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Volume 12, Issue 36: Mindful Self Care

I impressed myself this past weekend when I pulled myself away from a commitment I had made to make chapati for my family's dinner that Saturday evening. I had just arrived home at almost 4pm after a long day of running errands with my daughter.

I had a baking task to wrap up and I hadn't sat down to relax in my living room at all yet. I was determined to make the chapatis but a quick calculation in my head revealed that making chapatis after wrapping up the baking task, and cleaning up thereafter would keep me on my feet in the kitchen until around 7pm.

I knew sitting down to dinner after 7pm and being done just in time for bed would absolutely rob me of any chance of relaxation before going to bed. I wasn't going to be happy knowing I had spent all Saturday working and not having had an inch of rest. So I cancelled the chapati dinner and fixed a quick dinner instead. This to me was mindful self care.

We sometimes push ourselves too far to live up to the commitments we make to ourselves and to others at work and in our personal lives. But the reality of life is that sometimes errands take longer than expected. Tasks overrun their time limits. Life sometimes costs more than we have the capacity to foot.

In the absence of mindful self care, we carry on with meeting the demands in front us instead of adjusting our plans or taking some things off out to-do lists. We can be on the go day after day, weekend after weekend without acknowledging our limits.

I don't want to run long errands every other weekend, or start working on an extensive task or meal late in the day. I want to make room to sit back and relax over the weekends. I want to be done with professional work and house work before 7pm every week day so I can have a moment to laugh with my loved ones and wind down before going to bed.

I just described my version of self care. What does self care look like to you? It's important to know this especially at this time of the year when we are supposed to be slowing done yet we can be busier than ever with holiday activities.

Be mindful of your needs for rest and wellness and practice mindful and intentional self care this holiday season. Plan ahead of time what self care will look like for you and follow through. Say "No" when you need to and stay true to yourself.


For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi



Volume 12, Issue 35: Manage Your Will Power

It's interesting to note that we don't always have will power. That will power isn't on will call. Just like energy, will power gets depleted with use. I recently learned this while reading Gary Keller's book, "The One Thing."

Will power is a resource that gets used up. This is why it's important to make doing what matters most a priority when your will power is at its highest.

When I struggled to do certain key things in the past, I noticed that if I didn't do them first thing in the morning, they were not going to get done. Now I understand that it had to do with my will power. It's highest at the start of my day and wanes as the day goes by in my busyness.

Timing is everything when it comes to will power. You shoot myself in the foot when you spend your strongest hours on things that are of least importance. Because by the time you get to your most important tasks, your will power is drained.

There's a quote I heard from Gary that made so much sense to how I can behave around food after a really tough day. He said, "Make it through a tough day in the trenches and the lure of late night snacking can become your diet's downfall." Isn't this so true? A tough day puts a big dent on our strength to do the right thing. Cathleen Varse wrote in Prevention magazine in 2009 that "The more we use our mind, the less minding power we have."

Gary further alluded that "Will power is a mental muscle that doesn't bounce back quickly. When our will power is low, we tend to fall back on our default settings. What are your default settings? When your will power is low, will you grab a bag of carrots or a bag of potato chips?"

"If you want to get the most out of your day, do your most important work early before your will power is drawn out. Since your self control will be sapped throughout the day, use it when it's at full strength on what matters most." Gary Keller.

In addition to the tasks on your job from which you would select your most important work each day, what other activities in your life would you classify as your most important work? Is it your quiet time, your exercise, your reading, time with your loved ones? Whatever makes your list, you will do well to attend to them before your will power is drawn out.

Ever wondered why you sometimes start a day planning to do something specific or go somewhere. But as the day goes by in your busyness, it reaches a point when you don't feel like doing that thing or going that place? It's all about will power and it getting drained as you get through your busy day. This is why you must identify what is most important for you to accomplish on a particular day and start with it.

Like energy, will power is a personal resource to be managed. It has a limited battery life but is rechargeable with some down time. Let's do our best in managing our will power to get the most out of our days and life.


