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The Problem with Self-help

I'm an introspective person. I often analyze my thoughts and actions and I'm fairly self-aware in a mostly positive way. All that introspection and self-awareness means that there's no hiding from the fact that I, like many people, have quite a few bad habits and self-defeating practices. Being who I am, this has led me to the treasure trove that is the self-help aisle of the book store. I LOVE these books. I've learned so much from them about challenging my own thinking and being patient with my emotions.

The problem I have is that in my zeal to improve myself, I can often get overwhelmed. There are so many ways I could become better, how can I possibly accomplish them all at once?

I can't, of course. And one of the things I've learned from self-help books is to have compassion for myself. It's hard to see all these flaws and accept that for the time being some of them will not change.

On the other hand, sometimes it's the ideas and stories I tell myself about making the change that are what seem so difficult. In reality, the action itself is easy. Like writing everyday. I tell myself stories about how hard it is to commit to that, but in reality, a small goal, like writing one hundred words a day, is no trouble at all.

That's why I'm signing up for Brenda Ferber's 365 day challenge. It's a habit I think a lot about developing, and now I think it's time.

My father is a psychologist who sees, for part of his practice, people considering gastric bypass surgery. On of the things he works on with them is developing an exercise habit. He's always told me, the most important step in that process is committing to five minutes a day. If you can commit to five minutes a day, and sustain it, you are more than half-way there. Because the real hurdle is the dread of getting started.

So, here I go. Day one!

P.S. My scarf is going great. I'm about 35 inches in. I'll post a pic when it's done.