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Volume 11, Issue 09: Improve Your Habits

It's easy for people who have formed good habits to get complacent, basking in the glory of having good habits. Maybe you wake up early and spend time with God. You read daily and listen to podcasts for self improvement. You exercise and nourish your body with a good diet most of the time. You could be thinking, "I have it made", right?

Maybe not quite. If you have come this far, maybe you could do better. I think basking in yesterday's victories is a recipe for stagnation and missing out on the benefits of improvement. These last couple of days I have been pondering over my habits and how to make them better while introducing new ones.

We are never too advanced for learning. If there's one thing all truly successful people are is that they are lifelong students. We never do things too well to never require improvement. Successful people are constantly improving their processes and systems for optimal results.

It's not enough to have good habits. You can have better habits. You can realign your good habits to get the most out of them. You can add new habits by stacking them with your current habits. You can tweak your routines to optimize their outcomes. You can manage your time better. You can improve your nutrition. You can have more efficient workouts. You can read more. You can do more and better with your children, and so forth.

At this stage in my personal development journey, I can do my morning routines without thinking. They are no longer things that I do, but who I am. However, I constantly battle with a sense of discontentment as I am often running a couple of minutes behind schedule. I feel that I either don't have enough time for all that I have lined up to do, or that I am investing more time than I should.

Reflecting over my habits and thinking about how to make them better is giving me an opportunity to set myself up for better results this year. Have you ever given thought to improving your habits or forming better habits? Kudos for having formed good habits, but what could you have if you were more efficient at them? What could you accomplish if you formed better habits?

 

For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi

 

 

Volume 11, Issue 08: The Hardest Person To Lead

Leading myself is just about the hardest thing I get to do. I know what to do. I motivate others to do the same things. But disciplining myself to do as I say isn't always easy. It's easy to know the right path to take. It's easy to tell people what to do for successful living. But it's not so easy to lead yourself.

When you have gone ahead in something and are able to lead others in it, the greatest risk to manage is ensuring that you are not leading people to a place you yourself are not going. If you did, you will not only be a fraud, but you will miss out on the success that you only know too well of.

As leaders in one area or another, we must be hard on ourselves to follow through what we know is right and beneficial. We should not be caught pointing the way for others for a journey we are not taking. We must lead by example, especially when no one is watching.

If for instance I know the value of reading widely and teach my children to nature the habit of reading, I should not be found slacking in my reading habits. If I am known to my siblings as an advocate for healthy living, I should be sure to keep up with my healthy living habits.

What helps is remaining in environments and contexts that support our lifestyle choices. Habits are easier to keep up with in the contexts that support them. I may have no problem eating healthy at home because my set up has eliminated unhealthy food options. But if I moved to a set up that makes it hard to eat healthy meals, I would probably soon succumb to the available unhealthy food options there.

Therefore because it's true that the hardest person to lead is ourselves, we must consciously endevour to go the extra mile in leading ourselves. We should never be okay with taking people where we are not going. We must continue to do what we have internalized enough to motivate others to do. We must lead by example.

 

For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi

 

 
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Volume 11, Issue 07: How You Do Anything

What comes to mind when you hear the words "do little things like they are big things?". For me it's applying the same level of integrity and excellence to everything I work on. Giving my best in the kitchen cleaning as I do on my laptop working. Expecting the same level of excellence from myself at all stages of my day.

In the same breadth, it is also said that "how you do anything is how you'll do everything." Yet most of the time we seem to apply double standards in the different things we do. Is it? Maybe the excellence we show people in certain areas of life isn't who we really are, but only an expression of the role we are performing or the impression we want to make.

Who we really are is who we are when no one is watching. If I am sloppy in my personal space, when it comes down to it, that's who I really am in the public eye as well, only dressed up to impress an audience. I may deliver what is expected in the short-term but not sustainably unless I reinvent myself.

“Jesus went on to make these comments: If you’re honest in small things, you’ll be honest in big things; If you’re a crook in small things, you’ll be a crook in big things. If you’re not honest in small jobs, who will put you in charge of the store?" Luke‬ ‭16:10-11 MSG‬‬.

An excellent person does their best at everything they do whether anyone gets to see it or not. They do it for personal satisfaction, not for applause or recognition. I heard a true story about Michael Angelo's excellence. One day he was painting the Sistine chapel, the most awesome painting in Rome. People travel from all over the world to see this man's work. On this chapel, he lay on his back on a scalpel and painted the entire ceiling of the chapel.

The story goes that as Michael Angelo was painting one day, one of his aides came in to check on him. When he came in to the chapel, there were candles everywhere, it was dark and musty, so he couldn't see Michael. He cried out to find him. He heard some noise in the corner in the dark, behind some post, up above the nave, in the secret corner where no one could see him. Michael's voice came from way back behind the post, up above the ledge in the dark corner of the chapel. An answer came, "Yes, am busy."

