Empty Nest, Abundant Life

Nag Less, Pray More

Developing Habits

It can be so difficult to motivate myself to accomplish all that I want to.  For so many years, I was on a downward spiral of developing habits of laziness, unhealthy eating, wasting time, and letting my mind turn to mush.  I would make excuses such as, “I can’t help it,”  “I don’t feel good,” or “I am so busy with the kids that I just need to veg out right now.”  I let those excuses control me far too long as I watched the numbers increase on the scale, noticed a growing distance between myself and God when God hadn’t pulled away, and felt my mind growing duller.

As the children reached the end of high school, I decided to take action in my life on many fronts by developing new habits in my day.   I started with the activities I enjoyed doing but needed more discipline to do.  I began consistently having a quiet time with God each day.  I also began to do a Sudoku a day, as I watched my father struggle with forgetfulness.  I then branched out to exercise, simply walking or doing Wii Fit a few times a week.  At first, it was hard to adjust my schedule and life to accommodate these activities, but once I got used to them, I missed them if I skipped them.

A year and a half ago, I became much more serious about managing my health.  I even hired a weight loss coach who taught me to use my smart phone to log my nutritional intake and my exercise.   Before I go to sleep each night, it takes me less than 3 minutes to enter this data.   Just by developing these habits, I have lost nearly 60 pounds since then.

Now I’ve lost count of the activities that have become habits.  Before even getting out of bed, I have a prayer and Bible reading time and complete one Sudoku.  I make an apple cider vinegar concoction each morning and use it to down my vitamins and herbs.  I sing the Matt Redman song, “10,000 Reasons” as I rid the sink of dishes.  I complete a brain test on Lumosity, and finish two Spanish lessons on Duolingo.  Before I go to bed each night, I brush my teeth for a full 2 minutes, scrub my face, enter my nutritional data into myfitnesspal.com and my exercise into mapmyfitness.com and do a Bible reading plan through YouVersion.  All of these activities combined take less than half an hour, but they are prolonging my length of my life and the health of my spirit, mind, and body.

Does that mean I never miss a day of any of these?  Certainly not!  The difference is that instead of beating myself and completely giving up, I quietly strengthen my resolve and get right back to it the next day.

What habits do you want to develop in the coming year?

2 Comments

  1. Debbie Sinclair

    May 4, 2017 at 11:09 am

    This has certainly motivated me, Julie! Thanks!

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