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Volume 11, Issue 40: Find Solutions

There are two kinds of people, those who dwell on problems and those who look for solutions to the problems they come across. I happen to have very low tolerance for dwelling on problems. Whether it's at work or in my personal life, I am always more than eager to find solutions, to move on to the step of solving the problem.

Some of the challenges I have faced I have found to be mentally and emotionally unhealthy to dwell upon. With such, after I have gathered the courage to face the reality, I bear it before the Lord and leave it with Him. I then make a deal with myself to only think or talk about the situation with the Lord.

I don't like to worry, so whenever the thought of the problem I am facing comes to mind, I remind myself that I can't ponder over it outside the atmosphere of prayer. I learnt early enough that I have no business worrying over things I cannot change or control. So I lay them at the feet of the One who has the power make all things work together for my good.

Dwelling on awful problems is just a recipe for sadness. I figure, why succumb to sadness when there's an option for joy? The Bible commends us to rejoice at all times. The only way we can do that is if we don't carry the heavy load of our problems. The Lord invites us to cast our cares and burdens to Him. So why burden ourselves with problems that weigh us down when we have been provided with a way out?

What is it going to be for you going forward? Are you going to dwell on the problems and challenges that plague your life, or are you going to find solutions for them? Which do you prefer, misery or joy irrespective of your circumstances? I choose joy. I choose to find solutions to my problems. I choose to lay the problems outside of my control at the feet of Jesus, and watch Him come through for me as He has done over and over again.


For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi


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Volume 11, Issue 39: Make Your Circumstances

What does that even mean? Aren't circumstances things that are out of our control? Can we make circumstances? The dictionary defines the word circumstance as a fact or condition connected with or relevant to an event or action. If that's the case, then I think we can create our circumstances in certain situations.

"People are always blaming their car for what they are," said a character in one of George Bernard Shaw's plays. "I don't believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can't find them, they make them."

A majority of people don't think they can look for the circumstances they want, leave alone make them. Yet successful people do it all the time. "The way you make circumstances is by making time for the habits that will create those circumstances. It is called the mundanity of excellence, and it's all about eating the frog," said Mark Batterson.

We can't control the weather, but we can find ways to still have a daily jog or walk even when the weather is unfavorable. We can walk indoors, in the basement parking or on the spot at home. We may have limited control on the work environment we find ourselves in, but we can outwork everyone we find there and make our way to the top, and then change the environment.

By the grace of God, we can control most of our current and future health - how we feel and look by eating sensibly and exercising regularly. By God's grace, we can control our financial future by spending sensibly and saving/investing a good portion of our current income for the future we want.

What circumstances do you want? What habits do you need to inculcate to create those circumstances? What do you need to do over and over again to create the circumstances you want? That's what it means to eat the frog. It's either that or you continue to complain about the unfavorable circumstances you find yourself in.


For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi



Volume 11, Issue 38: The Compound Effect

I listened to Darren Hardy's Compound Effect audio book a few weeks ago. The book is based on the principle that little, everyday decisions will either take you to the life you desire or to disaster by default. The book is a distillation of the fundamental principles that have guided the most phenomenon achievements in business, relationships and beyond.

The compound effect is the habit of reaping huge rewards from small, seemingly insignificant actions. It is about small habits done repeatedly over time that produce remarkable results down the road. The results are not immediate but they come without fail if you stay consistent in the right direction.

One of my examples of the compound effect is my exercise routine. When I started my fitness journey, I took longer walks and had longer workout sessions. After a long while, momentum kicked in. I still walk and workout 5 days a week, but not as long as when I started. I walk for half an hour and do a half hour strength training workout. With this shorter time, I have been able to maintain my ideal weight for years on end.

My small time investment to my exercise routine is a small, seemingly insignificant action. Yet I reap the rewards of agility and health, which I know will continue into the decades I have left to live as I continue with these practices into my sunset years.

It's the small decisions we make everyday that compound into success or disaster down the line. It could be your choice of healthier food options on a daily basis that are compounding into a healthy body that will serve you well for a very long time. It could be your decision to save a good percentage of your income every month that are compounding into financial independence in the years to come.

The compound effect does not fail to produce. We will reap what we sow. Take advantage of the compound effect by repeatedly and consistently undertaking the positive actions that are designed to produce the future you desire.


For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi


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Volume 11, Issue 37: My Intermittent Fasting

In the "My Atomic Habits" article last week, I listed intermittent fasting as one of my atomic habits. I thought to elaborate further on that for you, hence this article. First of all, intermittent fasting ins't something out of this world or complex. It's a fancy name for what most people ordinarily do without calling it intermittent fasting. It's basically having an eating window and a non-eating window.

A simple intermittent fast is what happens naturally for most people. Most people eat during their waking hours and of course not eat when they are asleep. This in itself is intermittent fasting. The difference between this and the "fancy" intermittent fasting is that the later restricts the eating window during the awake hours. The easiest intermittent fasting method to follow is the one that aligns with your saccadic rhythm. This basically means eating during the day and not eating at night.

I mimic the 16:8 method. When I wake up in the morning, I don't consume anything aside from plain warm water until 9am. I usually have my breakfast at that time unless I am held up. I should ideally have my last meal by 5pm but I adjusted my window to 6pm as that's the earliest I could negotiate with my family for us to have dinner together every evening.

