Dear Holly,
I wonder if you might be able to offer some insight for me. As I look at my life, I see a pattern of starting many things that I don’t finish. Why? Pick any reason, and I’ve probably used it: boredom, unforeseen circumstances, illness, schedule change, sloth, loss of the importance of the thing, etc. I’m not talking about laundry or dishes or things like that as much as I am talking about life changes, trying to better myself. For instance, I might start a time of prayer only to have it upset by something or an exercise program or eating better or an entire rule of life! At the time that I stop the thing, it seems to be for a legitimate reason, but then it often takes me months to even start again.

I am very self-reflective, and I’ve struggled to understand the root, the core of this tendency. Is it lack of commitment? Yes, but why? Is it sloth? Yes, but it seems to go deeper than even that. I believe it has something to do with my perfectionist nature in that I fear the failure more than I want the thing, even though I know the thing is better for me. Intellectually, I can reason it all out, but I can’t seem to get my heart in the right place long enough to form good habits in all areas of life. I am always working against my perfectionism in my spiritual life, and I feel like over the years-especially since I have had children-that I am making small in-roads. And while I see how I have changed for the better in small areas, it is still the big areas that plague me. I don’t believe that I’m getting caught up in just wanting the immediacy of these things, but rather, I yearn for balance, which is what I struggle to achieve. Do you have an outside perspective that you could offer?