I was laying on the couch this morning, tired, after going to bed late last night, and I had this thought...this scary thought:
"I need to go to bed earlier"
What? Where did that come from? That is when it hit me...as much as I enjoy hanging out with my friends at night, I really want to be able to get up in the morning and not feel tired. This was a novel idea for me. But it made sense. If you have 2 things you like, and they come into conflict with each other, you have to decide which one you will give preference to.
As usual this is not some new idea I came up with, but it didn't stop there, the sermon at church today had a common theme, "if you want to do something, you have to plan to do it". Be intentional.
And a major part of being intentional is having the right perspective. My boy Elijah wants to be better at being nice (and he is getting better). But every night he tells me that it is hard, and that he doesn't want it to be hard. He won't listen to me when I try to encourage him that he is doing better. He can't seem to accept the fact that it will get easier to not hit or be mean to his brother, and that he will get better at obeying mom and dad right away. And the fact that he is in this rut of seeing it as hard, actually makes it harder. His negative perspective will hold him back. In fact, in the end, without the proper perspective all our attempts to change things will fall through, because they will not have a solid foundation for "why" we do it.
I also gained some more appreciation for my parents from this. I realize now that just because they were "mom and dad" did not mean they did not like things like video games, and hanging out late with friends. They just knew that in order to be at their best in the morning, they had to go to bed.
So take a look at your life. Is there something you have been trying to start, or be consisten at, and you are finding it hard? Check to see if you have healthy, appropriate perspective for the why you want to do it, and then be intentional.