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1 Be Realistic

1 Be Realistic

It can be tempting to try to change everything in your life immediately. You tell yourself, ‘This week I’m going to stop smoking, stop swearing, stop staying up too late at night, start exercising, start eating better, and start calling my grandparents.’ But trying to reach all your goals at the same time is a sure way to reach none of them!

BIBLE PRINCIPLE: “Wisdom is with the modest ones.”Proverbs 11:2.

A modest person is realistic. He recognizes that there are limits to his time, energy, and resources. So rather than trying to change everything at once, he makes improvement gradually.

Trying to reach all your goals at the same time is a sure way to reach none of them!


Work on your habits in realistic increments. The following steps may help:

  1. Create two ‘master lists’—a list of good habits that you would like to build and a list of any bad habits that you need to get rid of. Do not limit yourself; on each list, write down as many as you can think of.

  2. Prioritize the items on your lists, numbering them in the order of importance to you.

  3. Choose a few habits—even just one or two—from each list, and focus on those. Then move on to the next one or two habits on each of your lists.

Speed up the process by replacing a bad habit with a good one. For example, if your list of bad habits includes watching too much TV and your list of good habits includes keeping in touch with loved ones, you could resolve: ‘Instead of immediately turning on the TV when I get home from work each day, I will contact a friend or a relative and catch up.’