All of us want to change things about ourselves! Some want to change many things. But what are the tools we need to use to accomplish our goals? I would like to suggest five that have helped me in my pursuit of change:
- Make choices not promises. Have you ever promised yourself that you will never, ever do something again? When you repeated what you were not going to do you felt like a failure! Next time choose the new behavior, and remember that if you fall back to the old pattern, you made that choice. It is a much more positive approach.
- Make a strong initial effort. Changing our behaviors is like the sledding hill. The first run down is not much fun, just lots of work. With repetition it gets easier and easier. Starting a new behavior requires a lot of initial effort. You are establishing a new track down the hill of life.
- Choose a balanced, wholesome lifestyle. Things like getting adequate sleep, physical exercise, a wholesome diet, and positive stress management strengthens our minds, allows us to better concentrate on the task at hand, and makes it easier to choose what is good.
- Avoid temptations whenever possible. Be proactive about where you place yourself relative to powerful temptations. If you have decided to avoid candy, don’t put a bowl of your favorite on your desk!
- Ask God for strength. It can be a simple as, “Lord help me…” God never removes from us the power to choose. When we humbly yield our wills to Him, He “returns” them linked to His power! He is just waiting for you to ask Him!