Thursday, March 21, 2013

Blast From The Past

My sister-in-law started a blog in 2009 with her friends called, On How To Be Lovely. These are two guest posts I wrote for them.

February 15, 2011

We made a goal a couple weeks ago (I made it and my husband went along with it) to have a home-cooked meal every night and to exercise at least three times that week. We actually do this quite frequently, but strangely enough, it was harder when I made a goal to do it than when we just do it.
It seems like a goal is harder to keep up with than a habit. It's starting to become a habit for me to go to the gym a couple times a week, and we were already cooking at home a lot; but when I forced myself to do it, I found that I kind of pushed back against myself.

I think goals are harder because they're a change from the normal, and people generally are very resistant to change and to having to do something new. When it's just a normal habit, it's a lot easier. When someone (even ourselves) makes us do something, we don't want to. We want to do things when we want to.

So I decided I need to be careful about my goals in the future--just decide I want to do them, but not set too specific boundaries. That way I won't be forcing myself against my own will and won't be disappointed if I don't accomplish the goal. It sounds counter-intuitive, but it makes for a much less stressful week.

I think the word "goal" is like the word "diet"--it now has a slightly negative connotation (as in people don't want to think about the stress of reaching their goals). We need to have a lifestyle change, not a one-time fix. The trick is getting from goal to habit. Thoughts are very powerful, and if I want to change, I need to think about it and decide to be the person I want to be, not just do the actions.


November 16, 2009

Back when I lived in Provo, there was a restaurant that had really good slow-cooked pulled pork (one of my favorites) and I really liked going there. I went one time by myself and asked the lady behind the counter a question about the menu. She looked like a nice middle-aged mother... until she opened her mouth and made fun of me and my question. I don’t think she meant to hurt me intentionally (still not sure about that) but it did. I didn’t think it was that stupid of a question, but she made me feel like it was. So all of a sudden I felt really uncomfortable, and I could hardly stand finishing my transaction and waiting for my food because her whole manner was offensive. I didn’t go back to that restaurant for a while just in case she was the lady behind the counter. Finally I did end up going again because the food is good, and there was a girl my age at the counter and she was one of the friendliest cashiers I have ever met. After I got my food and walked out, I felt really, really good. It wasn’t just because I was getting good food, but it was the way she was so friendly and open and happy. It made me want to go back again the next day.

The reason for this story is that I have noticed, especially the last eight years or so, that there are some people who try to force themselves on you, force their opinions, their actions, and their responsibility on you, and you respond a certain way because of how they acted toward you. Sometimes I find myself saying I agree with those people even though I don’t necessarily agree just because it’s like they’re forcing their opinion down my throat, and if I didn’t agree I would be the stupidest, most ignorant person in the world. People like that expect everyone to agree with them because they think they are always right, and they want you to know they are right too.

On the other hand, I’ve had many encounters with people who are so open, kind, loving, friendly, happy, and all around lovely, that I feel uplifted and confident after I’ve talked with them because they exude loveliness and loving.

As part of becoming lovely myself, I’ve tried to put a smile on my face, not make snap judgments, accept all types of people, and leave myself open to new experiences and friendships. Many times I’ve made snap judgments about people only to get to know them better and realize that they are great people. It’s something I work on constantly. I know though, that as I learn to smile and be open to people, both of us feel better afterward.

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