How do I keep up with my resolutions when I seem to lose my staying power at the first temptation? This is with everything. With not yelling at my kids; with not eating bad food; with exercising; I CAN’T SEEM TO STICK TO ANYTHING!
I came home from our trip filled with ideas for improving the quality of my family, and now not even six months later I am back to zero!
NO ONE GOES FROM ZERO TO HERO overnight!
The problem with ‘resolutions’ is that they are rarely kept anyway (after all every year health clubs and gyms sell hundreds of new memberships, but they NEVER build new lockers do they?). It has been my experience that slow and steady wins every time especially in developing new habits. The famous Rabbi Israel Salanter (founder of the Modern Musar/Jewish Ethical Mindfulness Movement) said:
“When I was a young man, I wanted to change the world. But I found it was difficult to change the world, so I tried to change my country. When I found I couldn’t change my country, I began to focus on my town. I discovered that I couldn’t change the town. As I grew older, I tried to change my family. Now, as an old man, I realize the only thing I can change is myself. I’ve come to recognize that if long ago I had started with myself, then I could have made an impact on my family. And, my family and I could have made an impact on our town. And that, in turn, could have changed the country and we could all indeed have changed the world!”
This powerful message resonates so loudly! You need to set yourself up for success and build spiritual/emotional/character muscle by working first on your self and allowing those little changes to ripple outward. Note that when even one person ‘changes the dance’ everyone around you will be impacted. Even when no one else is on board your growth and self-control inspire and sets examples that set in motion changes in your environment.
Many times as you move towards changing those around you will unconsciously try and push back keeping you ‘exactly as you were’ because it is familiar. Even if for example they complain about your screaming and yelling they will grow suspicious and uncomfortable as you change your reactions. You will need to be prepared for this ‘pushback.’ That is why I suggest you chose ONE trait in yourself that you know stands in the way of a peaceful home and personal growth. Only ONE! Something manageable. And once you take mastery over that, you will have built the muscle to move onto the next thing and the next!
This is a lifetime of work and doesn’t end until we take our last breath! But my friend; this is the purpose of life according to Jewish thinking! Refine your character and do acts of kindness while you can!
I KNOW you can do it one step at a time!
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