Posts Tagged New Year’s Resolutions

You Do Not Have Because You Do Not Ask

I mentioned yesterday I was feeling lost and forlorn, but that I had a “glimmer” of hope and motivation when I awoke yesterday. I must admit I had a little voice inside me saying, “God, is that you?” and my big, booming psyche saying, “Probably not.”

Imagine my surprise when I awoke (or was awakened) early again this morning and, try as I might, was unable to go back to sleep. The feelings of hope and motivation burned a tiny bit brighter. So, again, I got some exercise, spent some time praying and am beginning to wonder if this hopeless-for-so-long feeling might not lift after all.

You do not have because you do not ask. Yep, that would be me!

P.S. Don’t forget to check out http://www.seewhykinsman.blogspot.com and give me feedback on the new blog format. Unless I hear a major outcry, this blog address will be defunct by the end of this week.

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Resolutions for 2009

 

I hope the New Year finds my readers healthy, happy and progressing merrily on keeping their resolutions.  Check out www.43things.com .  It’s a site where you can post your resolutions and get encouragement from other readers.

I promised I would let you in on my “areas for change”. I didn’t actually make “resolutions” and haven’t attempted any improvements, so I guess at this point, I’d call them “hopeful intentions for future change”.

One is physical, one is emotional and one is spiritual.

The physical change is, not surprising, to eat healthier and get back into an exercise routine. I thought when I became a vegan it would be difficult to keep eating junk food and abusing my body. Not so! The abusive foods are different, but it’s still quite easy to be malnourished as a vegan! At least I’m only hurting myself and not the beautiful four legged creatures in the world who deserve so much better than they get.

The spiritual change I need to make is to rededicate my time to prayer. I have been feeling forsaken and alone lately. This is not surprising since my prayer life has been all but nonexistent. God never goes anywhere. We humans, on the other hand, move close to Him and far away depending on our moods, discipline and circumstances. I have walked away and then wonder why He doesn’t care. How screwed up is that?!

The emotional change I need is to shake this feeling of depression and despair. To be honest, I could easily sleep 18 hours a day just so I wouldn’t have to face life.  There are real reasons for this — none of which I can change — so I have no choice but to change my reactions to my circumstances.  This is really all any of us can do in most instances anyway!

I realize all three areas for change are interconnected. Research shows that exercise is as effective at treating depression as medications and I know if I spent more time talking with God, my funk would lift as well. I also realize that I need God’s help to make physical and emotional changes which is an incentive to work on the spiritual changes I need to make. I know if I were eating healthier and exercising more, I wouldn’t be so tired when it comes to praying.

Now, what I don’t know is what it will take for me to get beyond the knowledge of what needs to be done and actually make a commitment to DO IT. I can’t seem to psych myself up to break out of a paper bag and I know I need a lot more “oomph” to make these changes. Although I desire the results such changes would bring, I honestly don’t care enough to lift a finger to change any of it. But I’m not content by any means, so accepting the status quo isn’t a workable solution either.

If anyone knows of a motivational technique to shake me out of my apathy, I’d be grateful to hear it.   By the way, I did wake up this morning with the tiniest bit of hope and motivation.  I got a little exercise and re-introduced myself to God.  Hopefully one baby step will build on another.

P.S. Don’t forget to check out www.seewhykinsman.blogspot.com and give me feedback on the new blog format. Unless I hear a major outcry, this blog address will be defunct in another week or so.

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Book Giveaway Winners!

only-nuns-cover2Congratulations to Trudi of Foley, Alabama, and Karin of Tenstrike, Minnesota, the winners of the Only Nuns Change Habits Overnight book giveaway. 

Only two people told me their New Year’s resolutions:

  • Physical exercise!!   Spiritual – write in my prayer journal at least a couple of times a week.  Emotional- Stay in contact with my extended family (aunts, uncles, cousins).
  • Looking for an opportunity in every difficulty!

Thanks to everyone who entered.  Keep watching over the next couple of weeks for more book reviews and giveaways. 

I’ll share with you my resolutions/areas for improvement next week!

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The Pain of Change

newyearYesterday I talked about the fact that we usually don’t change until the pain of staying the same outweighs the pain of maintaining the status quo. As luck would have it, Mark Batterson recently blogged about the same topic. Below is an excerpt from his post:

A couple decades ago, a pair of psychologists named William Samuelson and Richard Zeckhauser discovered a phenomenon they dubbed the status quo bias. Simply put: most of us have a tendency to keep doing what we’ve been doing without giving it much thought. . . . We are simply creatures of habit. But maintaining the status quo can become detrimental.

