8.29.2013

Change for the Better


There are two 3x5 cards taped next to my bathroom mirror. They’ve been there for a couple of months. On them are written a series of goals I want to accomplish--to be a better person, a better wife, a better mother--to hopefully achieve more balance among the competing facets of this crazy thing called life.

So why then? Why is it so hard to break old habits and begin new ones? They say it takes about three weeks to reset the synapses in the brain that trigger habits, but I can’t get past day five! It’s so frustrating.

Last week I was on a roll. I was up at 6AM to exercise. I loved getting it checked off my to-do list so early on in the day. On top of the self-esteem boost that exercise gives me, it was invigorating to chirp “good morning!” to my little boys and really mean it. I felt like I could justify applying a little makeup and then we were headed out the door to play. The exercise high led to other positive changes, like reading scriptures at the breakfast table and spending less time absorbed in social media. I felt like I could conquer the world! My body and mind were getting what they needed and my boys were getting the undivided attention—and patience-- from their mama that they deserve.

Then this week happened. I fell off the horse. I didn’t exercise at 6Am. I didn’t read my scriptures. I spent waaay too much time engrossed in social media. And I snapped at my little boys… which only made me feel guilty and hopeless. Honestly, I was exhausted.  And when I’m tired everything just seems to go down the tubes because I. NEED. SLEEP.

So just how does one change a habit? Isn’t that what we’re essentially taught in church each week? To put God first somehow? Writing this, I think I've suddenly had a small epiphany, something so obvious but yet I’ve been missing it: I need to put Heavenly Father into the equation. Christ is the catalyst for change.

“The Lord works from the inside out. The world works from the outside in. The world would take people out of the slums. Christ would take the slums out of people, and then they would take themselves out of the slums. The world would mold men by changing their environment. Christ changes men, who then change their environment. The world would shape human behavior, but Christ can change human nature.”
― Ezra Taft Benson

I want to be the best wife, the best mother, the best person, that I can possibly be. I think that is worthy of some divine intervention on my behalf. So more prayers, a little more faith.  I can change for the better!  And better might not be exactly what I have in mind either.  Why do I think I can do this alone? I can’t and I was never meant to.

3 comments:

  1. I love that quote! And I struggle with the same thing. I have all these "goals" in mind (and they are all good ones!) of who I want to be and how I can become better. But it gets frustrating when I constantly fall back into the same patterns, and so I give up.

    My dad emailed me a link to this blog about making change (http://zenhabits.net/4/), but at the bottom the gist of it is:

    1. Start very small.
    2. Do only one change at a time.
    3. Be present and enjoy the activity (don’t focus on results).
    4. Be grateful for every step you take.

    I love those steps because it reminds me to take one only one thing at a time, and put everything i have into enjoying it and really making it a part of ME. And then I be grateful for every small bit of progress Heavenly Father helps me achieve. And like you said, maybe I will end up a different person in the end, but thats the great part of putting the Lord first.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love this post. Summer has thrown me for a loop, and I find that I need to get into a routine once more--not just one for my physical well-being but also one for my spiritual well-being. I do believe in the power of prayer. Best wishes Jessie as you find joy in each moment through Christ.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi! Just found your blog. Your boys are precious!! I just thought I would let you know that I think every mother struggles with this. I know I do! Finding that perfect balance takes practice and work like anything else I think. The fact that you are aware and really striving is big!

    ReplyDelete

I love hearing from you! Your little notes make my day.