Stages of change

We talked yesterday about setting intentions and not necessarily sticking with them. You all know that I like microwave growth. When I set out to do something I want the “new me” to emerge quickly. If I decide I’m drinking 70oz of water a day, I want to do that now! Change doesn’t work that way. My therapist told me about the stages of change when I was becoming frustrated when I slipped back into old habits.

TherapistAid.com via Pintrest

Check out the guide above because it has been very helpful.

What stage of change are you in? Are you thinking about changing but haven’t made any moves yet? Have you started to make changes but nothing has really stuck? When I thought about what stage I was in, at the moment I was in the relapse phase. I don’t want you to get hung up on the words relapse. Its not necessarily a bad thing, especially if the change you are trying to make doesn’t involve anything dangerous. For example, I have been working on not over extending myself, that means being able to say no and not just doing things because I feel obligated. When I notice my calendar has started to get full again and I don’t want it to be then I have relapsed. Or if I say I’m not going to get on social media for 21 days, then I binge Twitter and Instagram when the insurrection happens, I relapsed.

Unfortunately, for many missing the mark is a part of the change process.

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Sometimes you have to go through the relapse process several times before you are able to make the change stick. I think the relapse phase is important it shows you can not make the change on your own. It is a good reminder that you not only need God’s help but possibly an accountability partner to help you stick to what you want to do and check on you to make sure you don’t get off track.

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The best goal I kept in 2020 was insuring that I posted every Friday. The main reason I kept that goal because I asked my friends to hold me accountable. I didn’t want to let them down. You also need community to help you with your goals but we will talk about that more next week.

If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Ecclesiastes 4:10

Look at the chart and determine where you are in the change process. Remember to give yourself grace and if you need help find someone you trust, and ask them.

How are your goals going?

We are at the end of January. Is it just me or did January go by fast? How are you doing on the goals and intentions that you set? I know mine have ebbed and flowed. I told you how I needed a reset the first week of the month. lol.

January 19 is the day that most people give up on their new years resolutions. Or in our case, goal setting, life style changes, intentions, whatever you want to call it. Its called Quitters Day which I think is a bit harsh.

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I had planned on having this posted on January 19 but look at me, I’m not on top of my stuff either. It happens though, so I’m not going to dwell on it.

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I’m going to keep pushing. I’m studying Exodus (right now and something I never thought about is that Moses had to go Pharaoh at least 5x before Pharaoh agreed to let the Hebrews go. I always thought more about the miracles and how Pharaoh didn’t seem to care about his people. If I was Moses I would have been over it! He kept going though until he wore Pharaoh down. That’s the kind of energy I want to have toward my goals. No matter what gets in my way, even when that thing is me, I will keep pushing anyway. There will be setbacks, distractions and days you just don’t feel like it.

I think on those days you should push just a little. Often times when we don’t want to do something and we do it anyway, we feel better. There are not many activities that I do that when I pushed I leave feeling like I should have just stayed on my couch watching Hulu or Netflix. If you had a bad day at work, or you are exhausted then take a break. You aren’t going to make good use of your time if you push in that state. Don’t stay there though. The next day get back on it.

Joe Biden Rally GIF by Election 2020
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That’s where the problem comes in when a one day break, becomes two or three, or four and before you know it you have missed a whole week. Don’t get down on yourself. We talked about progress is better than perfection. You just have to start again. We are going to talk about stages of change next and you will see this is just a part of the changing process.

I’m going to leave you with one of my favorite verses.

Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin-Zechariah 4:10

No matter what it looks like, keep pushing! You got this!

Rest

The word I am focusing on this week is Rest. I have not been doing a lot of it and its starting to catch up with me. I’m not usually person that needs to be told to take a break. I love relaxing! Most of my favorite activities involve sitting down, lol.

Lately though, I have been cramming my schedule to the max because it FEELS like we have more time because we are spending it at home. It’s true but sometimes more time at home, needs to just be more time at home.

