change is hard


This is the debate I have with myself: gradual change or boom! change? I’ve tried both methods. Both work about as much as they don’t work.

The gradual change is easier on my brain. I tweak one thing and work on it for a week or so. When I’ve gotten used to that, I add in another thing and wait until that becomes normal. And so on. It’s a lot like watching a juggler start with one ball and add in another and another. The focus is the same– don’t let a ball hit the ground but the task gets more complicated as the juggler adds more to it. If I’m a metaphorical juggler, my balls are sleep, work, blogging, family, exercise and keeping a clean house. I can do 3-4 of those reasonably well and then I drop them all.

Boom! change is writing out a schedule that, on paper, accommodates everything I think I should be able to fit into one day. If it works on paper, it should work in life. One hour here, two hours there, squeeze this into twenty minutes and then breathe at the end of it all if something else hasn’t come up that’s more important. The first couple of weeks should be predictably rough, but once you’re used to it, everything falls into place. I long for such a perfectly structured efficient life. The thing is, paper doesn’t always translate to real life.

Either/or scenarios don’t work for me. Gradual and boom! can’t be my only options because neither one works. I’m terrible at consistently improving myself in a logical way. And I can either beat myself up for that or accept it and try to work around it. Sulking and whining, though fun, don’t accomplish much. Giving myself some grace is better.

Discipline is always going to be hard. “That’s hard,” is such a lame excuse. To grow and to get better takes hard things. Honestly, I’m still convincing myself that I like a challenge. I know I need it just like I know I might never like being challenged. I’d rather curl up in a ball on the couch and finish my Criminal Minds Season 6 marathon.

Gradual change? Boom! Change? Doesn’t matter. Just change. Get better. Do more. Live harder.

About SaraBSutter

I serve as the pastor of United Presbyterian Church in Goldfield, Iowa. My husband Steve and I are excited to be in a friendly small town and look forward to the years ahead. In addition to nerdy church stuff, I love reading books, writing, good coffee, cats, and football.

4 responses »

  1. Hello, Sara. I found your blog via Jon Acuff’s. I loved your review of the Quitter book.

    In reponse to your post, most people hate change, but everyone responds to it differently. Some people like to transition, others like immediate results. I think you hit the nail on the head though. “Get better. Do more. Live harder.” Good stuff.

  2. Thanks for stopping by, Ryan, and thanks for loving my review. I don’t know what I’m doing on the blog yet– nothing flashy– but I’m operating under the assumption that I need to start somewhere and I can learn as a I go.

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