For example, a study was done on college professors who were part of a pension plan. And the researchers discovered that the professors picked a plan upon entering the program, and while they had the freedom to change plans based on life circumstances or market conditions or even the size of their portfolio, the median numbers of changes in their asset allocation was zero! In other words, most of them picked a plan and forgot about it. They stopped evaluating. By the way, what was even more telling is that many of the married participants who joined the program when they were single still had their mothers listed as their beneficiaries.

Have you have ever been offered a free subscription to a magazine for the first year? Why would we be offered something for free? It’s because magazine companies understand the status quo bias. Most of us will forget to cancel. And it’s not really that we’ve forgotten. We’re just too lazy to make a simple phone call or write a simple letter. Right? That is human nature! We tend to keep doing what we’ve been doing. And the problem with that is this: if you keep doing what you’ve always done you’ll keep getting what you’ve always gotten.

I couldn’t say it better myself!  May you all be richly blessed in 2009.

Reminder: I have two copies of Only Nuns Change Habits Overnight by Karen Scalf Linamen to give away. To enter the random drawing, please e-mail your name and mailing address to seewhykinsman@yahoo.com. I’ll double your chances to win if you tell me your #1 New Year’s Resolution — the one thing you really WANT to change; I’ll post the answers I receive anonymously. The drawing will take place this Friday, January 2, 2009. Good luck!

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Change is Painful or Pain is Needed to Change?

newI’ve been thinking a lot about the changes I want to make in my life: one change is physical, one is emotional and one is spiritual.

I know a lot of the steps that need to be taken to make these changes, but I’m having a hard time making the commitment to put forth the effort. Even though I really. really, really want the results, I’m having a hard time deciding to put in the work needed to achieve those results.

Recently, a co-worker reminded me of how much she hates change. Really, I’ve never met anyone who despises change more than she! Change is painful for her.

But for me, and most people, pain is required to achieve change. In other words, people don’t change until the PAIN of staying the same is greater than the PAIN of change.

Al-Anon principles teach family members of alcoholics to stop enabling their loved ones by helping them function and minimizing the consequences of their destructive actions. Why? Because an alcoholic will never want to change until (hopefully) the consequences of drinking outweigh the pleasure — until the pain of staying a drunk is greater than the pain involved in becoming and staying sober.

The dieter doesn’t diet until the pain of being overweight (physical pain, emotional pain) is greater than the pain of diet and exercise.

So, I find myself DESIRING PAIN to motivate me to commit to the changes I need to make to reach my desired goals.  How screwed up is that?!

Speaking of making changes, remember that I have two copies of Only Nuns Change Habits Overnight to give awway this week. To enter the random drawing for a free copy of this book by Karen Scalf Linamen, please e-mail your name and mailing address to seewhykinsman@yahoo.com. I’ll double your chances to win if you tell me your #1 New Year’s Resolution — the one thing you really WANT to change; I’ll post the answers I receive anonymously. The drawing will take place this Friday, January 2, 2009. Good luck!

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Enlist God’s Help

There are three areas of my life that need drastic change. One area is physical, one is emotional and one is spiritual.

The other day I was putting these goals in writing and brainstorming ways to help me achieve them. Of course, I needed God’s help in achieving my spiritual goal; enlisting God’s help in meeting my spiritual need was one of the first ideas I jotted down under that category. Awhile later I wrote down “learn to depend on God to help” under my physical need. Quite awhile later, I wrote down “need the Holy Spirit to guide me” under the emotional need.

Funny, isn’t it, how much easier it is to accomplish ANYTHING with His help?! So why doesn’t that idea doesn’t readily and immediately come to mind?! At least that’s the case for me. First I think about all the things I can do and after I’ve tried everything else, then God pops into my head as the solution (or a “helper” for me).

Recently I was reading Francis Frangipane’s weekly message and these words stood out for me:

“In reality, grace if God’s promise to do for us what we cannot do ourselves.”

Hmmm.  That gave me pause. 

You can read the whole article below.  I’m going to take a few days off and will be back again on Monday.

http://frangipane.org/cgi-bin/gx.cgi/AppLogic+FTContentServer?pagename=FaithHighway/Globals/DisplayTextMessage&PROJECTPATH=10000/1000/728&sermonid=textsermon_1229046163821&customerTypeLabel=Weekly&sermontitle=Shout Grace!

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Crossroads

road_sign1I mentioned to you last week that I feel like I’m at a crossroads regarding a number of aspects of my life. I thought I’d share a poem by Portia Nelson that lets you know where I am and where I want to be.

Autobiography in five chapters
1) I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in. I am lost…I am hopeless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.
2) I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it. I fall in again.
I can’t believe I’m in the same place. But it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.
3) I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there. I still fall in…it’s a habit.
My eyes are open; I know where I am; it is my fault.
I get out immediately.
4) I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk
I walk around it.
5) I walk down another street.

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