I thought I had Covid a few weeks ago, not because I had been coughing, or had a fever or sore throat but because I was tired. Tieeeeeed.

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I know that one of the symptoms is fatigue so I’m like oh no, the other stuff is about to start, but it never did. I don’t have Covid, I need to rest. Not just physically rest but mentally rest.

Sankalpa Life: How to Rest When You Feel Like You Should be Busy
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I like this list I found online. I schedule a lot of things in my life, I appreciate a good list. However I have never scheduled rest time, I don’t have a day scheduled for just me. I schedule days to hang with friends, date nights with my husband, but not for myself. I need to fix that asap. One of my friends reads the blog and started having Self Care Sunday based on what she read here. Her kids even have been doing Self Care Fridays. Clearly I haven’t been taking my own advice.

I also need to uncommit to some activities but I don’t want to do it.

The reason why I dont want to cut anything that I have been doing is because I hate FOMO (FEAR OF MISSING OUT). I’ve talked about it here before, I have gotten much better with it, but it still lingers from time to time.

From Fear to Joy of Missing Out: FoMo VS YoMo - Youth Time Magazine
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JOMO is a concept I had never heard of but it makes a lot of sense. Its the JOY OF MISSING OUT. Filling content with staying in and disconnecting as a form of self care.

I’m bad as a kid thinking I am going to miss something. I’m letting it go though because I am not giving all the things on my calendar 100%. I’m just rushing from one thing to the next. I need to be a whole person to take care of my son, to be a good wife, to be the best version of myself.

There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; 10 for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works,[a] just as God did from his. 11 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience. Hebrews 4:9-11

Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Matthew 11: 29-30

I should have done it sooner, but better late than never. Its never too late to make yourself a priority.

Birthday reflections

Rainbows are a sign of Gods promises. He put up the first one after he flooded the Earth and saved Noah and his family.

on my drive to work

My birthday was Sunday and it also reminds me of Gods promises. I got pregnant around my birthday two years. On this day as I’m writing this (9/10) I was told I wouldn’t be able to get pregnant on my own. So every year since then it all comes back and reminds me that God is a promise keeper. He does what he says he will do. He doesn’t lie or change his mind. I know that in theory but its nice to have a reminder.

My birthday has always been a big deal to me even from when I was a little kid. Its at the tail end of summer so it could be blazing hot, last year it was 90 degrees! Or it could be cool and chilly. It has always signified new beginnings for me, even more so than the beginning of the year.

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I remember my 33 birthday that was supposed to be my Jesus year and that didn’t happen. Last year was just survival mode in learning how to be a new mom. 35 though…will this be my year?

I dont want to say so and it isn’t but this year feels different. I think the biggest change is consistency. I have been exercising 5 days a week consistently since August 3.

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I have been going to noon day bible study on Wednesday at church since May.

I’ve been doing the work to make lifestyle changes that I can sustain. Sustainability is key. I used to start off super hard but I couldn’t maintain that momentum.

I used to worry about what I could do to keep the momentum going. I was so worried about the something disturbing the joy I was feeling that I wasn’t enjoying it.

Not anymore. I am making sure to take each day one at a time and that has helped tremendously. I am learning how to stop my negative thoughts in its tracks. I am exploring new things and becoming open to new ideas and thought processes. I am learning how to be 100% me, 100% of the time.

I set that goal in December but I didn’t start working on it really until we were forced to stay in the house. The last six months have been a lot of work but I have definitely reaped the benefits.

Going off the beaten path

I went on a nature walk with some of my friends that quickly turned from just a walk into a lost in the woods adventure. It was very interesting because we moved off the trail very quickly and did so without hesitation. As we started to walk we ran into some really random things in the woods that we would not have seen otherwise. My friend said if we would have stayed on the path we would see things we would not have expected. When she said that to me, it really struck me. God used her to give a message to me and I don’t even think she realized it.

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How often do we want to follow the the path of least resistance? How often do we think we have to go the same way everyone else went to accomplish a goal? Getting to your dream might not be linear. It probably won’t be. There will be hills to climb and creeks to jump over. You may even get lost. How often when you are in pursuit of your passion do you lose sight of the vision? How often do you go back and check on the goal to insure your moving in the right direction?

I often get caught up in the  how to accomplish the goal that I miss the actually accomplishing of the goal. I get bogged down in the research and laying out the plan. How often do we get caught up in the work that we lose sight of where we’re going? 

We need to embrace the times when we go off course. I get so focused on things have to be done in this order or in this fashion, that I miss the inspiration. This post wouldn’t even exist if I had not have stopped working on another post to start it. I didn’t use to do that. If I sat down to write I had to finish that piece before I started working on another. I would never stop in the middle of something to write an idea down. 

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I’m beginning to shift my thinking and I am excited about where the road will take me. Don’t put yourself in a box as you are pursuing your passions. Remember that there is no one path to success. Someone told me that we should celebrate the steps, not just the destination. Its hard to do that when we are so focused on the goal. Being willing to go off course, could open you up to a world of possibilities. 

Its my birthday!

33 years I have been rotating around the sun. I don’t feel 33 years old. I am not sure what that is supposed to feel like. I don’t feel as old as the people I knew were this age when I was younger.

I am excited for 33. I pray that this year is truly my best year yet. I say that every year and then the end of that year comes and I don’t necessarily feel that way. I told someone the other day that even year birthdays have not be great for me, so I hope this year is better. My 30th birthday was not great. I didn’t do anything to celebrate and tried to through something together last minute that wasn’t representative of my awesome party throwing skills. I don’t have an issue getting older. I still look like I am in college and I know this to be true because I work with high school students and there isn’t a day that doesn’t go by that someone is mistaking me for a student.

My biggest issue with birthdays is that they are a reminder of all the things that I still need to get done. I don’t feel that way so much this year. I finally have been obdienet to all the things God wanted me to do. That right there just takes a weight off my shoulders. I still don’t have a baby but for the most part I am ok with that. I am working on TRUST. That is what God wants me to do.

I have a great trip planned for my birthday this year which I am excited about. A girls trip and trip with my husband. Right now I am currently in Toronto living it up.

32 is was not as bad as I initially thought it was. I made a list in April of all things I wanted before the summer was over I had those things. I would have never imagined that it would happen so quickly and with little intervention from me. God set those things in motion. I grew a lot last year, not necessarily because I wanted to, but because I had too. It has made me better though. My blog has grown. My writing has gotten better and I have taken additional steps to grow in my craft. I am a creative. Who would have thought?!

 

Eat to live or live to eat

One of my good friends always tells me to eat to live not live to eat. I never was a fan of that saying because I love food. She says that all things you eat are not meant to taste good, you eat them for the nutritional value. This goes against everything I believe in. There are so many. delicious foods out there, why wouldn’t I want to eat them?

     

I’ve been thinking about it more however and it is a sign maturity and self control and self discipline to eat to live instead of living to eat.

Maturity because you recognize you can’t just eat whatever you want, when you want.

Self control because even though I want to stop and get a burger and fries, I don’t do it.

Self discipline because I exercise self control and maturity.

She also told me to think about my relationship with food.

food is bae

When I am feeling good I eat. Reward myself with food, feeling bad go pick up something tasty. The most money I spend on anything other than travel is food. I love to read and I don’t spend money on books like I do on food. I never paid attention before but now that I do it’s a little crazy. I checked this week after I started this post to see how much money I spend on food. Over $150 for the month of August! This was just for my self mostly, except on one occasion. So not only  are my habits hurting my body but they are hurting my pockets. I am proud to say that I have only eaten out one time so far this month and when I did it was a healthy option.

I need to look at my triggers and find something else to use when celebrating or when I need a pick me up.

As I get older, my body is just not responding to my terrible habits the way it before. I am working on it though. I know I was supposed to be getting myself together before the summer started but alas that didn’t really happen. My birthday is coming though so its the perfect time to get back in the groove.

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Keep that same energy

I just got back from vacation and it was amazing. My husband knows how to show me a good time. It was exactly what we needed after having a rough winter. I love to travel, going places doing things, just being out of my house and doing something new. Research shows that it’s easier to get through your days if you are planning a vacation or have something to look forward to. Why is that? Shouldn’t we have joy in our day to day?

Keep that same energy is Teyana Taylor new album title. I haven’t listened to it but the title really got me thinking. How do you do that? Once you get back from vacation why is there such a plateau, such a crash? It literally has a name…post vacation blues. When you are on vacation there is such a high and when you get back home its like, uh, let me get back to the grind. I want to break that cycle.

When I got home I didn’t get all sad, like man my vacation is over. Instead I’m making the best of my time here. I’m taking that just go with the flow vacation vibe and carrying that into my work week. I dont want to be down and just waiting to leave again. I want to enjoy my time in my home and in my city, just like I do on vacation.

I want to keep that same energy. I want to be carefree and let the stress roll of my back.

How am I am going to do that?

1. Be here now- when I am vacation I’m not on my phone. I am just enjoying each moment. I will continue that philosophy when I am home, limiting my time on social media and group chats. This way I am in control of what I take in.

2. Quiet time- when I am on vacation I dont have to rush through my devotional. I really get good one on one time with God. It is harder to not rush my devotional at home but it can be done, I just have to be more intentional with my time.

3. Be active- if you can believe it, even though I did a lot of laying around on vacation I actually exercised every day too. Definitely not something I do at home nor will I necessarily be able to duplicate but I can get close. Being active puts me in a better mood than laying around. Instead of getting off work and trying to catch up on shows or social media and I am going to try to do some physical activity.

4. Try new things- best thing about vacation is trying stuff you wouldn’t normally do at home. That can be anything, new food, drinks or experiences. Why can’t we do that at home? I am lucky that I live in a city that I can find all kinds of new things. So once a month I am going to try and find something or someplace I have never been before.

I know none of these things are super hard but it is the small things that make vacation great. If I bring all the small things I like about vacation into my every day life then I can bring a little bit of vacation back with me.

Healthy lifestyle

This is healthy living thing is not as easy as it looks. It doesn’t look easy but I know a lot of people that do it so I figured it can’t be too difficult. Wrong! I talk a lot about spiritual growth and being I intentional. I make it my business to do my devotional every day, read my bible before bed, pray, etc. I have to have that same intensity for my physical health lifestyle change.

I was eating my breakfast burrito and thinking I had made a fairly healthy choice and my friend was like, that’s not really healthy Dom and it’s kinda of lazy. Sheesh! I wasnt ready for that but she was right. She gave me some good ideas for meal prep and some books and things I could check out. Her pointing out the laziness in my process really made me stop and think. I was doing the same thing and expecting different results. I have been walking 8000 steps or more every day or other and I have cut back on my carbs but that’s what I always do around this time of year. I need to be intentional. I need to incorporate this into my daily life not as something that’s an after thought. I approach my spiritual growth very seriously. I read books and podcasts, I study. I haven’t done much I this process. I certainly haven’t done anything differently. I’m on a fake yoyo diet. I dont want to continue going up and down. I need to make a lifestyle change which is going to be harder than I initially thought.

I need to make a real life schedule just like I do for everything else. To walk 4 miles it takes at least an hour and once I start riding my bike it will take even longer. Exercising takes away from me wanting to write. Not good. So the smart thing to do would be to work out on the days I don’t have a blog to post. But the days I don’t post I’m usually doing a church activity, bible study, Food pantry, etc.

I heard the other day that you can have it all just not at the same time. Do you think that’s true? I want it all I want to be super healthy in mind,body, and soul, involved in church, awesome blogger/writer and still have time to hang with my husband, family, and friends. How do you do it? What should I do? Right now the struggle is real.