Several times in my life I’ve decided that I was doing everything wrong and tried to overhaul my entire life in order to ‘get my life together’. I would create an exhaustive list of what the ‘Ideal Christina’ looks like and from that list, I would make a list of all of the changes that I would be making in my life – starting NOW. What ended up happening was that I was completely overwhelmed within days and by the end of the month I’d have given up completely.
And I’d feel horrible about myself.
I mentioned near the beginning of the year that I don’t typically like to save self-improvement for new year’s resolutions, so it was not at all uncommon for me to go through this cycle multiple times each year. I think that I completely gave up on improving myself at all last year because I just felt completely spent.
As I reflected on the upcoming season of Lent (a time of penance observed prior to Easter in which to reflect and work on the things that prevent you from reaching your true potential) food came to mind. My diet is a huge stumbling block for me. The thing that seemed the most problematic was that I eat late at night and that I eat at my desk (both ultimately mean that I’m eating in secret). So I made a promise that I would stop eating after dinner – unless everyone was eating (like for family movie night) and that I would not eat at my desk. As I write this, it just occurred to me that I have a jar of almonds that I was snacking on the other day (aak!) but other than that I’ve stuck to my promise pretty well. I’m beginning to feel a wonderful sense of self mastery – AND I’ve also lost about 3 pounds in the last two weeks which is awesome (but was not necessarily the purpose of this exercise).
In a couple of weeks, when I feel confident that I’ve created a new, positive habit I will add another thing from my incredibly long list of areas that I need to address and I’ll work on that until I feel ready for the next step.
I can do this.
So, what do you think? Do you prefer a complete overhaul or do you like to take it one step at a time?