I have a hard time making up my mind to do something I don’t want to do. But I’ve learned I have a much easier time taking steps to become something I want to be.

Big difference.

For months I’ve struggled getting to the gym. I’m usually my best in the late afternoons and evenings, so naturally, that’s when I would naturally be most inclined to work out. But I’m also a mother, wife, pastor, author, friend and remover of stains, so life happens between 9 a.m. and when I get around to going to the gym. And life easily keeps me from ever getting to the treadmill.

This past weekend a couple of things occurred to me regarding my little predicament. First, I realized that at some point in my past I must have decided that I wasn’t a morning person. I decided I preferred later hours and I decided that even Jesus Himself must detest the early morning light.

It also dawned on me that instead of deciding to do something, i.e. go to the gym early in the morning, I needed to decide that I wanted to be the kind of person who goes to the gym.

I want to be the kind of woman who bounds out of bed at the crack of dawn, energized and ready to tackle the day, not the kind who pulls the covers over her head and thanks God the kids are now old enough to pour their own cereal.

So, starting this coming week, I’m going to push myself to change. I have decided. I am changing my schedule and my habits to become more of the person I want to be, no matter what.

This process served me well in turning around our financial mess. For those of you who don’t already know, Scott and I were clever enough to get ourselves into colossal credit card debt about six years ago. Walking out of that mess and getting in control of our money again was the hardest thing we’ve done in our almost 14-years of marriage, but we did it.

How? We decided to change.

– We decided to be the kind of people who save a little bit out of every paycheck.
– We decided to give and bless those less fortunate than us.
– We decided to always spend less than we make.

It took a long time – years, actually – for things to turn around, but eventually they did.

They can turn around for you, too.

Save, give, live below your means. Cut up your credit cards if you have issues with debt. Don’t buy everything you want. Learn to live with less.

Most of us have something about ourselves we would like to improve. Whether it’s getting to the gym, getting in control of your money, stopping a bad habit or improving a skill, you can make a major life change by doing three important things:

1. Decide to change. Write it down, and write down why you want the change. What will your life look at feel like? How will things improve if you make this change?

2. Pray about it. Ask God to help you strengthen your resolve and to give you the confidence and tenacity to keep pushing forward.

3. Empower your circle. Tell your friends what you are doing and why, then give them full authority to hold you accountable to do what you said you would do. Then do it.

Decide to change. Conquer that thing about yourself that’s always held you back. You’ll be happier for it, and you’ll be that much closer to being exactly the kind of person you want to be, one decision at a time.

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