In my last blog post I gave you some tips on how to create a new habit. Hopefully you have started to think about or even create some new habits for yourself. If you have begun creating those new habits it probably was super exciting at first. You thought about it got yourself hyped up, wrote it down and committed. You have your why you were feeling good. You stuck to it for a couple of days maybe even a week. Then you got sick, or your kid got sick, or a new project started at work or you got invited to a wedding or it was that time of the month and you just felt like poop. Then you missed a day of your new habit. Then you figured if you missed Thursday might as well wait till Monday to start over, then Monday come and something else happened and you said “next week” then “next month” Then you just got frustrated and told yourself this new habit thing is just like everything else you ever started “doomed from the beginning” and gave up hoping that the friends you told would forget about it too.
Sound familiar? I have been there, many times. I have given up, listened to the voices that told me I was not strong enough, brave enough or smart enough to see it through. I know the frustration, anger and hopelessness that goes with those voices. Today I want to give you some tips and tools. Ways that you can stay focused on your new habits. See your goals through to completion and silence those voice that defeat you. These 5 tips are not easy. It will take time to learn how to use them. Keep returning to them and I promise it will get easier. Ready?
See the distraction for what they really are:
This is a big one. As humans we are created with a fear and avoidance of pain and discomfort at all cost. When things get hard or uncomfortable we just want it to go away. We don’t want to think about it and we definitely do not want to feel it. Distractions are just that. They are the personalized pain points in your life. What does that mean? I will use myself as an example. I am a people pleaser. I care A LOT about people liking me, thinking I am great. So my personal pain point is anyone even someone I don’t even know being disappointed in me, questioning my kindness or integrity, not liking me. The distraction created for me? Whenever I put myself out there someone makes an indirect comment like “wow you really say how you feel” or “do you think that was the best way to say that” totally personalized.
Some of you like things just so. Order and control makes you feel safe. Your personalized pain points? Not staying on schedule, the unexpected or unplanned for occurring. Try stepping out of your comfort zone just once and I will guarantee chaos in your life. You will suddenly not be able to get out of the house without a toddler meltdown. You will forget your sneakers or spill coffee in your car. Yep made for you.
Those distractions are the tools of the enemy. His job is to know you better than you know yourself. He is an expert in your weakness and whenever you try to step out in faith and get closer to your purpose he is like a guided missile set on you and will do everything he can to stop you.
How do we get out of the way? How do we send up an invisible shield to protect us from this personalized attack? Be still. When your 4-year-old decides to have a meltdown when you are trying to get to the gym instead of forgetting about the gym and starting tomorrow STOP, BE STILL, realize that you got this you may not be able to spend an hour at the gym because of this meltdown but 45 mins is better than nothing. By stopping and realizing that this is just a distraction you can change your reaction to it.
Change the voice in your head:
We cannot just ignore the voices that tell us we are not good enough, smart enough or worthy enough. We have to replace them with different voices. It is said that you are like the 5 people you spend the most time with and this I know is true. Are the 5 people you spend time with positive? Have goals of their own? Love you UNCONDITIONALLY? Want to do better and be better? Or are the 5 people in your life the first to question your decisions? To tell you all the reasons you can’t accomplish what you want? Always see the glass at half empty? If so RUN! But joking aside I know this is the hardest part for people. No one wants to give up friends and a lot of the time these people are our family!! These people can stay in your life but you must adjust the level of influence they have. Begin to make friendships with people who are like the first group, make them the priority. You will find the more time you spend with people who lift you up those defeated voices will be replaced by voices of love and hope.
What you read also matters. The best way for me to fight those voices is to read my bible. In it are all of God’s promises. It is where God tells me who I am so I am not distracted by what everyone else thinks I am.
I am tenderly loved by God (Jer 31:3)
I am chosen by God, holy and dearly loved (Col 3:3)
I am confident that the good work that God has begun in me will be perfected (Phil 1:6)
And these are just one of hundreds of things He says I am.
Press in and do not peace out
This is the hardest thing for me. I am a person that wants everything NOW. If I can’t have it now I get frustrated and walk away. I peace out instead of press in. I heard a pastor say this on a podcast and it stuck with me. For the majority of my life I have peaced out when things got hard. I told myself that if it was meant for me it would be easier. That is a lie. We were promised victory by God but NEVER promised that it would be easy. Loving someone is hard especially if they are not so nice but that is what is real love. If eating healthy and exercising regularly were easy there would not be a billion-dollar diet industry. The hard parts are when the best things happen. It is in the hard parts we learn and grow the most. I have had the biggest break through and blessings when I have made the harder choice. Don’t avoid them and peace out you are missing the best part!!!
There you have it 3 tips to staying on track and focusing on what matters most. I pray that these tips will start you thinking. I would love to hear your thoughts and if you are trying any of them. Please leave a comment and let’s connect!!!