue to choose the junk I crave. Instead of exercising I continue to make excuses. I have the desire to change my weight and health, but lack the motivation and staying power to implement long-term actions that will bring the change I wish for.
I’m not happy with my current location along my walk with God. I seem to have veered off the path of our journey together and plunked myself down in a nice, comfy pit-stop. God’s waiting on the road for me to come back and walk with Him, but I need to take the steps. Like any relationship, stepping closer to Him involves a bit of effort on my part. In the past, things that have made me feel like I’m walking closely with the Lord include regular time spent in Bible study, prayer, serving others, corporate (group) worship, writing, speaking, and generally encouraging other women… Not unlike my physical feelings, spiritually I’m feeling sluggish and lazy. Instead of taking those steps that will bring me back onto the path where I walk closely with God I choose to sit in my pit-stop with my face buried in Facebook. I have the desire to change my relationship with God, but lack the motivation and staying power to implement long-term actions that will bring about the change I wish for.
The road to hell is paved with good intentions (aka wishful thinking), right?
Wishful thinking and intention do not make change. Action makes change.
It was yesterday, among a group of eight or so women, that I had a bit of an epiphany. Get ready for it, because you will be shocked…
FACEBOOK IS A BLACK HOLE.
In virtually every area of my life, I am allowing time-wasters (in particular, Facebook) to keep me from ACTION. What begins as an “I’m just going to check in for a minute while I’m between tasks, then I’ll get on to the next thing” becomes “I. am. a. robot. Facebook. has sucked. my. brains. dry. There. is. nothing. new. but. I. am. stuck. here.” A couple minutes magically morphs into a couple hours, and before I know it half the day is gone. Mostly wasted reading things that annoy me and resisting the urge to share my annoyance with the world.
And here’s the evil underbelly of the Facebook beast… The more time I waste there, the longer I’m inclined to sit and waste more time. There is a threshold, and once it’s been crossed, there’s no coming back. And for a perfectionist-type like me, if I don’t have the time in my day to something well (the BEST, actually), I would rather not even start.
Trust me, I recognize the fault in my perfectionist mindset. I know – mentally – that doing a little bit is better than doing nothing at all. Five minutes of exercise is better than none. Ten minutes spent in Bible study is better than no Bible study at all. Just getting up and starting the laundry/supper/organizing a room/etc. is better than not getting up (from the desk) at all. Writing for 15 minutes each day, resulting in approximately one blog post per week, is better than not opening the dashboard of my blog at all.
So yesterday, during our conversation, while those other women moved from one topic of conversation to the next, my mind froze in its epiphany. And I made a commitment to myself. A commitment to ACTION.
Rather than starting my day with a time-waster, I will start my day with the things that matter. Only once those things have been accomplished will I allow myself the reward of a pit-stop on the world wide interweb.
Each day, I will decide three important things to do*, and on each of those things I will spend a minimum of 15 minutes. If I feel inclined to continue beyond those 15 minutes on the first thing, I will not short-change the other two. (For example, right now I’ve spent a good half hour writing. But the extra 15 minutes don’t cancel out the exercise I intended for this morning.) Until those 45 or more minutes have been spent actually DO-ING, rather than just wishing, Facebook will not be opened.
My three for today (and probably for most days) are: spend some time with God, write, exercise.
Since I’ve spent a bit of extra time here already (so hard to start a blog post and not finish it!), I better get my butt out of this chair and exercise. Jillian Michael’s has a half hour of hard work all planned out for me!
Girls (you know who you are), thanks for the talk yesterday. You’re the best!
Anyone else want to join me in my challenge? Or create your own self-challenge? Everything is better with a friend!
* A little side-note on my perfectionist thinking… I initially wrote “three important things to get done,” but upon re-reading it realized that the goal is not to “get done” anything. The goal is to simply DO something in each of three areas.