Guest post from Dianna Scofield
Last year I found myself discouraged. I felt that I wasn’t getting enough done, and that I couldn’t stick to anything I tried. I would come up with grand plans to change, but nothing worked: I’d crash after a day or two. Changing my whole life all at once wasn’t working for me, and with every failed plan, I’d become more discouraged with myself.
I was trying to do too much all at once, and it wasn’t working. Eventually I gave up the big plans and decided to make my changes smaller and more gradual. And guess what? It worked.
Overcoming Discouragement With Small Changes:
Sticking to a rigorous twelve-hour schedule is too big a step coming up from nothing. But making small changes one at a time gives you a chance to gradually develop new habits that will be easier to incorporate into your life.
Can you do a hundred push-ups if you haven’t exercised your arm muscles in five years? No, it’s impossible! But if you start with just a few each day and then slowly work up, you’ll eventually be able to do a hundred push-ups.
Your self-discipline is like your muscles. If it’s weak and out of practice, you won’t have the ability to go from zero to everything in one day. Take it slowly!
What’s one thing you’d like to do differently in your life right now? Pick something small. Do it every day for a week. Push through and don’t let yourself miss a day, but don’t give up if you do: jump back in! How do you feel about yourself now?
Do you feel able to move on to something new yet? If not, no worries! Keep doing your thing for another week and re-evaluate. Within three weeks, you should be ready to add something new. (Don’t forget to keep doing your first habit when you add the new one!)
One thing that helped me keep my priorities straight was to print out some inspirational quotes and leave them in key places around the house. This helped me remember what I was working for.
Keep your goals in sight. Do you have overarching goals for your life that can direct your daily choices? If not, sit down with a piece of paper and start writing. What do you want to be like when you’re eighty? What do you want to have done? What weaknesses do you want to overcome? What do you want your relationships to be like? What personality traits would you like to have?
You can’t be a new person all at once, but by consistently taking small steps now, you will get there eventually, a little at a time.
Have you become discouraged in your goal-setting? Do you try to bite off more than you can chew? What has helped you make changes in your life?
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