What do you like about smoking?
What do you like about being overweight?
What do you like about not having a spiritual practice?
What do you like about being out of shape?
It’s the end of January, a time when New Year’s resolutions are starting to fade, or are a distant memory. The middle of winter when the short days and cold weather are dragging on.
I don’t know about you, but this month has been the longest year of my life.
January 1, I started a reading plan on the Bible Gateway App to read the Bible in 90 days. The actual reading has been easy. It’s the first thing I do in the morning. If I can’t finish before it’s time to take the kids to school, it’s the only thing I do on my phone until the day’s reading is done.
The content of the first books of the bible has been the problem. I finally confessed to Arthur a couple days ago that some (a lot) of the stories in the old testament are horrific and just reading it daily was really depressing to me.
We talked, he reframed it for me, and I’ve come to some peace with it. I started reading the bible daily to practice obedience to God’s will and God’s plan for my life. The Old Testament teaches obedience to God and His will. The lesson I most needed to learn and I was missing it. (Still, though, I don’t think I’ll ever make peace with the two women eating one of their sons. Horr.if.y.ing. Not all things can be understood all the time.)
Which brings me back to the point of this story. Changing your life for the better. Making new habits stick. There is a lot of resistance to face in any type of change. Working out is hard. Quitting the most addictive drug, cigarettes, is ridiculously hard.
Reframing your situation is an easy hack to getting your perspective back on track. What do you like about not exercising? What do you like about smoking?
What about my issue is helping me? Does smoking help me relieve stress? Does being overweight help me blend in so people don’t notice or pay attention to me? Was I singled out in the past for looking good, in a bad or abusive way, that being overweight helps me avoid in the future? Does being overweight help me hide from my abusers? Does not exercising help me fit in with my friends? When someone works out in your circle of friends or co-workers, do they get bad attention?
Every time you think about how much you’d like to exercise more or quit smoking or eat healthier, stop and ask yourself, what about my current state is helping me? What do I need to acknowledge about the status quo that needs to be present in future routines? What do I need to include in my future plans of change to compensate for that need? Do I need to reward myself for working out? Do I need to climb the stairs and realize I’m not out of breath after a couple of weeks?
To take this a step further, there’s a daily planning tool by Donald Miller that helps with productivity. Instead of only asking what’s on your to-do list, he also asks, “If I could live today over again, I’d…” The question asks you to look into the future and predict your regrets from today. The question reframes our list of to-dos into a list of priorities, both professionally and personally.