Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Making a Habit

Every morning when I wake up there are few things things I absolutely have to do to get my day started:

Go to the bathroom (you totally wanted to know that)
Brush my hair
Brush my teeth
Wash my face

Weekdays, weekends, camping, vacation, whenever, wherever - this is my ritual. If I miss part of that routine I am off until I get each step done. Even if I am just going to lay back in bed, once I wake up I have to do these things or I cant relax. My hair feels tangled, my face feels greasy, my teeth feel icky and I just can't focus or really feel awake until they are done.
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Sunday morning (after my morning ritual of course) I was sitting on my bed listening to conference talks and journaling. I was thinking about how I need to be better and more consistent about saying my prayers, reading my scriptures and attending the Temple and writing in my journal. I know I receive blessings when I do these things, and really, they are simple - so why is it so hard to keep it up?

I committed myself to being better about reading, praying, writing and attending the Temple - but I have made that commitment to my self oh so many times before. I do well for a while, until I eventually peter out and return to my every few days/when I think about it/when I have time schedule that just doesn't cut it. What was going to make this time different?

I thought about that all day and night Sunday. How to make this different.
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Monday morning, as I brushed my hair and teeth and washed my face I thought about how neurotic I am about my morning routine. I thought about how I feel if I miss even one step - and then I had a realization.

If I leave for the day without praying and reading my scriptures that has an affect on my day. If I let a week go by without going to the Temple that has an affect on my life. If I don't regularly journal that has an affect on how well my children and their children are able to know me, my struggles, my successes and my testimony.

That is when I decided to make those spiritual things (reading, praying, writing, temple) as much as a habit as my morning routine is.

I want to feel weird if I leave without reading my scriptures. I want to feel off if I forget to pray. I want to feel un-settled if I miss the Temple. I want to notice if I don't Journal regularly.
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I woke up 45 minutes early the past few mornings to leave my self enough time to read and pray and not be rushed to work. Trust me, I am NOT a morning person but it has been easier than I thought it would be and I have been engrossed in the scriptures more than ever (I have to make myself stop reading). I have been careful to notice how it makes me feel to have those things done, how it changes my day. The more I notice the good it brings to my life, the easier it will be to recognize the lack should I miss a day.

I have been happier.
I have felt more accomplished.
My drive to work is full of more positive thoughts (the "Ugh I hate work. And Traffic. And speed cameras" thoughts have been replaced with "It's awesome how much Heleman loved the stripling warriors. I wonder if I would have been as able to be as faithful as they were? I can't wait to read more.")
The spirit my new morning ritual brings stays with me all day.
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I know I am only a few days in but I already feel the change. I already feel the difference it has made in my life. I know that if I somehow missed a day of my new routine I would notice. I would feel off and icky and weird until I went back and did each of those important things.

If you're like me and have a busy life that has made it hard to make this time for yourself regularly, I challenge you to do start again now. Make an effort to consciously recognize how it makes you feel, how it changes your outlook on life. It will make such a positive difference in your life and you will notice the change.

Promise.

If I can do it - so can you!

4 witty remarks:

Heidi said...

i know how you feel. I have committed to do this over and over again. Mornings are the key, as I have tried to do it at night and after winding down and vegging in front of the tv or computer I find that I am too tired. It needs to be a priority. Today, while dreading house work...i have ventured to the computer several times- making time for that. But I have not read my scriptures. It sort of goes like this...Need to do house work=venture to the computer to avoid it. Need to read scriptures=oh, but I should do that housework first!

Bev said...

Amazing! I love your testimony....now if I can just practice what you preach!!! Gonna try!

Rani said...

Love this! Thanks for the reminder and inspiration!!

angieinpink said...

i'm so hearin' ya. i was just thinking this morning actually: i'm 27 & i still kinda struggle making this total, total priority no matter what-style. workin' on it. thanks for the inspo. :)