One full week into changing my habit base, there haven’t been any miraculous changes.
My weight hasn’t changed. I haven’t magically sprouted new muscles (I don’t think.) No new personal records or amazing changes in how I feel, how my brain works or anything else to report.
But this change is about long-term, sustainable habits that will give me a longer, healthier, happier life.
And when it comes to making change and building new habits to get there, shouldn’t those three elements always be front-and-center?
Longevity, health and happiness. If you have those, everything else is available to you.
The past year of struggle, medical challenge, emotional stess and all-out spiritual attack have taught me several lessons.
1. You’re only getting one shot here on earth. Make it count. You weren’t put here to avoid risk and play small.
Try that thing that’s nagging at your soul. Talk to that person who interests you. Repair that relationship you think is beyond repair. Do that thing that scares the life out of you.
There are no do-overs. This is not a dress rehearsal. We’re live, and when it’s over, it’s over.
2. Your most important relationship is with yourself and God. You’ve probably been told that “the most important relationship is with yourself.” This is true, but incomplete. God matters, no matter how you see Him. While you aren’t God, this relationship needs Him.
There will be times when you simply can’t fathom why some terrible or painful thing is happening to you. If God isn’t the centerpiece of your relationship with yourself, you may survive your challenges anyway.
But you’ll come out of them with an important piece of you missing. There will be a void, a cold, empty space where faith should live.
The next time you’re challenged (and you will be,) there will be a little less of you to face that challenge. You’ll be a little weaker, a little fainter of heart, more apt to be broken by it.
Connecting with God and developing faith are essential to your spiritual fitness. When the proverbial poop hits the air moving equipment and you’re challenged at levels you’re not used to, faith may be the only thing that keeps you from completely coming apart at the seams.
It’s been said that in those moments when faith is all you have left, it may well be all you need.
Faith isn’t easy. It is, however, like a muscle. The more frequently you use it, the stronger it gets. So flex your faith muscles more often!
3. Habits win. Every. Damned. Time. Your habits will win, so make sure they win the right war.
Poor exercise and nutrition habits will win the “be fat and feel like crap war.”
Move more, eat real food, drink less booze, sleep more. Maybe meditate or find some way to calm your mind.
Pursue your work like a game. Try and score often. What the point values are for certain things is really up to you. But understand that winning the work game doesn’t always mean making the most money or getting the most stuff.
Very often, winning the work game means putting out the very best you have, simply to give glory to your Creator and to satisfy the only person you have to look at everyday – you!
Be nice. Love other people…and show that love! Say “please” and “thank you.”
Habits win, but they take practice.
More to come on this journey of mine and what I’m learning.
In the meantime, keep the faith and keep after it!