Life is on the move. In nature, everything that is alive is growing and changing—trees shed their leaves in the fall and grow them again in the spring. Even past the time of major physical growth in our youth, human beings continue to grow and change, although some fight the change that life brings. But change is a reality of life, whether we welcome it or fight it every step of the way. The ease and productivity of our change, to a great degree, is a matter of choice. What will we choose?
Once, when I was attempting to take on several life projects at once (lose weight, get promoted, write the greatest novel ever) and nothing was being accomplished, a friend of mine said to me, “Baby steps?” Uh? Didn’t he know I already knew everything?
“Yes, baby steps,” he repeated unflinchingly. “Just do a little at a time. You’ll get there.” Though I discounted what he said at that moment, I later had to reflect on that advice. I was trying to take on too much, not being effective at all, and becoming quite overwhelmed in the process. Baby steps, I thought. Maybe there was something to this theory …
Think about it. Babies are very persistent. If you watch a baby who’s just learned to move around, you’ll probably see her scooting or doing a creative roll or two. Once she’s got that scoot down, the crawl isn’t far behind. “This ‘moving’ thing is alright,” her face beams. Then, one day, you notice that she’s walking the house—holding onto every object she can, including your legs! Before you know it, she breaks free of holding on and foot freedom abounds!
Growth in our lives is a lot like that; the baby never gives up and neither should we. Translating a goal or desire into lasting change isn’t always easy. Here are some practical steps you can take in order to achieve your goals.
Check Your Blahs:
Do you mean it?: I stopped talking about going on a diet when I realized that I didn’t mean it, not one bit! Often, we talk about stuff that we really have no intention of doing. We know we should do it, so we talk about it. It makes us feel better. It soothes our guilt. But, examine your real motives and intentions. Stop talking about the fluff and purpose to work on the issues/ goals that really matter to you. Really.
Act on it: Nothing else really matters without action. We must do what we know to do. Yes, we must pray. Yes, we must think about pros and cons and strategies. But, ultimately, we must take some action in order to see results.
Your attitude toward something is often reflected in what you are saying. Are you complaining about how hard things are, how busy you re, how overworked you are, how blah, blah, blah? Complaint is an energy drainer and a dream stealer. We all have to vent sometimes and we all have bad days. But, if your attitude toward something is negative, its going to be difficult to see the lasting change. Why? Because you are believing the negative things more than the positive. Start focusing on what is good, no matter how small. Reflect on your blessings. Talk about the things that are good. You’re not in denial; you are choosing your focus and changing your attitude.
Persistence: Don’t give up just because it doesn’t work the first time, or because the results seem slow. Remember, you gotta scoot before you crawl and, as my grandmother used to say, “crawl before you can walk”. Old habits may take some time to change and new goals need work. God will never give up on you, so don’t give up on yourself.
Lastly, change takes commitment. You have to really make the decision that you are going to do what you desire. With a firm decision, change is easier because you are working with it, not against it. With your decision in place, you can commit to and enjoy the journey. You are on your way to a new a better you!