January is such a bleak month. I find it hard to think we will ever have warm weather and more light! It is so hard to live without light. Those of you who know you benefit from light, take advantage of inexpensive technology and buy a lamp for medicinal use.
For me, the hardest thing to remember is to take life one minute at a time. I can so easily go into a space of free association, many times with a negative outlook.
Here is where self-discipline is a must.
I am the first to admit that self-discipline is NOT one of my strengths. I wish it were but it isn’t. That’s why I approach introducing self-discipline in very small steps.
One way I try to be self-disciplined is, each morning I make a list of three to five things for which I’m grateful. This exercise is helpful for putting you in a more positive frame of mind for facing the day, even if you repeat the same things day in and day out. Try to think of different reasons for being grateful each day, even if your reason is that you’re grateful for waking up that morning.
The other way I am trying to be self-disciplined in January is this: I find it helpful to keep a pad and pencil (remember them?) by my bed. Before turning out the light, simply applaud yourself for three things you did today by writing those three things down, even if your list is one of basic accomplishments that most everyone has daily.
The point is to begin and maintain the habit of being grateful in the morning and of patting yourself on the back before you go to sleep.
None of us were taught to pat ourselves on the back.
So it’s time to start building your “gratefulness meter” and “self-applause meter” (I just made those terms up) before they wither completely from disuse.
It may seem very silly to be grateful or applaud yourself just for getting dressed or brushing your teeth. But for those of us who have lived in the black hole where you don’t have the wherewithal to get dressed or brush your teeth, it is important to remind ourselves that these really are accomplishments.
It is the habit that is important.
So start today.
Find that pencil and paper and put them next to your bed so that tonight you can begin congratulating yourself for what you’ve done today. I hope you will begin to see your list grow from three to five or maybe seven things each day but if not, so be it. (And I won’t tell anyone how many times you congratulate yourself.)
Whether or not you forget your worth as January drags on, I’m here to remind you that, “You’re worth it!”
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