Lately the weather in my neck of the woods has been bone chilling. There have been days that the temperatures have never risen above freezing. Hard to take global warming seriously when you are bundling up for days like that! Even though I live in Chattanooga, this California girl is a wimp in cold weather. Thank heavens the skies have been clear with very little precipitation because the conditions are perfect for snow and that’s something we aren’t well prepared for here.
New habits are a bit like snow. They need the right conditions to formulate, stick around, and accumulate! It’s easy to set goals, but not nearly so easy to embrace the day to day habits needed to reach them. Even when you are highly motivated, consistently executing new behaviors doesn’t come easy. It can feel like your efforts are melting like snow does when the ground is still warm.
Piggy-backing a new habit onto an already existing habit helps. For example, you might successfully be able to add flossing or rinsing with mouthwash when you brush your teeth at night. Yet, when you are attempting more significant life changes, it takes more than simply piggy-backing a new habit on top of an old one. It demands a change of heart in order to create an atmosphere conducive to change. Change starts on the inside. Then it’s possible for outside habits and behaviors to change.
As you are considering possible changes you would like to make either personally or professionally, here are a few inside tweaks you might want to make to cultivate the right atmosphere for your new habits:
1. Clarity about Me!
As a coach, I frequently people talk about wanting to “find themselves.” In a fast-paced world, connecting with people, including yourself, necessitates being intentional! Isn’t it time for you to truly know YOU?
Without slowing down and sorting through who you are (your personality and thinking preferences), and what your values, strengths, gifts, and talents are, you will have unreasonable expectations for yourself. Clarity in these important areas leads to confidence making it possible for you to cultivate the habits that will help you most and point you in the right direction in your life. When you are unsure about who God created you to be, you will be more likely to yield to opportunities you think you should be doing rather than boldly pursuing what’s right for you.
Having clarity around your values, serves as guardrails for your life. They make it easier to keep your choices on track and make wise decisions.
2. Living From Him Instead of For Him
More than any other habit, spending time with God on a daily basis has the potential to radically change your heart. The trouble is that often this time becomes a task to be checked off rather than sweet time delighting in the One who loves you most. I can only imagine how sad it must make God when we dutifully go through the motions without really connecting with Him.
When you take someone, even God, for granted, you lose sight of all that they have done for you and how valuable they are.
Without time connecting in His presence, you’ll find yourself trying to be good enough for Him and doing things in an attempt to please Him. That’s performing. As a believer, you’ve already been forgiven and He views you through the blood of His Son and 100% forgiven and righteous!
Rather than attempting to live for God, live from God. Lean on Him with everything you’ve got. He loves it when you are dependent on Him in this way and it changes how you approach everything. When you have the almighty God of the Universe as your source, the possibilities are limitless!
I know when my husband loves, supports, and believes in me, it makes achieving even my wild dreams more possible in my mind. When I am fully confident in God’s love for me it is like my husband’s love and support on steroids!
How are you investing your energy? Living for God or living from Him?
3. Hoping In The Right Stuff
As a writer, entrepreneur, and coach, I know first-hand how business is experimental and that there are a whole lot of failed attempts before you begin to see the fruit of your labors. According to the US Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy, 20.1% of small businesses didn’t make it past the first year in 2015-2016. After five years, only 50% of the small businesses started remained. These statistics don’t even take into consideration the individuals who set out to work for themselves like coaches, web or graphic designers, or freelance contractors. I see it all the time – people quit. Those who are successful are the ones who don’t give up and relentlessly pursue their goals. That takes hope!
It’s easy to put your hope in the latest guru’s formula or technique. Those methods may provide some valuable insights that will help, but your hope is best placed in Him. When your hope is in Him it allows you to venture out and try new ways of doing things. You are willing to risk because the failed attempts are nothing more than an elimination process that brings you one step closer to what works. Hope is the springboard to faith.
Where’s your hope?
Making heart changes doesn’t change the people or circumstances around you, but it will help you respond in more positive and productive ways. Those heart chances also help to nurture the right environment for new habits to thrive like the right temperatures both in the air and on the ground allow the moisture to become snow and stick.
The quality of your life will never be better than the quality of your choices.
What inside tweak do you need to make in order to create the atmosphere that will allow you to make the changes you desire personally and professionally?
© Can Stock Photo / smaglov