twelve months of bliss

Making Room.

July 1, 2015

Happy July 1st! Not only does this mean that we’re in the thick of summer, but it’s also the start of a new challenge for Twelve Months of Bliss! In addition to today’s post, you can find July’s challenge now LIVE on the Twelve Months of Bliss page. Last month’s challenge focused on reaching out to and thinking of others; this month’s challenge will focus more on yourself as well as taking action.

“Our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world, as being able to remake ourselves.” – Gandhi

How many times have you used the excuse, “If only I had more time, I could do what I really want to do”? And then when you really look at the ways in which you spend your time, it includes things that not only aren’t helping you reach your goals, but have become nothing more than a bad habit and total time-sucker. Have you ever wondered what you might learn about yourself (personally, creatively, professionally, spiritually, etc.) if you replaced a bad habit with simply ROOM? Space? In consciously removing a habit and allowing room and space to enter, you are giving your spirit the necessary room it needs to grow.

Here is the actual challenge for July:

At some point this week, take a morning, afternoon, or evening to sit down and make a list of things/habits you do on a daily basis. Once you’ve completed your list, ask yourself: “Do these things have a positive influence/impact on my life? Do these things help grow me personally?” If the answer is ‘no,’ the habit is most likely one that should – and can – go. Choose one habit from the list that needs to go and then write a mission statement to yourself about why you are choosing to let it go, as well as what you hope to gain instead. Place the statement somewhere you will see it daily (refrigerator, bathroom mirror, car, desk, wallet, etc.)

There are so many growing opportunities within each of the steps of this challenge. In making your list, you are forced to become present, as well as honest with yourself and the ways in which you’d like to see yourself grow… things you’d like to change. The challenge itself is about letting go of something you feel affects you in a less than positive way, and then making the room for something better. (Even if you don’t know what that “something better” is yet, that’s okay. This challenge is about digging deep within yourself and then proactively taking control of the parts you aren’t necessarily proud of.)

It’s important to remember that not all habits are bad. The actual definition of ‘habit’ is an acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary. This is why asking yourself the question, “does this habit have a positive impact/influence on my life?” is so important. Sometimes even a habit that started out with the best of intentions, can eventually turn into something else when it becomes our own personal rut, and not even because we necessarily love what we’re doing over and over again, but because we feel safe in the actual routine of the habit. This is why writing out a list is important, so that we can visually see the things that fill up our days.

I really encourage you to keep a Twelve Months of Bliss journal, if you haven’t started one already. If you are looking at this year-long project as a way to really grow as a person, often times that means reflecting while IN the challenge, in the moment – not only after the fact. Each month, I will provide specific questions you can ask yourself and answer in your journal. You can find the journal prompts for July’s challenge here.I’m really excited about this one, guys. It has the potential to be an incredibly powerful month for each of us personally. We are making room for something greater… something that has purpose… and something that makes our hearts more beautiful. Prepare to have your mind, heart, and soul decluttered!

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  • I so rarely give myself the time for self reflection…this could potentially be really eye opening!! Another great challenge

  • I read this last night and have already begun thinking about my habits. I know there are a few things I'm not happy with but I need to review how I can change and ultimately if I should change them. Looking forward to the month ahead!!

  • Okay, that's it, I have to quit blogging, my real time-sucker!!

  • Ooooh, this will definitely be challenging. I have so many habits and I'd say 25% are time-suckers… Time to make some positive changes!

  • I will definitely be doing this!

  • Margin. What a beautiful, important, hard to actually do. Excited for 11 months of bliss. 😉

  • I need this like you wouldn't believe…thank you!

  • This is a great idea. I'm starting here! Thank you.

  • Excellent advice, as always! Habit pruning! :o)

    It's amazing how much time we absent-mindedly spend on things that are not adding value to our lives and those around us. Thanks for the much needed reminder.

    V

  • Oh em gee I need this! I've been slowly cutting excess "fat" out of my life and either replacing it with more healthy doings, or just being still. Love this!

  • All I see is growth and development from this one and that is exactly what I need/want. I am always looking to better myself and grow into a person following Jesus. I can already see the positive effects this prompt will have. I am glad you mentioned getting a Twelve months of bliss journal. I would love to put it all in one place and be able to look back at is at the end.

  • this list might get ugly. just sayin, I need this. thank you for your amazingly thoughtful, sweetly suggesting life changing self.

  • It's pretty amazing what a month of this can do!

  • Oh yes- I'm sure we all have more than one thing we'd like to change. I think that's why the list and then choosing just one for this month is helpful… it provides focus, intention, and just a mindset of "I'm jumping in head first!" if that makes sense. (At least, this is what I've found from the last time I did this challenge!)

  • haha 😉

  • 😉 😉

  • I do too! Originally, Making Room was going to be a challenge for sometime in the fall, but it just felt like the right time for July!

  • yay! Looking forward to your thoughts at the end of the month 🙂

  • Habit pruning! I love that. And yes, I agree! (I have many… whew.)

  • oh gosh, Kenj- the journal is so, so special. I still have mine from the first time I did Twelve Months of Bliss and it's pretty cool to go back and read some of those entries… and just to see how my heart changed in that year!

  • Ditto, Kim. It's not an easy challenge at ALL. But the outcome is one of my favorites 🙂

  • I know this is something I need to work on myself. It is so hard to take a look at yourself and really understand what you want and are doing with your life. Thanks for reminding me to stop and pay attention!

  • It's so funny that this is July's challenge because I have been doing this myself in the past week. I've been trying to identify habits that leads to other behaviors I want to stop…basically what's triggering my behavior. I've then started working on changing the initial behavior to avoid the later. If that all makes any sense.

  • It's pretty incredible how removing even just 1 thing provides so much space!

  • We are on the same page this month then! 🙂 (Yes, makes total sense) You've definitely taken it like 3 steps further than this challenge, good for you girl! It's not an easy thing to do.

  • I'm finally spending a lot of time on this one… not an easy one for me!