There are things I say to myself that I would never say to another human being.

You want to write a book? Please. You’ll never come up with 60,000 words worth reading.

You’re going to the gym? Why bother? You’ll just come home and stuff your face with junk. You know you have no willpower.

Kindness lady? Ha. If people could only see the way you talk to your children when they’re not following your orders. You’re more of a drill sergeant than a kindness captain.

It’s scary, people. My mind can be a dark place to live.

Every time I hear the phrase, “Love your enemies” I think, I don’t have any enemies. But that’s not exactly true. My biggest enemy lives inside of me. Maybe your’s does, too.

I’ve started talking back. I’ve started fighting back. And just like we have to do sometimes with bullies, I’ve started choosing to ignore my inner enemy.

Maybe I can’t write a book or get in shape or become a more patient mom. But maybe I can.

I had a long talk with myself (my nice self, not my nasty self) the other day about practices I need to put in place to move forward in my life. Here’s what I came up with:

Nicole’s Steps to Success

1. Read everyday.

2. Write everyday.

3. Move everyday.

4. Be moved everyday.

That’s it. It’s pretty simple. I read something uplifting, inspiring or educational everyday– for me, that’s my bible.

I write something… a blog, a kindness column, a paragraph or a page of my manuscript everyday and let go of the pressure of wondering if someone else will find it useful.

I connect my mind, body and spirit by working up a sweat, even on the weekends.

And then I pause at least once a day to see the wonder in something little, like the frost coating thin tree branches when the world is first waking up, or the 5 year old’s giggle coming from the other room, or even the sappy TV commercial that I meant to fast-forward until I saw the cute puppies.

Your four steps may look different than mine, but I bet some of them are the same. I’d love to hear what works for you. Maybe I need to add a #5. Or #6.

The enemy voice stills tries to bombard me, usually just before I get out of bed. But now I can say with total authority, You may be right, but I’m taking the steps to prove you wrong, so let’s just see how this all plays out.

My friend, Tania, sent me a link to a song that kind of sums up this whole blog. It’s called “Be Kind to Yourself” by Andrew Peterson. I hope it speaks to you the way it has spoken to me. You are worth being kind to.