Ever struggle so hard at doing things that seem so easy to others, or wonder if this is normal? Well to put you at ease….you are not alone. This is what I’ve learned about what I like to call “The Struggle.”
All my life I’ve struggled with a few things that seem like constant pains in my side.
One of those things a few of you who know me might be aware of already.
1. Time. I struggle to get to places on time. And when I really, really, really, try extra hard to be on time, I get so stressed out that I wonder if it’s all worth it. Time has so often been my epic battle. I’m one of those people that HAS to look at a clock, or else time so easily gets away from me.
Maybe you are like me and you struggle with this as well, or maybe you are one of those amazing people who gets everywhere on time and EARLY at that. If you are then props to you. I seriously wish I had your gift. Lucky for me I happened to marry one of those people with the gift of being everywhere not just on time, but early. Seems like God’s sense of humour is to pair opposites together so they can learn from each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Hah (a dry sarcastic laugh).
2. Listening & Remembering. I wish I was one of those amazing listeners who remember every detail but I’m not. Unfortunately this doesn’t come natural to me. I have to take mental notes, and literal notes, or else I can so easily forget things. However I am really good at relationships….which is kind of confusing.
3. Focus. I think ALL of my problems actually boil down to a lack in this area. I am so often late due to a lack of focus on the time, and then I find my lack of listening due to a lack of focus…hmmm, my mind tends to be on too many things at once, and then I seem to simply….wait….what was I saying? Exactly. I need help in this area.
If I focused more on one thing at a time, and on the things that matter most I think I’d find all the other two things come together much easier.
My point is, we ALL have things we struggle with. Maybe some of those struggles feel like they been with you for most of your life. Maybe like me you find yourself asking how can I get better?
Well here are some steps I’ve discovered, and began applying to help take steps towards overcoming those annoying bad habits and reach those goals on my to-do-list!
1. WANT to change.
Will power is a powerful tool we ALL possess. It’s amazing what a-little will power can accomplish. Infact if we’re brutally honest, the reason alot of us haven’t gotten better at the areas we struggle with is probably because we don’t really want to. For instance…..I hate having to keep track of time. I’d rather forget about time all together and just enjoy the moment. But that’s not living in the real world! The world abides by time. You can’t accomplish anything in life without managing it properly. So to accomplish my goals in life, I have to WANT TO CHANGE. Cause if I don’t….I’ll just stay where I am at.
2. DO NOT be EASY on yourself.
You know what I mean. It’s that little voice inside your head that says, come on, you been doing so good lately, just let yourself off the hook this time. If your struggle is with food then that voice sounds like this, oh one more isn’t going to hurt any. You been doing so good you deserve a little reward. With fitness it’s even easier to be easy on yourself, your body will tell you, oh it’s too cold outside…it’s Monday…I don’t feel good, I don’t have time, I’m too tired…..etc…
We all do it. When that alarm goes off I hit the snooze button, and 5 min later I usually hit it again… and ok sometimes again (don’t judge me!), but then I have a conversation with myself when my body would so much rather stay in bed sleeping. I tell myself, Ok, you want to be successful, you want to be healthy, you want to be responsible, you want to have a family, and you NEVER will get any of those things staying in bed…..so GET UP!
Those who let themselves off easy, will never accomplish much.
3. Be persistent and consistent.
Do you have that friend who is so regimented with their diet? Do you play the Devil’s advocate to try and get them off it? Well if we really want to have REAL change in our lives, I’m sad to say we have to be that persistent person who won’t let anything get them off track. I’m still VERY much working on this one. But even in the struggle, I find that persistence is the key. Not giving up. You may slip up, you may miss it sometimes, but get back at it. DO NOT LET YOURSELF QUIT.
My lovely husband is the writer between us. He sat one afternoon while we were overseas in Nepal and he wrote 8,000 words in like a few hours….That’s not normal. I don’t think I ever wrote that many words in my whole high-school level reports I wrote. He’s amazing at it too. His goal is to write many different types of books in his lifetime. He came to me one day telling me, You know if I was just consistent with writing 2,000 words everyday, I could write a whole book in just 2 months? That’s amazing! That’s the power of consistency.
4. Learn the art of “Slow and Steady”
Sometimes we don’t like the slowing down of our goals. Like for instance some of us are sprinters. We thrive on deadlines, and on waiting till the last minute (I’m totally guilty of this one…). If we don’t feel like we reached the moon in a day, we want to quit. Yet by running ourselves so hard and fast we are most likely to burn out and quit.
This has happened to me too many times with the GYM. I start strong and heavy, and then I quit. Haha… Now I got myself on a steady plan with my work-out cause I’m learning the art of consistency and the art of slow and steady.
You don’t climb Everest in a day. You don’t write a book in a day. You don’t get fit in a day. You don’t get healthy in a day. You might experience occasional breakthroughs in a day, but that comes after you have been consistent and hard working for some time.
Nothing big is accomplished in a day. It takes time, focus, hard work, and consistency.
Maybe what some of you need to do to accomplish your goals is to slow down, but keep a steady consistent pace. We all remember the story of the Tortoise and the Hare. How the Tortoise who went the slowest got to the finish line quicker than the Hare who liked to move fast, tired quickly, got overly confident, and thinking he had all the time in the world, took a nap and he ended up missing out on the finish line.
The key to overcoming those areas in our lives we want to improve on isn’t by being faster than everyone else, but by being slow and steady, by not quitting, by not burning out, by being consistent, and even slowing down the pace if need be.
Slow and steady at working out, slow and steady at paying off bills, slow and steady at writing that book, slow and steady at writing that album, slow and steady at cleaning the house, slow and steady at making those health changes, slow and steady at improving your marriage, or that relationship, slow and steady at climbing that mountain! It might feel like it’s taking awhile, but before you know it you’ll be looking down at how far you’ve climbed!
Start by writing down your goals, and then brake them down to manageable steps you can take to accomplish them. Then DO IT. GO AFTER them. No one else can do it for you. Only you.
5. BELIEVE YOU CAN
Phillippians 4:13- For I can do everything through Christ,[a] who gives me strength.
This verse is such an encouragement to me. It lets me know that I CAN and YOU CAN.
God didn’t create you to fail. He’s given you tools to overcome these areas of your life, so by HIS strength in you, you can overcome!
Mark 9:23- “What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.”
The struggle is real, it’s apart of every one of our lives, but don’t quit, don’t stop dreaming, and don’t stop believing you can. Stay positive! YOU CAN DO IT! Focus on the joy you will experience once you’ve reached those goals you have had written for years. THEY ARE REACHABLE and THEY ARE POSSIBLE.