The aide came and looked up. He found Michael on his back, with a paint brush in his teeth and one in his hand, and his pallet painting the feathers of one of the angels in the dark, behind the post where no one will ever see. He said, "Michael, what are doing up there?" "I am painting the ceiling," replied Michael. His aide retorted, "But Michael, you are putting details on a feather on the wings of an angel in the corner, behind the post, above the nave, beyond the rafters where no one will ever see it. Why waste your time? Without catching a breath, Michael Angelo spoke through the brush in his teeth and said, "But God sees it". He continued painting.

"An excellent person does not work because people are watching or because it will be known. Excellence comes from an attitude on the inside. Michael was not working for the observation of people, he had an integrity with himself. He believed that everything he did should be the best he had ever done, even if no one ever saw it". Myles Munroe.

 

For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi

 

 

Volume 11, Issue 06: Repair Follows Neglect

Equating the pursuit of goals with work brings a new perspective to it. Suppose you had a field to tend. You started with a beautiful landscape, lush grass and maybe even flowers in bloom. What would happen if you didn't work on the field regularly - mow the grass, pull out the weeds, trim the plants? Soon your field won't be that beautiful to look at, would it? Not only that, but it would also take you a lot more effort to get it back in shape.

God's direction is that we work six days a week and rest one. What would happen if you took this as a principle for not just your work life but for all other areas of your life? Your field would look great all year round if you tended it for six days each week. If you took good care of your body six days a week, before long, the allure of bad eating habits on the seventh day would lose its grip on you. Soon, you will be eating mostly right all week long! Wouldn't that be great!

It matters not what you are going after, if you diligently work on it at least six days a week, you will no doubt win the day. That is the power of consistency. And that is why we have to fight to stay consistent at our actions. For instance, working out to maintain a fit physique takes just a few minutes each day a couple of days a week. On the other hand, working out to get back in shape is hard work!

Once in awhile I have a newbie at the gym come to me and say, "When I get to look like you, I will stop coming to the gym". It baffles me and I do my best to talk them out of that notion. What's the point of building something only to wreck it? This quote from Jim Rohn drives the point home squarely: "A week of neglect could cost you a year of repair. Is it worth it?" What you neglect, you will have to pay the price to repair. And repair takes so much more resources than maintenance.

What I let slide today, I am more likely to let slide tomorrow, and the day after. A few days of neglecting your "Win the Day" pursuits could cost you a month of repair? Is it worth it? Is that cheat meal worth the progress you are making in your health? Are a few minutes of interrupted sleep after your alarm goes off worth what you are giving up for it? Is always pointing out the faults in your spouse or child worth the closeness you are compromising?

It gets to a point when you decide that when it comes to what you want to build, it's not work to you, it's your life. Therefore you do it every day, not just six days a week. I work hard at my job five days a week. But when it comes to my personal pursuits that I don't have the luxury of time for, there's no day off. You can take a day or the weekend off from your pursuits. Only be careful that the off days don't become the norm. As Jim Rohn nicely put it, if you rest too long, the juggle will overtake the village.

 

For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi

 

 

Volume 11, Issue 05: Keep Winning

One of the hardest things to master is the art of staying consistent. It's very easy to slip back to our old habits. Mine is telling myself that I can stay in bed for just a few more minutes. Before I know it, I have lost 30 minutes or so. Like we said in the last post, we have to attack the day - fight to win the day.

Once we do it right a few times, we want to fight to keep at it, maintain the momentum and keep winning. However, the temptation to do less than our best keeps lurking around, seeking to distract us from winning the day. That's when we've got to put up our best fight yet, to win the day.

Resist the temptation to break your winning streak. Fight to stay consistent in your "win the day" endevours. Once you get it right a few times, push yourself to keep it that way. I figured that what I let slide today, I am more likely to let slide tomorrow. What you don't do today, you're less likely to do tomorrow. If you don't feel like having that conversation today, you will feel less like having it tomorrow. So you might as well have it today and get it over and done with. Don't put off till tomorrow what you can do today.

Are you sick and tired of losing the battle of winning certain aspects of your day? Then maybe it's time to up your game. Don't wait to feel ready to take action. Do it anyway. Do it afraid, uncomfortable, unwilling. Maybe it's about time we stopped giving too much airtime to how we feel. So what if I don't feel like getting out of bed to get my day started? If my body is awake, how I feel should not keep me from doing what is right for me.

What are you sick and tired of losing the battle in? What do you need to fight to stay consistent in doing to win your day? Let's resist the temptation to break the streak of success, and before we know it, staying consistent at whatever we have set out to do won't be an issue. Then we will win the day over and over again, thereby attain our goals.

 

For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi