Everyone has wondered at one time or another why they do what they do. Or why don’t they do what they know they should do. It’s frustrating because we do know ….. we know what we should or shouldn’t do. So why don’t we?
Yes there is the whole habit issue. I waste time watching too much tv because I started watching shows after dinner to wind down from a busy day. Now I watch stuff I am not even interested in because that is my weekday habit.
Then there is the supernatural power of cravings. I know positively and without any doubts that if I eat dessert at night I will feel over full and blah. I know I will wake up the next morning feeling heavy and uncomfortable. And I will not feel healthy and will probably gain weight. I am thinking this and acknowledging it right up until I take the first bite of ice cream. The bites are not even good enough to make it a hard decision; but the craving conquers all logic.
Life requires maintenance. We need regular doctors visits, We have to get our license renewed every couple of years. We need to get things fixed in our homes and our cars. It is constant and unending. Yet we procrastinate. Or at least I do. I waited so long to get an inspection sticker for my car that I was one month from turning it in as my lease was ending. So then I had to purposely procrastinate because why go to all the trouble when you are getting rid of the car. I was on constant surveillance of sherif and police vehicles. It’s ridiculous. Most things have to be taken care of eventually. All procrastination does is require added pain. Sickness makes us finally go to the doctor. Penalties go along with late renewals. The list is endless.
I get so worn out by the stress I cause myself that I beg God to straighten me out. Of course, my idea of being straightened out is His gift of the Holy Spirits fruits. I need a healthy dose of self discipline Lord. Some patience to stand in line and get my stuff straight. And a little joy for not eating the rest of the Bluebell Cookie Two Step carton would help me a lot. This is better than the whole letting us have the consequences of our missteps to straighten us out.
Since I usually end up with the consequences, I have finally determined that God wants to build some kind of character trait in me that helps me to live my own life on purpose. To do what I know I should do and to stop doing what I know I shouldn’t. It doesn’t even have to be about sin. We are all different and healthy habits and lifestyle may look different for each of us. But, admit it, we do know directionally what is best for us.
At least at my age we do.
As aggravated as I get that I revisit my habits, cravings, and procrastination at regular intervals in life, I do know the path out. At least for me. I will share it with you in hopes that some of these steps on the path will help you too.
- Focus on God and His Word. Like I said, He doesn’t just magically change things, although He surely could. But He knows that in most cases that isn’t best for us. Focus on Him because when we focus on the Lord, stay in His Word, and pray for His Will, we feel better and become grounded in our purpose. Our purpose to live life for Him. I know when I am connected to God, everything seems possible and I feel like I have help.
- Make a list or journal about the things that need to change in your life. To make positive changes you first need to admit what you need to change. Our psychology is funny. If we don’t think about it or acknowledge that something isn’t serving us well, we don’t have to do anything about it. To make our efforts the most effective and efficient, we have to know what we want to change or where we want to go.
- Put a plan together. If I say I want to stop eating sweets at night, but I don’t get the sweets out of the house or replace the ice cream with fruit or a healthier option, chances are I am going to make a plan to start tomorrow after I finish the current inventory of Bluebell and Hershey’s syrup. I also need to think about when my biggest times of weakness and plan to do something during that time that keeps my mind off of the craving or bad habit.
- Find community. Okay I have yet to find a Procrastinator’s Anonymous but getting my husband to workout with me has kept us going strong, consistently for just past a year now. Reading blogs about healthy eating and habits gives me ideas and helps me know that my issues are not so unusual.
- Track progress. Even when you are not making progress. I guess we are all different, but anytime I track something I want to do or don’t want to do, I last longer. Somehow slippage always occur when I stop tracking. I guess my subconscious feels like it is no longer important to me.
And then, just like life is a circular, my planning outlined above comes right back to God. I start with him, then I take the steps I need to for myself, leaning on Him but trying. Then I pray for His help to get me over the hump or to keep me going. In my life, I have found God to be ever-faithful if I am focused on Him and trying to follow His path. In my God dependence He is all I need to make the changes I need to live better choices, healthier cravings, and purposeful habits.
Aligning my life and actions to what I know I should do and shouldn’t do makes me feel better physically, emotionally, and spiritually…..every single time.
I am going to start on the path today. How about you?