Frequent and Consistent doesn't only lead to where we want to be, it's the road we took to get where we are now. It is difficult to examine our lives with a critical eye, but that is the starting point for change. We need to identify the daily habits that led us to be unsatisfied.
As I wrote my first draft of this, a couple things became apparent. There is overlap. One behavior can have an effect in multiple areas. .
The second thing that became apparent is that I tell myself lies to justify bad little habits that I know will not lead to the life I want.
I'm going to broadcast my pretty little lies to the world. That makes it even more difficult to be honest. I suggest you write yours down. There is power in the written the word, it helps us remember and it keeps us accountable.
Spending. Some years ago, I went back to work full time and my attitude towards spending changed. I could splurge on myself and the kids. It felt wonderful to no longer have to shop at Salvys (that's what the cool kids call Salvation Army.) Over time, those splurges became more frequent. I go into Target for socks and walk out with a cart full of items that were just too cute, or a great deal. There is lie number one. It take many forms. I can't pass up that deal. I'll need that later. Those shoes are just too cute. I got to have them. No, I don't.
I also told myself that time was more precious to me than money. That's true - but I used that as an excuse to stop clipping coupons, stop shopping around and started buying meals out rather than cooking. If my time was so very precious to me, would I spend so much of it playing apps on my phone and binge watching TV shows? I believe time is more precious than money, when it is convenient and justifies my spending. I'm a hypocrite.
Relationships. This covers both my husband and kids. It's pretty clear I need to unplug. I really do love my TV. My two favorites to stream are Supernatural and Heart of Dixie. But isn't my real life husband more important than my on screen boyfriends, Dean and Levon? I'll miss those deep voices and smoldering eyes, but it is time to say goodbye.
There is another lie I tell myself. It's that after working and cleaning, I deserve some me time. That's true. But a little me time is one hour, not four.
Health. This one is a wealth of missteps. I sit all day at work. Then guess what I am doing while I am streaming four hours of Supernatural - bingo! Sitting.
Can't remember the last time I had a physical. I actually have a primary care physician, but I don't think she's competent. She's just convenient.
I love my beer. Really love it. Not that light stuff either. I like those imported pilsners, lagers and stouts. They are bread in a bottle. Yum. But they are not friendly to either my waistline or my pocketbook. Time to make beer a splurge and not a daily habit.
When it comes to my health, the lies are all about time. I'll do it later. I'll find a new doctor later. I'll eat healthier later. I'll exercise tomorrow. Tomorrow, later, they come and go and I'm still wishing Dr. Hart was my primary care doctor and that I lived in Blue Bell (Heart of Dixie.)
Fire. This one ties into my desire to be an advocate for Dyslexia. I was the kid who got top grades, won competitions and even met the President at 16. I was supposed to change the world. Now, I don't even want to respond to my high school's requests for "What are you doing now?" I lie to myself in this area too. College was so very hard that it just wiped the fire out of me.
It's been almost 20 years. Isn't it time to leave the past in the past? Time to let go. That wonder-kid is still inside me. It's never to late. I can still change the world! Or at least the world of a few children.
Past behind, future ahead. Are you thinking about the frequent and consistent action you can use to create positive change? Tomorrow we'll talk about a litmus test for selecting actions.