I recently talked with a friend about a change she was trying to make in her life. I asked her how it was going, and if the change was helping her. The answer was, “No, I tried it a couple of times and it didn’t work so I stopped doing it.
There is a big difference between starting something and building a practice into your daily life.
Starting is good but most likely won’t bring about the change you’re looking for. It takes time to see results for most changes. I painted 13 little finches before I painted one that looked like a finch. If I had stopped after my first attempt I wouldn’t know this.
Building a practice doesn’t happen after one or two tries. It definitely does not happen over night. It’s something that probably requires some attention and effort. Building a practice can be very simple but it’s not necessarily easy.
So what does this look like if you’re trying to make a change in your life? It means showing up every day, even when it’s hard. Especially when it’s hard–day in and day out. That’s building a practice and showing discipline.
“Discipline is remembering what you really want”
Why is starting not enough?
- Building one practice teaches us how to build others. I approach change differently after having added painting everyday to my life.
- Being dedicated and disciplined in adding something you love to your days brings better results. Your abilities grow with your practice.
A Challenge: Build a Practice!
We don’t need to start another project and let it go unfinished. We all have enough of those! Instead, let’s do something really loving and compassionate for ourselves. Let’s build a practice!
I want you to build a practice of doing something truly nice for yourself everyday. Just pick ONE nice thing you can do for yourself and do it EVERYDAY for the next 30 days.
Don’t put it off! We are going to start NOW.
It should be something that you can do in 30 minutes or less. It should not take longer than that. Everyone is busy and if your truly loving thing takes more time than that then you may skip it–and skipping a day is your worst enemy! It leads to feelings of failure, guilt, bad self talk…
One small act of self-love today, then again tomorrow.
If you can do this for a month, then you are building a practice. If you’re not, then you are just starting again and again, and that effort can be draining.
Bonus Challenge: Build a Team
Are you ready to build a practice? Does it seem easy? Good, that means you’ve built a practice before and it’s not new to you. (Remember, I said it gets easier the more you do it!)
The bonus challenge is to start building a team. Tracy and I LOVED having each other to lean on when we started making changes. Having a teammate or friend do this with you can be a HUGE help in making it stick. Here’s the best part: you don’t have to be doing the same activity. You just have to set up a way to communicate with each other to offer support, encouragement, and bounce ideas off of each other.
You could use your team to accomplish a common loving goal together. If you live nearby you could meet up at a coffeehouse or bookstore. Being surrounded by the right people can make a world of difference when building a practice.
Share what you’re building in the comments. It just might inspire someone else!