Peace family, we talk about “tough love” from time to time, but not usually for ourselves. However, I want to challenge you to give yourself a little tough love, if that’s what you need! You might find some break through in your situation.
My roommate was recently talking to me about some things that she needs to do. They are things that are good for her, but she just doesn’t remember to do them, or there’s just not a lot of incentive for her to follow through. Some of them are things she doesn’t really feel like doing, even though they are things that she wishes she would do. Do you ever feel that way?
As she was telling me about the things she needs to do, I got an idea for incentive. She despises a certain politician. I said, “Sometimes you have to give yourself a little tough love. How about, if you don’t actually do what you need to do before the end of the month, then you have to donate $20 to [that politician’s] organization?” She laughed, but it also made her think.
From that conversation, I realized that I need some tough love, too! Although it’s usually pretty easy to motivate myself with rewards (e.g. if I clean the bathroom today, I get to watch an old movie I’ve been wanting to watch), every once in a while, it’s not enough. Something that I’ve wanted to do for a long time, is play the piano, and last year, I tried to learn with a “Teach Yourself” book. However, there was no one to hold me accountable except myself, and once I got off the band wagon during vacation, I was never really able make myself sit down and practice again for the rest of the year. I also hate wasting money, so do you know what would be a waste? Paying to take lessons without practicing! After my conversation with my roommate, I talked to a friend who does lessons, and I will start paying her for lessons next Monday!
Peace family, if you’re struggling to accomplish something that you need to do, maybe you need to raise the stakes. What can you do to improve your life this year? Who can you get to hold you accountable to follow through? If you need to write a check to a politician and hold onto it until you take care of your goal (and promptly tear it up), then do it! Today is as good of a day as any to work towards what’s good for you. As the Bible says, no discipline feels good in the moment. However, by treating ourselves with discipline for our benefit, we are treating ourselves with love. Just something to think about!