As Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf once said, “Now is the best time to start becoming the person we eventually want to be.”
But, if you’re like me, you intend to start right now but normally end up caught between the realm of maybe later and never ever. Change is definitely hard and it is really easy to lose momentum. When we have real intent, we have the power to act. In my own life, I find my heart is often in the right place, but my actions don’t reflect it. How can we turn real intent into lasting habits and actions?
For me, it’s taken what I like to call “bold acts.” They are generally things I’ve been hesitant to do but will make an immediate difference, a simple action that asserts my agency and reminds me I’m the one who can choose God. Sure, they may not actually be earth-shattering or ground-breaking, but they are a clear move of sacrifice and intention. These bold acts can help us feel more confident and reignite our intentions to follow Jesus Christ.
Here are a few actions I’ve taken that have helped me take more control of my life, my actions, and my own spiritual change. It’s important to note to find balance in all things. Whatever your “bold act” may turn out to be, strive not to go to extremes.
1. Delete the apps off your phone or cancel streaming subscriptions.
Many modern-day prophets have warned about the unwise use of technology. Do you find yourself struggling to read your scriptures, go to the temple, and pray? I have. Then, I realized I whittle away hours each day streaming movies, swiping through social media, and playing games on my phone.
My bold act when it came to technology was to delete all unnecessary games and apps from my smartphone. I also turned off almost all notifications for my social media pages. It was so hard at first, but now I feel better equipped to make bigger changes. I’ve begun limiting how much I use my personal computer at home and how much television I stream.
2. Call your ministering brothers and sisters.
For one reason or another, we may have put off our ministering assignments. It can be especially hard to connect when we’ve made contact at some point but haven’t been very consistent. We may feel embarrassed or inadequate. Call your ministering brothers and sisters on the phone with the intent to set up a time to meet with them in whatever way feels comfortable.
Active in ministering? Go and help those you minister to complete their ministering assignments.
3. Ask for an assignment.
Regardless of your calling, reach out to a church leader and ask if they need some extra help. You could volunteer to clean the chapel, cook a meal, give a talk, or even ask for a calling if you do not have one. I was once one of many new members of my ward. It was hard for the bishop to get to know everyone.
I took it upon myself to set up an appointment to meet him and came prepared to talk about what I felt my talents were and past callings I had held. I humbly requested something to do. It helped the bishop know I was available and ready to serve in whatever capacity I was needed.
4. Bear your testimony to a friend or family member.
Even if you frequently bear your testimony on Fast Sunday or share your beliefs online, take some time to reach out one-on-one with a family member or friend and bear your testimony in person. This can come up more naturally in a family study session, but take a risk and ask to bear your testimony to someone you trust. Let them know you have a goal to share your testimony more often and need their help.
5. Don’t take your Sunday nap.
For me, I love my Sunday nap. Sometimes, it’s very necessary as a part of my self-care routines. Sometimes, however, I can live without it. More often than not, my nap puts me into a lazy sort of haze and I spend all Sunday puttering about. This type of relaxation has its place.
On days when I focus on doing a bit of the Lord’s work instead of satisfying my desire to relax, I get many inspired things done. Is there something you do on the Sabbath Day that may be drawing you away from consecrating this holy time to God? If possible, try cutting it out and using your time in a more inspired way.
These small, but bold acts have helped me take charge of my spiritual connection to God. I become someone that acts, rather than someone who is acted upon. What are some ways you’ve done this in your own life?