The opening to my study this morning poses these questions: Are you making progress? Are you a better person today than you were a year ago? Are you happier? More fulfilled? Are you healthier? Are you more financially independent than you were a year ago? Is your work becoming more and more satisfying?

Today, we focus on progress, not perfection. I love that concept. None of us can be perfect, honestly, I don’t even think we can try to be perfect. We CAN progress to become the best versions of ourselves. Through our thoughts, our words, our actions, we can progress.

Matthew Kelly reminds us that it is not that we are working to become perfect, we are working to become the best version of ourselves. If you haven’t already, I highly recommend you participating in Dynamic Catholic’s Best Lent Ever. Because Lent is more than just giving up chocolate. It’s about improving ourselves to meet God’s dream for us.

He says, “We become a-better-version-of-ourselves each day by reflecting on our days and saying, “OK, where are the moments where I was the-best-version-of-myself, and what was it that helped me do that? What set me up for that?” But also to look back on the day and say, “OK, in what moments wasn’t I the-best-version-of-myself? What set that up? What caused that?” Did we not get enough sleep? Did we eat too much food? Did we drink too much soda, or too much alcohol, or too much . . . What was it? Be aware; have this incredible awareness. What was it that prevented us from being the-best-version-of-ourselves in that moment?”

To reflect on these questions–we can improve our well being. We can improve our souls. So, the focus of today is this: Change doesn’t equal progress. Progress is any change, however small, that makes someone more perfectly himself or herself.

The call to action is Start asking yourself this question regularly: Am I making progress?

Day 4: JOY and GRATITUDE

If you had asked me even three months ago if I was satisfied in the life I was living, I would have not hesitated to tell you no. I was miserable in my job, I was fearful, I was lonely, and I let those thoughts drive everything about me. I let those thoughts drive my side business, I let those thoughts drive my parenting, I let those thoughts drive my marriage. I let those thoughts CONSUME me and I was rapidly becoming a horrible-version-of-myself.

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Today, I can honestly tell you that is not the case anymore.

Are you making progress? Yes. In everything I do I am making progress. I am making progress in my business. I am making progress in my parenting (though sometimes I don’t feel like it). I am making progress in my marriage.

Are you a better person today than you were a year ago? Are you happier? Yes. I am more patient (one of my weaknesses). I put the needs of others before myself. I share my business because I truly care for others and want them to know there are better ways to clean, make your house smell good, etc. I am happier. Because I’m dictating my schedule and I’m working with people I choose to work with. I am full of JOY and GRATITUDE, and Young Living brought me this.

More fulfilled? Are you healthier? Are you more financially independent than you were a year ago? Is your work becoming more and more satisfying? Without a doubt I am more fulfilled. I love what I do. Without a doubt I am healthier. I have removed toxins and chemicals from my house. Am I more financially independent? Well, no, not yet, but I intend to be and for now, that is ok with me. My work is so very satisfying. I love when I receive texts that an essential oil has helped yet another family through an issue.

Am I perfect? FAR from it? But am I progressing? Absolutely.

Don’t you want that JOY?

It doesn’t have to be with my business. Let it be your own. But work on these things–bring that JOY and SATISFACTION to your life. Because it will in turn help you to become the best-version-of-yourself.

And who doesn’t want that?

Jesus, help me to respond to your challenge to actively seek what you want in every area of my life.

Written by Shay Rafferty
I help families shift to living live a life of wellness and abundance by using natural, plant-based products.