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There is this funny thing that can happen when we start to make changes in life.  As we think about New Year’s resolutions and making goals and what should be different this year as opposed to last, doubt and discouragement will try to sneak in.

When do they sneak in? The first time you fall back into an old habit and forget your resolve for the thing you wanted to do differently.

Good people who want to improve can also be really hard on themselves when they make mistakes. But the thing is, they are just mistakes. They are just a recognition of why you wanted to change in the first place. Mistakes are also just a stepping stone to getting to where you really want to be.  The truth is that we are all just human and we are going to make mistakes, or slip up, or just plain forget to do the thing that we wanted to do.

success is getting back up

Success consists of getting up once oftener than you fall down”

Whenever we mess up, the best thing we can do is say “oh well” and get up and try again. (It also doesn’t hurt to own up to the mistake, and apologize to anyone else that may be involved.)

Change can be difficult and it certainly can take time. It also often requires trying over and over again.

Accepting that this is a reality can help us in realizing the real truth.

Even though change is difficult… sometimes really difficult… it is absolutely possible, and the results can be amazing.“

I want to remind you of a technique that I have talked about before, to help you in a pre-emptive strike against discouragement.

As you look at your values and the things that you want to do this year, whether it is your recognition of what you want (from this post) or letting go of things that aren’t really you (from this post) start first by examining or evaluating your past for good things.

Make a list of things that you succeeded at in the past. Try to think of some things from last year, but maybe you will go back to years past.  Maybe there is something really big that you remember and feel really good about. These can be bad habits that you have overcome, or big projects that you completed. Maybe it is a relationship that is dear to you that took some work to save or build.

For some people this will be really difficult. Some of us are not used to boasting or looking for the good in ourselves. Some are afraid that this type of searching is “prideful.”

Don’t worry about being prideful in this exercise.  Pride is thinking that you are better than someone else, or smarter than the guiding you may get from the spirit. That is not what we are talking about here. Here we are looking for ways that you improved yourself, and probably helped others through these improvements. If you have trouble thinking of something, ask family members or close friends to help you. I promise there is something you have improved in, and maybe somethings you have conquered that you can feel really good about.

The reason why this step is so important is that it gives encouragement and hope to know that if we have conquered a bad habit from the past, we can do it again.

If we have learned a new skill in the past we can learn more.

If we have made a desired improvement once, we can surely do it again.

Once you have completed a list of a few things that you have been successful at, you can turn back to it and refer to it, as you make the list of changes you are now ready to tackle in your life.  As things get hard, you will find strength in the hope of change, knowing that you have already done some hard things in the past.

Our Heavenly Father wants us to grow and improve and to BE HAPPY!!  He will help us along the way, if we let Him.

The caution is that Satan knows the power of improvement that can come from us also, and he will try to prevent it any way he can. It surely scares him when strong people become even stronger. When you start to feel discouraged, know that it is coming from him. When you feel that a minor setback is a major failure, that is coming from him. His great lie of “you’re not good enough, you shouldn’t even try” will probably be thrown at you just when you are on the verge of growth and improvement.

When you start to feel this coming on, turn your focus back to the Savior.  His death and atonement is what makes it possible for us to fall and get back up again.  To continue to try, to grow, to reach for becoming the person He wants us to be and knows that we can be.  Through the miracle of repentance we can change. WE CAN CHANGE!! Even if it’s hard.  Even if it’s slow. It is possible because of Him.

I invite you to continue to work on your goals, and continue to strive for constant improvement.  Feel free to share in the comments some of the goals you are working on, and some of your past successes.

As we improve this year, we will combine to make this world a better place.


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