“Every day we make choices … then our choices make us.” – Lisa Terkeurst –The Best Yes
Self discipline or “self-control” can be challenging to maintain when we are constantly bombarded with a world that seems to encourage us to “just one more!” In 1 Corinthians 9:24-25, we are challenged by the Apostle Paul, “Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize.” How do we do that in our busy day-to-day lives with so many demands calling for our attention? We need the laser-sharp focus of an athlete set on winning – and that often means saying “no” to even good things if they stand in our way of achieving a goal.
What steps can we take that could make saying “no” feel not quite so negative ? What steps might help us remember there could be a “better yes” in exchange?
1) Establish goals. Take some time to ask yourself what you really want in the various areas of your life. Make them S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and with a Time-frame) and write them down.
2) Decide on clear steps to achieve those goals. For example, if you decide to lose 10 pounds in 3 months, what steps will you take to make that happen?
3) What do you have already in place to help you? Back to the example above, if you already have a great exercise plan or a gym membership, jot that down.
4) What do you need? Ask yourself what you need to be able to accomplish those goals. Make a list.
5) Who can you tell? We all need a little encouragement. If you are trying to say “no” to a bad habit, sharing it with a trusted friend can break the “secrecy” of self-indulgence and potential cycle of self-sabotage.
6) Remind yourself daily of your goals and celebrate your successes!
- Judi Brandow, Communications Specialist