Becoming Our Best Selves

Photo by A. L. on Unsplash

Yesterday, I had a great idea for this post. It aligned well with last week’s ABCs of a Purposeful WIP focus (Fueling Faith) and it was both interesting and intelligent in its content. The problem is that second word in the first sentence: had. I had a great idea. As in I stubbornly overestimated the staying power of my memory and didn’t write it down and by the time I was faced with a blinking cursor and blank document, I could not recall a single snippet of what I wanted to say.

So, what you’re getting today instead of the original, almost certainly more brilliant post, is a simple reminder. (Maybe you’re not the type of person who needs reminders like I obviously am. If that’s the case, let me just praise your steel trap of a mind and get on with it for the rest of us forgetful folk.)

The reminder is this: It is up to us to take charge of our health. No one—not our doctors, significant others, kids, or moms—have as much stake in the game of our self-care as we do. Sure, these people care about our welfare and they may see (and to some extent, feel) the effects of our lack of health, but for the most part, those side effects are our own to manage.

It never ceases to amaze me how many times I let a good habit fall to the wayside because I no longer deem it beneficial or I can’t seem to find time for it or I allow something else less essential to take precedence. And then, when a certain amount of time passes and I start noticing an increase in crankiness and a decrease in energy, I somehow have the audacity to either, 1) blame someone else, or 2) continue on the same trajectory as if I don’t know what the solution is.

My best example of this is my recent lapse in the four practices I spoke of on Thursday: Filling my mind and spirit with uplifting media, gratitude, reading the bible, and prayer/journaling. Although these may seem exclusively spiritual, each and every one of these habits affects my mind, body, and soul. I am more optimistic and energetic, I have a more purposeful outlook, and I am just plain nicer when I intentionally build these practices into my daily routine.

It sounds easy, so why don’t I just do it, right? Why indeed.

Why do any of us skip out on the things we know make us better, happier, more resilient human beings? Why do we forgo exercising and making healthier food choices and getting enough rest and strengthening our relationships with God and other people? I understand that life is busy and good habits are difficult to form and some of those unhealthy options are just so darn convenient, but are these really worthy excuses?

I think not.

I think I will use the precious time I’ve previously wasted employing them to instead diligently incorporate these transformative practices into my schedule. And I encourage you to do the same. Pick one thing that you know raises your pleasant-and-kind meter at least a notch and commit to doing it every day. Whether it’s feeling the sun on your face for ten minutes or enjoying a quiet cup of morning coffee before the rest of your family gets out of bed or replacing that afternoon carb/sugar fix with a piece of fruit. Whatever it is, don’t wait. Start today. There’s no time like the present to put forth the best version of ourselves.

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