We all have things about ourselves that we don’t like: health, body shape, bad habits, etc. We want to change, really we do, but it seems every time we try, we are met with failure. Why is that?
It doesn’t happen overnight.
As FlyLady says, we didn’t get to where we are overnight, we can’t expect to change overnight either. I think this is the most discouraging aspect of change. We want so much to see measurable progress, to feel some sense of accomplishment–but sometimes that change isn’t immediately tangible. This is especially true for any kind of inward change.
We can’t see how getting up early in the morning will help us.
We can’t see how not yelling at our children is making a difference.
We can’t see how reading the Bible every day will change how we take on the day.
We just can’t see.
So, how do we stay encouraged? How do we push through?
We need something that is tangible, something we can see. When we have something that we can check off, we get the same sense of accomplishment that kids get when they see a gold star on their paper or they get to put a sticker on their chore chart.
I’m a list maker–it’s just how I stay organized. One of the things I love about lists is there is something for me to check off. I get such a sense of satisfaction each time I am able to cross off another line.
What are some ways we can track changes in our every day lives?
- Think about what it is that you are wanting to change–find a way to quantify that and make a daily checklist. My daily checklist includes working out and reading my Bible. As I become more consistent with those, I’ll replace them with something else I need to work on.
- Create a reward system. If you don’t yell at your children all day, you get an hour cozied up on the couch with a good book or the last piece of apple pie.
- Accountability is important. Let your family and/or friends in on your plans and let them encourage you. When I was trying to implement a new cleaning system, my husband made a point of mentioning when the house was looking better. At the end of each week that month, we sat down and discussed how the changes were working and how we could make them better.
Of course, God is our ultimate accountability partner, and any true change is accomplished with His help. The more we lean on Him and immerse ourselves in the wisdom He offers us through His word, the more consistent we can be.
Don’t be discouraged. Change takes time–it doesn’t happen all at once, but bit by bit, one step at a time. Cliche as it may be, it became cliche because it works.