You may remember the days when I travelled around the country and spoke at conferences. I presented a session about 12 Survival Tips for Parents ... and it always ended the same way: With the revised serenity prayer:
God grant me the courage to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the person I can, and the wisdom to know it's me.
Apparently that wasn't a life-changing concept (or at least one that people wanted to hear). When people at their wits end paid to go to a conference they wanted the secret to changing everyone else.
But the one thing you have to do if you want to change things -- is to change yourself. If I've learned anything over the arduous, blessed, hard, wonderful, awful, crazy, amazing, journey of adopting twelve kids from hard places, it's that I can't control a dang thing. Not a thing. What I can control is how I respond to what happens around me.
So, how do I change myself, you ask?
And the answer is forming habits, over time, that have an impact. So I'm in the middle of leading a Facebook Challenge based on this idea.
The principles are this: You determine a goal and then think about what it will take on a daily basis to achieve the goal. Then you do that daily thing every day until it becomes a habit. I listened to this podcast which I found incredibly helpful (in fact, I came up with my plan before listening to it and it was as though he had been talking to me and stole some of my ideas) :-) It's based on principles from the book "The One Thing" which I also recommend. The podcast says it takes 66 days to form a habit (this is based on research and is an average) My mom used to tell me it takes 21 days to do it. So I'm giving myself a month to form a habit.
Let me break it down for you using something simple. Let's say that the show "Hoarders" is starting to convict you a bit and you want to get rid of stuff to have a less cluttered home. If you want that to happen you just have to set up a daily habit -- give or throw away 5 things that don't give you joy (thank you Marie Como). If 5 is too many, make it 2. It may not seem as though you are doing much but think about it. In 30 days 150 things could be out of the door and if it is a habit -- that's a lot of stuff gone in a year.
I decided to develop 8 habits over the next 4 months. I'm trying to do all of them as much as I can, but each month two are my focus. I'm sharing these to give you ideas more than to make you think I'm cool. But you can think I'm cool if you want.
1. Exercise daily. (It's my intention to increase what I do each month).
2. Read the Bible through in a year (actually listen to it) for the 4th year in a row. YouVersion makes that quite easy to do as it breaks it down for you. I typically can listen to it during my commute.
3. Read 20 minutes a day -- either self improvement stuff or fiction.
4. Declutter or do housework 10 minutes a day (Ok, don't laugh, but this is not my role in the family so typically I don't do anything. There's a lot of reasons for this, but 10 minutes will be more than I've been doing so don't judge) :-)
5. No cheats on my Keto food plan.
6. Reach out to someone with an encouraging text, note, email, or phone call.
7. Blog something.
8. Listen to a podcast. (I've been spending way too much time watching Netflix and want to broaden my mind).
So you get the idea. This month's foci are listening to the Bible and reading. Next month I will focus on a couple more while maintaining the first two.
I'm using the Phone App called Done.... and it's pretty empowering. See? This was from yesterday.
So, you want things to change? Then change you. Sorry I don't have anything to offer that guarantees to change everyone else -- this is all I've got :-)