For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi



Volume 12, Issue 34: Busy Is A Decision

The word busy is thrown around a lot in our day and age. We say we are too busy to nurture our relationships. We are too busy to exercise. We are too busy to read the word of God and pray. We are too busy to go back to school. We are too busy to serve in church and so forth.

But is that really the truth? What are we busy with? We are busy with the things that we have decided are important to us. The things we say we are too busy for are the things we have decided are not worthy of our investment. They are things that are not a priority for us.

How is that when someone is diagnosed with a lifestyle disease they suddenly have the time to invest in healthy eating and exercise? How is is that when a parent is confronted with the reality of a suicidal teen they suddenly drop everything to attend to the wellbeing of their child?

Busy is a decision. If we are going to be busy, we had better choose to be busy with the things that matter most. For me that's the wellness of my loved ones, my walk with the Lord, my health and wellness, my relationships and my contribution. I have chosen these few things to be busy about and assigned each a degree of priority. Apart from my professional work, anything else outside of these I am officially too busy for.

Unfortunately, too many people are too busy for the things they actually hold dear but don't know how very important those things are to them. It shouldn't have to take a reality check of a life threatening occurrence for us to get busy with the right things. Take time to figure out your true priorities. Then get busy about attending to them above all else.

I was inspired by what writer, artist and podcast host Debbie Millman wrote on busyness: "Busy is a decision. We do the things we want to do, period. If we say we are too busy, it is just shorthand for the thing being "not important enough" or "not a priority." Busy is not a badge. You don't find the time to make things, you make the time to do things."


For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi



Volume 12, Issue 33: Stay In The Game

Anyone can start a workout plan or a diet plan and stick with it for a little while. Most of us can start a business. Any sensible person can be motivated to start saving for their future. Many people can embark on cleaning their house or organizing the spaces. Anyone can pick up a book to read, or listen to a podcast on their mobile device.

Sadly however, not everyone who starts a workout plan or a diet plan makes it a lifestyle. Not everyone who starts a business keeps it running. Not everyone who starts saving makes it a lifelong practice. Not everyone who decides to clean and organize their spaces maintains a clean and organized house. Not everyone who starts reading books makes learning a lifelong habit.

Longevity isn't very common. If it was, we would all be fit and healthy, financially successful, neat and tidy, thriving in relationships, smart and intelligent and so forth.

If all we could do is stay in the game at the good stuff we embark on, we could each live our best life possible. We would be counted among the great.

In one of his recent posts, James Clear put it simply. "Over long time frames, simply staying in the game is impressive.

  • Health and fitness: Can you stay injury free and not miss workouts?
  • Wealth and finance: Can you avoid debt and continue to save?
  • Business: Can you maintain cashflow and stay in business?

Longevity is it's own form of greatness".

What do you need to stay in the game for? Where in your life do you need to consistently keep showing up over the long haul?


For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi



Volume 12, Issue 32: Change Happens Gradually

Most meaningful change often take time to bring about. Change doesn't just happen, it is brought about gradually by repeated actions. Yet, it sometimes feels, especially to those looking from the outside, that the change that has occurred has happened rapidly. This is why we hear people talk about how someone is an overnight success.

There's no such thing as overnight success. Those who think or say that someone is an overnight success do so because all they have witnessed is what appears to be a rapid jump to success. They have not been privy to all the investment that has gone into the eventual success the person has realized.

One of the things I enjoy thinking about is that I didn't always not struggle not to reach for certain foods when they are displayed within my reach and everyone around me is partaking. It has taken me years to get to the point of having made a complete shift in what I enjoy to eat. But when I sit down at a table with people who haven't witnessed my journey, some assume that it happened instantly.

Many of the things I now do with ease are as a result of small habits that I have consistently repeated over a long time. Some has taken years of trying and failing, but persisting nonetheless. Waking up early has become second nature to me. So has spending time with God first thing each morning, exercising, listening to audio books, reading and going to bed early.

I like what James Clear has written on this on one of his quotes. "What appears to be a rapid shift is often preceded by a gradual process. Our results gradually explode or vanish thanks to the small habits we repeat each day. What radical change are you slowly marching towards? An incremental explosion or an incremental vanishing?"


For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi