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.

Sorry Kirby Howell Baptiste GIF by CBS All Access
giphy.com

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.

Halle Berry Help GIF by Kidnap Movie
giphy.com

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.

lay off iman shumpert GIF by VH1
giphy.com

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.

Venus Williams Idk GIF by Wilson Tennis
giphy.com

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
giphy.com

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!

Hitting reset

Happy Friday!

First week of 2021 has been a week.

Do you wish you could hit reset?

Reset New Day GIF by INTO ACT!ON
GIPHY.COM

I do. I am. My week started off pretty rocky. It certainly started off rocky here in the United States. How did it start for you? You may have had some intentions that you were not quite able to stick with. I know I had planned on not getting on social media which I was doing fairly well with and then that exploded. lol. I saw several posts on people’s dry January plans had gone belly up or their fast on MSNBC was a wash.

It can suck to start something and so soon get off track but remember the good news. God’s mercies are new everyday. We can start over. I started today. I put timers on all my social media apps and I am replacing that with more writing and reading. I feel lighter.

So don’t get mad if you haven’t been able to attack your goals the way you wanted to. Start over. Its better to start again then get mad at yourself for messing up. I pray for my country, the United States and for you as well that we are all able to hit the reset button.

Reflection

The word I’m focusing on this week is reflection. 2020 was supposed to be the year of clarity. I remember everybody being so hype about 2020 coming, year of completion, year of clarity. Did those things happen for you? When I asked myself that question I had to say yes they did. 2020 did a lot of things for me that I certainly wasn’t expecting. I didn’t roll into the year feeling great. I didn’t feel grounded, I felt like I was just floating by trying to keep my head above water.

I went back and read my old journal from the beginning of this year and I had a lot of goals which I did end up accomplishing most of them. After reading my old journal, the biggest thing I noticed was that I felt a disconnect from God. I wasn’t feeling his presence. My emotions were very up and down. I also wasn’t going to church as much as I should and I wasn’t doing any bible study. I changed those things in the second half of 2020 for sure.

That’s the beauty in writing things down. January-March (pre-Covid) feels so long ago. I definitely feel differently about it now then I did when I was in it. While I felt a little lost going into 2020, by the time the end of December got here, I recognized I needed to make changes going into 2020. I wrote down all the things I wanted to do and I eventually did them. It just didn’t seem like they were happening fast enough. I didn’t really start implementing the changes I wanted to do until April 2020. I was forced to change because of Covid but it was for my good. Quality takes time.

I also made a vision board and found scripture to match up with the goals that I had. It was super helpful.

As we finally! finish up 2020 this is the time to reflect on what you have done and prepare for what you are doing next.

The great thing about change is that you don’t have to wait until the New Year to do it. You can start right now, today. Even if you only move a centimeter in the right direction. Its movement, it counts.

100th post (20)

Capture100

I can’t believe I’m here. I thought it would take me longer but 31 posts in 31 days (1) helped get that done. I never thought I would get a 100 strangers to read my story or anything that I write down. I have big writing goals. I have been listening to books on how people write and when they got started. I don’t feel so behind. I have so many ideas, I just need to pick one and start writing. I’m all over the place, fiction, non-fiction. I haven’t found an idea I really wanted to start.

I wrote 87 of my posts in 2018, which is crazy to me because I published my first post in October. I count that as my true anniversary not June when I purchased the domain.

I asked about classes or training and I got some good info that I will be checking out. I’m excited to take the next step. It’s comforting to hear writers you really respect say, “I threw away 4 books before I had one good enough to publish”. – Janet Evanovich

I know that I’m on the right track. I just need to do it. Failing is so hard and not something I do often. I don’t fail often because I don’t like to do things I where I am not great. I hate to be one of those people that talk about writing a book but never do it. I don’t want fear to hold me back. What’s the worst that could happen? If nobody wants to read it, at least I finished it. That is a big deal. It doesn’t have to be perfect and I am ok with that.

Confession: I don’t know

Not knowing things is not something I’m comfortable with. I like to have a clear plan outlined with action steps. Things don’t always happen that way in a growing season. You only can do some much planting and then you have to sit back and let it grow.

I’m in a growing season right now and growing hurts. The term growing pains is definitely real. It hurts to be stretched more than you thought you could handle. It hurts to let things go that you thought would always be there.

Growing requires more faith than planting. I believe that because you don’t know how the seeds you planted are going to develop. You can’t see on the the outside how the seed is doing or if any growth is happening. You have to trust the process.

I don’t feel like I have been in a real season of growth in my life in a long time. I have had seasons of change but nothing to this extreme. I feel like I’m going through a metamorphosis. I feel like God is working on me about a lot of things. Sometimes I feel like it’s too much. Why do I have to go through all of is?

I feel like everything in my life is in transition and I am questioning a lot of things that I thought I knew for certain. I thought I was on a solid career path but where I see myself headed is different that what I originally envisioned. I am afraid. Am I ready for where God is leading me? I don’t know. I do take comfort in knowing that he won’t leave me on this journey and will give me what I need to be successful.

God is working on me to take me someplace but I don’t know where that is. I have to just walk beside him one step at a time. I am not going to run out in front of him or move to fast. I have done that before and the results were not great. I know I sound sad or down but I’m not. I’m restless. I sense something coming but I don’t know what is. I’m going to continue to keep the junk out so I can hear Gods voice and know it’s him. I’m going to pray and I’m going to wait. I’m going to continue to do meet God half way and I know he will make up the rest. I will have to just continue to be patient and trust the process.

Spiritual check

We are almost 40 days into 2018. I know you are putting together goals and vision boards and speaking affirmations over your life. This is all great stuff. One thing though, have you thought about your spiritual goals at all? As we get settled into the new year you should ask yourself some questions. Are you any closer to God than you were last year? Are you consistently having a quiet time? Have you memorized any bible verses? Writing goals down is great idea but you won’t be able to accomplish these goals nearly as well if you aren’t putting God first in everything you do.

I had a list of things I wanted to accomplish and do in summer of 2017. I literally made out a list the weekend before memorial day and prayed to God to help me accomplish every goal that I had set. It happened. I was surprised! It wasn’t difficult at all either. I wasn’t really solely on my own skills or abilities. As we walk into this new year, take stock of where your relationship with God. Try to make that a priority in 2018 as well, just as much as you want to go further in your career, exercise, and visit your Grandma more often.

Here is the spiritual check I did last month. SpiritualHealthCheck by Trevor J. Partridge

It is easy to understand and is broken down in to different sections. Scriptural reading, stewardship, sharing your faith, etc. Its gives you a range from optimal to you still need to work on some things. It definitely provided some clarity and direction for me in 2018. I know I need to work on stewardship, sharing my faith and scripture memorization. If you can, find an accountability partner. Someone that is going to help you stay focused and accomplish these goals.

Proverbs 16-9

I know I want 2018 to be a better year than 2017 was and I know that I can accomplish that by giving God my goals. Actually praying about the goal or the plan Before I decide to do it, not after. Praying before allows God to help you formulate the best course of action and it is saying, I give this to you Lord, and I trust your process and results. Its not to late to decide the course for the year. I didn’t decide until May that I wanted to turn my 2017 around and I am so glad I did. Write out what you want to do and talk to God about it. The best thing about writing it all done is that you watch God do all things you asked him to do.