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So, this is day one of my 21 days of prayer and fasting. I have been reading the literature and I have been praying about it. I think I have a good grasp of how to proceed. What I get from my reading is that I don’t necessarily have to not eat. What I have to do is give up something, make changes and seek God, seek to draw closer to Him.

But what I do, give up, must be challenging. It must cause me to push myself, cause some sort of discomfort. But for me, just making changes will be challenging and I don’t think that is what they mean. But if I make too many changes at once or too drastic changes, I will go into overload and have a meltdown. I don’t do well with changes in my life, I need structure.

I am attempting to combat this by documenting everything. I made a work schedule for myself this morning so that every moment is assigned a task. I also created a food journal because part of my fasting is giving up dark sodas (or pretty much all sodas, but I sometimes drink a little Ginger Ale to settle my stomach so I have made provisions for that). I will also make the significant change of making my diet healthier (this isn’t fasting, but it is challenging and it will be an effort on my part as well as affect my body and spirit, healthwise).

I also made a budget because I am going to fast from indiscriminate spending. Sometimes I get things and realize that I like other things later (mostly cleaning products). I already have certain brands and types of toilet paper, toothpaste and paper towels that I always get, no matter what. It helps to keep me from spending a lot of time debating and thinking about my decisions or choices on which type to get. It is very hard. So I am going to settle on ALL products that I bring into my home for cleaning, cooking and keeping our home nice so that I don’t get a bunch of stuff I don’t need.

I don’t spend money on clothes, not much anyway, because I only shop at thrift stores and I am starting to make my own clothes. I do spend a little to buy decent shoes, though, because feet are important, they carry your everywhere.

I buy things for the people I love and I do things for people. I won’t stop that. I will make cuts somewhere else, maybe in buying my books and magazines.

I am also making a schedule for my home time. I am going to not be on the computer so much. I think I need to sew more, do things with my hands. I also need to write more, but that is on the computer. I think that is OK, though, because I feel that this writing is something God is placing on my heart. I also will check and respond to email because that is how I mostly communicate, but I will create a specific time slot and stick to that.

Maybe no FaceBook games during the week, only on the weekend. I don’t know, I will have to think about that. Maybe not at all.

The handout they gave us uses a neat method called the S.O.A.P. method. I like that (I like structure) so I will follow that – at least for now.

So, this is my overview. It is just the beginning and I know it seems a little scattered, but I have to make small changes a little at a time and keep things very, very structured, even more structured than usual.

I have to rent a carpet cleaner.

I will have to do this longer than 21 days, though, because new studies are indicating that it can take 9 weeks and even several months to form a habit. Neuroscientists are finding that it takes longer than originally thought to form habits. But even if you mess up a day or two, if you get right back to it, you don’t really lose time, don’t really mess up those neural pathways that are being carved into your brain.

So if you are doing a fast to change the way you live, you need to be prepared to do it for longer than a couple of weeks. It might take longer, it depends on you, your brain and what you are trying to change.

I will write more this afternoon about Day 1 of my fast. I will tell you more about how I am using the S.O.A.P. method.

S – Scripture
O – Observation
A – Application
P – Prayer