The Challenge of Change – Day 2

Day 2: Vision and Goals –

OK, so you’ve picked an area to work on.  So it’s time to set a goal and consider what you want your new behavior to look like.  Consider your motivation.  Consider the future.  Consider the benefits of achieving your goal.  Make lists if they’re helpful for you.  And be sure to write out your goal/s – ideally picking ones that are measureable and concrete.  For example, “eat healthier” is too vague.  What does that look like and how can you measure success?  Instead, “eat 5 servings of fruit and vegetables each day” is a measureable goal that you can accomplish. 

Since I’m right there with you this week in taking the change, I’ll share how I’m working through the process and changing my procrastination habits:

Vision: To create more peace in my life.  (Feel free to elaborate on this for you situation… I didn’t want to bore you with mine.) 

Goal #1: Make a list of outstanding tasks that need to be completed. Each morning, work on one item for 20 minutes before I respond to email or engage in social media.

Goal #2: Every night before bed, spend 15 minutes doing housework/organizing.

Note: I can add to these goals as needed.

Benefits:

Honor God with my time and activities.

Reduce stress and “last minute” running around.

Create a more restful environment.

Increase productivity.

Free up time for quality family time and recreation.

Motivation:  Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters. Colossians 3:23

One final thought for today.  Be sure to consider if you’d benefit from seeking the help of a professional.  Depending on the behavior you want to change, you may want to see a licensed counselor, physical trainer, professional organizer,  a registered dietitian, etc.   Seek and use  outside resources if it’s appropriate to help you with your goals.

The Challenge of Change

In case you didn’t see my newsletter article from the weekend, I’m posting it here so you’ll have the context of this week’s series.  If you’ve read it already, scroll to the bottom to read the next step.

 The Challenge of Change

Growing up, I always looked forward to a new school year.  New teachers, new classrooms, new subjects. Yes, in general, I loved school.  But what I most loved about the start of a new year was the anticipation and opportunity.  I loved that it was a clean slate and anything was possible – even the hope of becoming more organized and procrastinating less.  But here’s the thing, usually by week two or three, I’d fallen into old patterns of behavior.  The excitement of the newness had worn off and the reality of the work had set it.  And so, I slipped back into old habits.  Procrastination plagued me once again.

Fast forward many years and I realize I still have similar tendencies – whether it’s in my work or housekeeping or just doing life.  While this may not be perceived as a huge character flaw, it is certainly inconvenient at times and can even create problems and stress for me and others in my immediate environment. 

And here’s the important lesson in all of this: I make a choice to let these behaviors continue. It’s not “just who I am”.  I choose to procrastinate and so I must accept responsibility for the consequences.

“So, why don’t I just change?”  you wonder.

Because change requires work. 

If we’re completely honest with ourselves, we’d have to admit that we want the outcome of change without the work of change.  The interesting part is that while there is a cost to change there’s also a cost to remaining the same.  Refusal to change means that we remain in our same circumstances, while a willingness to change offers a hope for a brighter future.  

Perhaps your issue isn’t procrastination and disorganized stuff. But, maybe you wrestle with health habits, spending habits, time management, or relational issues.   I pray that you’ll consider your attitudes and thinking in an effort to determine what areas in your life may require some change to align with God’s best for you.   Peace and blessings as you forge ahead.

Day 1 of the Challenge:  Identify the Need and Commit to Change

You may already recognize an area in your life that needs attention.  Naming it and committing to do something about it is the first step.  It may be a behavior such as eating too many sweets.  Or it may be an attitude of negativity.  Perhaps it’s a tendency to blame others for where you are in life.

If you’re not aware of any changes you need to make then pray about it.  Ask God to reveal an area where He desires growth in your life.

Maybe you have a list of things you want to work on.  But for now, pick ONE. Focus on one thing and commit to make a change.  Then tell someone about your commitment to change. Or at a minimum, write it down so you can see it and be reminded of your commitment.

 As the week continues I’ll address the steps to turning the commitment into action and then how to maintain the new behavior for the long haul. So, join me tomorrow as we work on growing together.  You’re not alone in your efforts. I’m committing to overcoming procrastination… I’ll be praying for you and welcome your prayers as well.  Blessings!