Have a tough time following through on ideas for change? Try this…

phases-of-change

Typically I’m pretty good at following through on things.  Julia always says that it amazes her that I can just set my mind to something and then do it.  “I think I’ll build a rock climbing wall in the garage”…done.  “I think I’ll start working out regularly to get in shape”…done.  I’m glad she sees me that way, but there are TONS of things that I want to do but never follow through on.  I always say that when faced with a choice, people will ultimately do what they want to do most.  Picking a movie to watch, you’re going to choose what you want most.  Even if you choose Dirty Dancing…if may not be the movie YOU want to watch, but your desire to please your wife and spend time with her is what outweighs the choice of movie…so ultimately you are still choosing what you want to do most.

So, when I have something I want to change about my life, it is really disappointing to me when I don’t follow through on it.  It tells me that there are other things that I’m choosing instead.  Based on my actions, I can tell you the following about me:

– I prefer keeping my money than giving it to a homeless person on the street.

– I like spending my Saturdays at home as opposed to going out and serving somewhere.

– I would rather NOT spend money on flowers than buy some to give to Julia, even though it makes her feel special.

– I prefer to forget about the idea of teaching my son things and will sit back and let Julia do it.

I am not proud of any of these statements.  But, I have to keep it real and this is what I observe about myself based on what I do.  They are all areas I WANT to make a change in, but have had a tough time figuring out the motivation to do it.

Through the last 2 years of blogging, I have found out something about myself.  I am much more likely to do something after I talk about it.  When I write a post about an area I struggle in or one where I am offering advice on a subject, it brings attention to the issue.  As a result, I think a lot about it.  Also, I’m publicly announcing what I’m working on…or sometimes making statements about what I do or am going to do.  Now…I HAVE to do it!  This is both frustrating and awesome at the same time.  Sometimes I want to be lazy and selfish.  But accountability helps me turn the selfishness into selflessness.

When I wrote about not throwing your wife under the bus or not saying I told you so, it helped remind me to do the same.  When I wrote about the importance of dating your wife and how I need to work on my listening skills, it requires me to get these issues together.  I can’t advise other people on something if I can’t do then myself!  Sometimes the extra motivation and accountability is just what I need to make a change.

However, even then, there are areas I still struggle at.  I wrote about getting your wife flowers, but I still am the worst at this.  I wrote about why it’s so important to be the spiritual leader for your family, but I feel I fall way short at this.  So…it’s all still a work in progress.  But, I will continue to put myself out there even if it means that my failures are more public.  I feel the chance of success is worth the risk of failure.  

My advice to you:

If you have something you want to change in life (the way you treat your wife or kids, the way you spend you time, etc), it can be very helpful to SPEAK it.  I’m not saying you need to start a blog, it can be much simpler than that.  Just talk with your wife or kids or friends about what you want to do differently.  Formulating the idea into words AND telling someone can help immensely.  So if you want to do something…give it a shot!  What is the worst that can happen…you put yourself out there but don’t succeed?  Remember, “failures are finger posts on the road to achievement.” – C.S. Lewis