Well, this one sounds like it should be an easy answer, right?
You think - NO! I can’t change THAT thing in my life (you don’t have to admit to me what that thing is).
Well, I say it is an easy answer, and the answer is YES! Anything you want to change, you are able to! I am talking about changes that are personal to you, that you have control over. Not things we don’t have control over - like the amount of rain in Seattle.
Will it take time, patience, persistence and all of those other things we don’t like to give? Sure will. Will it be easy? Nope! Patience and persistence are those two P’s that you never want to have to ask for, right?
Let me share a little more of my story.
If you read last week’s blog you know that I met Jesus in 2006 and then I finally learned in 2017 I wanted to INTENTIONALLY change.
There was a lot that happened in those 11 years. There was an engagement, a wedding, a baby and a little of what I know now was, postpartum depression. After coming out of that fog I just knew there was a better way. I began to dive deeper to learn how to walk with Jesus and increase my faith in something I couldn't see. I wanted to learn.
I learn by reading books, so I found a book by a woman, Courtney Joseph called Women Living Well. I don’t remember exactly but I think I googled something along the lines of how to be a Christian woman, or reading the bible, etc. I followed her blog for a short time and then she put out her book. Here is a link to her blog if anyone is interested https://womenlivingwell.org/blog/.
One small thing I remember clearly from the book is about praying for your husband and family. She mentions (and I am paraphrasing as I don’t have the book in front of me) that God tells us to pray continually. Yet, she would forget (and so have I). So she lit a candle and said every time I see the candle I will pray. I tried this and it was the beginning of a habit that I didn’t know I needed!
I decided from this small experience over the course of a few months that I wanted to pray before I got out of bed. If I could start my day off in prayer, before I got the kiddo up, before getting ready and before my feet hit the floor hopefully becoming more prepared for whatever the day had in store.
However, my alarm would go off and I would jump up and get ready and out the door. Day after day. I was getting more frustrated. Why couldn’t I just remember to pray before getting out of bed!? Am I that terrible?
Well, I started with the concept that I had learned in the book. I started to remind myself when I remembered (whenever that was in the day). I would remember when I got to work, then after time, started to pray when in the car on the way to work. After more time passed I would remember to pray while making the coffee. Then it was while I was in the shower.
This was small progress. I was working from where I was, not praying much at all, to finally getting it backwards on the morning timeline to when I was in bed.
One day I remember very clearly a few months after I started this 'change'. I woke up, got out of bed and started brushing my teeth. I was so frustrated that I STILL kept forgetting to pray before getting out of bed. I yelled at myself, AUGH! AGAIN!? I threw my toothbrush in the sink (yes, with toothpaste on it) and got back into bed to say my prayer. (Yes, Seth thought I was crazy...."uh, is something wrong?" HAHA)
I had to do that a few times. I forced myself to "go back on the morning timeline" and get back in bed. Once I started to do that over and over I began to remember BEFORE getting out of bed!!!
This entire process took a good 6 months or more, but I have started my day off in prayer almost every day since. Many times now I find myself waking up in prayer.
My blog is not intended to be a christian blog about praying. However, this is one of the biggest changes that I have made in my life, that has led to all other changes.
If Patti Timbers, sinner extraordinaire with a non-existent prayer life, can change her prayer life from nothing to praying daily prior to getting out of bed. You, my friend can change whatever it is you want as well!!
In order to realize you are capable of change, you need to have motivation to move from here (where you currently are) to there (where you want/need to be).
There are three well known reasons that people change:
Learned - You learn something and you choose that “there” is better than where you are.
An example of this is mentioned above. I read the book that allowed me to believe that if I pray and walk with Jesus I will have freedom. I wasn’t in a bad place, I just knew that ‘there’ was better.
Fear - If I stay where I am something bad will happen.
My example of this is my weight loss in last week's blog. I was fearful that I would soon become Diabetic and go down a whole host of other health issues.
Pain - Your current situation has become bad enough that you can’t stand to not change. You hear this called by some as the ‘rock bottom’. You have to change ‘or else’. (I'll share more on this in future blogs).
This is the point that you realize if you don’t change there will be a serious, and many times, detrimental consequence (death, disease, loss of relationship, etc).
Sometimes we don’t really realize which category we fit in. I don’t believe you need to, but looking back I think it is easier to make a plan if you understand why “here” is no longer a desirable place.
Henry Ford said it this way “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” If you want something different, you have to start doing something differently.
This is where the patience and persistence I mentioned earlier come in. We are comfortable with where we are, and our habits. We need to be patient because we will be UNcomfortable as we change.
We are back to the original question. Am I, are YOU, capable of change?
I hope by now you see that yes, every one of us is capable of change. We each have to make the decision that THERE is better than HERE.
If you followed last week’s blog, you wrote down some things you want to change like you are already there. As if it is already true.
I own a successful business
I run a 5K monthly
I do yoga daily
I am a non-smoker
I pray daily before getting out of bed
That activity helped your brain start to think that this change IS POSSIBLE! Keep that up!
Let’s now start figuring out that you ARE capable of getting there.
Write down 3 reasons that that ‘there” is better than your current “here”
Here is an example:
If I run a 5K monthly I will increase my good cholesterol.
If I run a 5K monthly I will be healthier, and be able to keep up with my son.
If I run a 5K monthly I will lose 5 pounds.
Start to write down what needs to happen to get “there” (that thing you wrote last week).
If my “there” is “I run a 5K monthly” I might start with I run 1 mile without stopping.
Consider this brainstorming - write down everything you can think of that you might need to do to get there. Then you can pick 1, 2 or 3 steps. This starts to create yourself a roadmap.
Take those 3 smaller goals and write them as a SMART goal. (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely)
Put them on a sticky note and put it on your mirror in your bathroom.
I will run 1 mile without stopping/walking by May 1st.
Specific = 1 mile without stopping/walking
Measurable = I can measure if I did this
Achievable = I give myself enough time to make the change, I didn’t say this weekend I will do this
Realistic = I can do this. I don’t have something coming up that will make it impossible, like surgery, etc.
Timely = I have a time limit on it - by May 1
Get an accountability partner or a fitness friend or someone that will not only encourage you to meet your goal, but will ask if you are doing it!
I am happy to be a text/messenger accountability partner. Reach out to me on social media (links below) and I will assist!
BE KIND to yourself! You have to be patient and persistent or this won’t happen. It takes time to make these personal changes. (remember last week, it took me 6 months to do the 12 week program!?)
Celebrate along the way! When you reach that first goal - CELEBRATE! Get the treat, the shirt, find some alone time, get yourself those flowers, etc.
You are capable of any change you want! Although it is not easy, it will be worth it. I promise you!