I am a foodie - I love to eat, and I eat more than anyone else in my house. Even so, my weight is constantly under 60kgs and my body mass index is 22. Now, you may be thinking, lucky you, right? But my health parameters have nothing to do with luck. It is sheer discipline. The discipline now isn't in what I eat because I enjoy what I eat and can't stand what I used to eat before. The discipline now is in how much I eat.

You don't need a lot of discipline when you sit down to eat if you don't love food that much. But if you are anything like me, you have to discipline yourself not just every time you sit down to eat but in determining what you are going to eat in the first place.

I love chapatis, and I must have dessert after dinner. The recommended amount for chapati consumption is once a week. I take chapati most of the week. It's my favorite carbohydrate for dinner, and I enjoy it with any kind of accompaniment. However, the chapati I take is not the one most people take. I make whole meal chapati for myself - the healthy option. I love them. I make them thin so I can enjoy two at a meal. Most people don't like them before they are not as "tasty" as white flour chapati.

I also love to take something sweet after dinner. But my "sweet" is not the regular "sweet". I take sugarless hibiscus tea for breakfast and I don't eat regular cakes and pastries. Therefore my "sweet" is a different taste of sweetness. Once every week I bake for myself oatmeal scones. No one else in my house can stand them. But I love them. I enjoy them so much that I have to discipline myself every day not to overindulge in them.

For 3 cups of ground oats and 1 cup of sesame seeds, I mix in 4 mashed ripe bananas, orange zest and freshly squeezed orange juice from one orange and half a cup of grated coconut. That's it. Nothing else other than baking powder and cinnamon powder. No sugar nor sweetener nor oil nor essence nor nothing. I have come to love them dearly. It's my dessert of choice. I used to bake different kinds of oat cakes and muffins but these scones are my current favorite.

So for my intermittent fasting, I don't deny myself the foods I like. I enjoy my whole meal chapatis a couple of days a week for dinner. Because I enjoy food, I tend to eat until I am full. In fact I am working on eating a little less. But if it weren't for disciplining myself every time I sit down to eat, I could eat more every time. I just put a stop to it. I am also the only one at my dinner table who has dessert every evening - two small oat scones. I bake for my family regular cakes and muffins every now and then.

After I am done with my dinner and dessert, that's it. I don't taste anything else other than water until 9 o'clock the next morning. I have a light lunch, mostly a smoothie. I would prefer a heavy lunch and a light dinner but I kind of don't want to have a festive meal by myself. Hence the full dinner with my family when everyone is home in the evening.


For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi



Volume 11, Issue 36: My Atomic Habits

Reading James Clear's Atomic Habits book earlier this year illuminated the atomic habits that I have adopted over the years that changed the trajectory of my life. Atomic means very small. An atomic habit is a regular practice or routine that is small and easy to do. Here are some of my atomic habits that have set me up for success.

  • Atomic Habit #1: Go to bed early

I retire to my bedroom at around 7.30pm to get ready for bed and fall asleep by around 8pm. This habit comes in handy because I like to wake up early and getting enough sleep is important to me.

  • Atomic Habit #2: Wake up early

I love the quite morning when most of the world is still asleep. An early morning affords me the opportunity to spend time with God unhurried and exercise in the wee hours of the morning so that I can have time to read before work.

  • Atomic Habit #3: Week planning

I don't like starting my week without a list of clothes to wear, workouts to do and audio books to listen to. So each Sunday evening I select and note down my outfits for each day of the week, my workouts for the week and the audio books I will listen to.

  • Atomic Habit #4: Meal planning

I have always done meal planning in some form over the years. Currently, I sit down every Thursday evening with a note pad to decide what we are going to eat the next week and list the ingredients that will go into each dish. I then pre-cook the meals on Friday afternoon after my cleaning lady has prepared the ingredients for me. This practice saves me lots of time during the week.

  • Atomic Habit #5: Intermittent fasting

I started with the 16:8 method but switched to 15:9 method in order to eat dinner with my family. I have my breakfast at 9am or later if I am held up, and family dinner at 6pm. I don't follow any diet but I eat mostly whole foods. This practice and working out has helped me maintain my ideal size and look.

  • Atomic Habit #6: Listen to Audio Books

I listen to Audio books or instructional or inspirational podcasts while cleaning, organizing, cooking, working out, in the shower and when getting dressed. I practically use all empty blocks of time that don't require mental concentration to educate or motivate myself while performing mundane tasks.

  • Atomic Habit #7: Time with God

This is the first thing I do every morning when I get out of bed. I study the word of God and pray. It's my anchor. Over the years I found that if I don't do my personal devotion first thing in the morning, it won't get done.

  • Atomic Habit #8: Brisk walking and strength training

This is another of my early morning routines. I used to walk for an hour to an hour and a half every morning and do a longer workout but now I do a challenging walk for half an hour and strength training for half an hour every weekday morning.

  • Atomic Habit #9: Reading and writing

In addition to listening to Audio books, I also read hard cover books and e-books. This is a key daily habit for me. I target to read for an hour each day but I fall short almost half the time. Writing is another key daily habit for me but I miss most days of the week.

How about you? What are your atomic habits? What do you do that have set you up for success? And what is the one habit that you need to work on? I need to work on writing something everyday.


For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi