The gift of self- improvement

Over the last few weeks I’ve come face to face with all of flaws and weaknesses. It hasn’t been very fun, and it hasn’t made me feel very good about myself. On a bad day, with all of my faults glaringly obvious and larger-than-life, it seems like the gap between who I am and who I want to be is too great to overcome. My efforts inevitably fall short, and I feel overwhelmed by my own inadequacy. On a good day I make a list, I make goals, and with positivity wake to face the new day, having turned over a new leaf. But change is so hard. I fail, something happens that forces me to see all the ways I don’t measure up, and the cycle starts over.

I can’t be the only one who does this, can I?

With my birthday coming up and Christmas right around the corner I’ve been thinking a lot about what it is that I really want. And this year, what I want most is to actually change. To make goals and keep them. To improve myself and become more like person I want to be.

What if I gave myself a gift, and actually committed to doing this? I can’t think of anything greater I could do for myself than to be able to look back in another year, with deep gratitude, at how different I am from who I was today.

I have a tentative plan. About once or twice a year for the past few years I sit down with my journal, title a page “the ideal me”, and then braindump. I use this page to measure my actions against my values and to set goals for myself. I did this exercise earlier this week, and tomorrow when John takes me out for dinner for my birthday, I’m going to share my list with him. I have a few ideas picked out that I think will make the most impact on my life, and I’d love to talk about how to accomplish these things.

Once I have a real plan, I’d love to share part of it with you too.

Have you ever done something like this? Have you ever made a plan to actually change something about yourself, and then been successful?

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