On January 11, 2020, I began writing this weekly blog again after months of inactivity by sharing why I stopped writing – chronic pain. The following week I shared what I intended to do now – write my first book. Last week I shared the SMART plan I will use to write the book. (See the February 3, 2020 blog for an explanation of the SMART plan). I was all set and eager to begin.

You know and I know that life is not that simply. I experienced a few ups and downs during this first week of research. I prayed, “Why, Jesus, why are things not going smoothly. I know you told me to do this.” The answer came in my quiet time. I was not positioned for a successful new beginning. God revealed that my lifestyle practices could and would sabotage my SMART plan to write the book if I did not make immediate changes. Those detrimental lifestyle practices and how I will overcome them are:

  • Frustration – it was such a struggle to get to the library. My plan was for five days a week. This first week I was only able to get there four days. I felt I had failed myself. Then I remembered that it takes 21 days to develop a new habit. Whew! Good news! Solution – calm down. There is still time to meet my deadline.
  • Sleep deprivation – because of unforeseen circumstances, I had four to five hours of sleep each night last week. When I am sleepy and tired, I do not think clearly or comprehend quickly. So, the research for my book has been slower than I would like because I had to read the same paragraph several times. Solution – give it to God and go to bed. He is the only one who can fix it anyway. I am losing sleep needlessly. I cast this care upon the Lord! 
  • Overcommitment – there are many worthwhile organizations, movements, groups, and fellowships. They all meet during the best time for me to research and write. It is true that each one only holds a meeting once a month, but I could be at someone’s monthly meeting three times a week. Solution – narrow my participation to a few organizations and let the rest go for now. Writing must take precedent over participation in numerous groups. 
  • Poor self-care practices – daily eating, taking medicine, resting, exercise, and much needed social time is a challenge now that I have added two hours of research/writing to the daily schedule. I am struggling to get it all in and still work on my book five days a week. Solution – sit down on Sunday and plan the week’s meals and activity schedule.

Having a SMART plan for writing my book is not enough. The rest of my life must be in order also. And so does yours. Are you sabotaging the dream God gave to you?  Do you have some lifestyle changes to make? What are you going to do about it? Remember, God wants you to succeed and will give you the wisdom you need if you ask. Share if and what you can. #Join the conversation.