Personal Change

Just One Step: Planning Is Important But Only Action Makes Change

The Problem

Some days I struggle with my emotions and self-image, and when I string together too many of these days I can get into a real funk. You know?? Worse than that, I start to believe my negative feelings are truth, and after awhile they become truth.

When I feel messy and disorganized, I act messy and disorganized. When I feel fat and unattractive, I eat poorly, become less active, and don’t bother much with makeup and dressing neatly. When I feel unreliable, I often fail to meet my responsibilities and commitments.

Hope and Inspiration

I recently read James Clear’s ‘Atomic Habits’ and have been thinking about it a lot. It’s a great read and I intend to go through it again soon to absorb it more thoroughly, but the most important takeaways for me were :
1) I can choose and develop the qualities that are important to me, like reliability, honesty, tidiness, and studiousness.
2) If I’m not 100% reliable one day, that doesn’t mean I’m not reliable or that I can’t learn to become reliable (or honest, tidy, studious, etc.) Each time I keep my word, I “cast a vote” for myself as a reliable person, and (vice versa!)
3) Consistent, incremental improvement is the key.

Now What?

I started this week by giving careful thought to what I want to accomplish in this period of my life. I have left the workforce to care for my aging stepfather and to keep house. To do these things well I need to be reliable, consistent, organized, neat, thrifty, patient, and kind. For my own health and well-being, I need to be more active and fit.

Obviously I’m not going to spontaneously wake up to tomorrow and be any of these things, much less all of them. So, I have made a list of the traits I believe are important, and chosen three that I will work on for the next few months, working to develop habits and change my self-image so that it becomes easier and more natural to be who I want to be.

To be more reliable, I’m using my planner to be more careful about making commitments and appointments, and I try to make careful notes of each new one. To be neater and more organized, I went to and downloaded some printables to help improve my cleaning routine. Because I know ‘multitasking’ is a lie, I blocked out some time each day for each of the tasks I consider to be important in getting where I want to go, including some writing time because sometimes even an introvert has to get stuff out of her head!

The Point

The point of all this is that I took meaningful action this week. Instead of wishing I was better, I am acting more like the person I want to be, and it’s already beginning to show.

If I can do this, so can you. ❤

Photo by Carl Attard on

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