As you know, my goal this year has been to find a better balance between work, prayer, recreation, and self-care. Therefore, I’ve been trying to integrate a new schedule that will reflect new habits and attitudes.
Consistent change is not something that comes easy to anyone. And the longer you’ve been in a rut, the deeper it becomes and the harder to get out of. Therefore, as a I slowly try to make changes in my own life, I’ve had to think about those bad habits (aka obstacles) that make it easier to stay in the rut and what are little changes that I can make in order to make big changes easier (aka switches).
For instance, one obstacle I recognized is starting a new television show, particularly on Netflix. In the past I would do really well at pacing myself for about the first ten episodes, and then I would start binging, watching as many as six episodes in a day. Ain’t nobody got time for that, especially me!!
So, the first rule I made for myself was: No new television shows in 2015. I have plenty of current shows filling up my DVR on a regular basis, or I can watch reruns of previous favorites if I want something different every once in a while. In the same vein about time wasters, a second rule that I made for myself for this year was: No multi-level or social online games.
A second obstacle I realized was getting sucked into the computer first thing in the morning. Catholic motivational speaker Matthew Kelly talks about not checking his e-mail first thing in the morning because it immediately throws off his mood and the pace of his day. This lead me to make a switch in which I no longer get on the computer while I drink my first cup of coffee. Instead, I use that time to say Morning Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours.
Not only do I avoid getting annoyed by stupid posts on Facebook, but starting the day with prayer can’t help but be a positive. I’m not saying that every morning I am struck with some great spiritual revelation, but even when I am going through the motions in a partial daze, I can still feel it recalibrating things inside me for the better. Also, it helps me stay on schedule because I don’t get caught up in online discussions or correspondence.
One rut I am still struggling with is getting back on schedule in the afternoon. I find myself still wanting to take too much recreation time. I keep racking my brain to think of one little switch that I can make that will jump start the rest of my day. I know that I will figure it out if I can just step back and discover the obstacles that are making it more difficult. But at least I am starting to make some progress in the right direction.