Friday, April 4, 2008

A Change is Gonna Come

Semi-Charmed Wife performed the following exercise and I was hooked immediately.

Scott always teases me about being born on The Day of Upward Mobility. What that means for me is that I always want to improve myself, make myself a better person.

Anyway, I've been thinking a lot lately about how I hold myself back. How I'm becoming the woman I want to be, but not as quickly as I'd like.

Perhaps this exercise will help me build some momentum. Below are my responses to the questions asked:

From How to Break Bad Habits_Written by Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS

Write down 3 excuses you are using to avoid making the changes you need to succeed:

1. I DON’T HAVE TIME. I’m so busy chasing the boys around, trying to find work, working, cleaning or cooking, blogging, etc. I always feel like I’m in a rush and I never take the time to get organized, write things down, make a plan, or set goals.
2. I’M NOT GOOD ENOUGH. I simply don’t believe in my own abilities to achieve what I want to accomplish, whether it’s a staff writing job at a major magazine or having rock-hard abs.
3. I’M TOO TIRED. At the end of the day, I just want to spend time with Scott and relax. I’m mentally worn out by taking care of other people. In the morning, I have a hard time getting up and getting going because I always feel like I didn’t get enough sleep because often I didn’t.

How have these excuses affected your life? What have the excuses stopped you from achieving? Write down 3 very important things that you have missed out on because you’ve allowed yourself to make excuses._

1. I haven’t established myself as a writer to the point that I don’t have to look for work and I feel I haven’t written anything important.
2. I don’t like my body and feel unattractive because I haven’t/don’t work out consistently.
3. I don’t spend time just having fun with my kids because I’m so disorganized I always feel like I’m behind the gun on getting things done.

Now how do you feel when you fall victim to one of your self-sabotaging excuses?

Like an idiot. Like a really huge failure who doesn’t measure up to all the successful and accomplished women around her.

What benefits do you get from the excuse? Is it simply that you get to remain in your comfort zone? Or is it the fear of the unknown that is holding you back? Write down 3 ways you benefit from making excuses._

1. Part of it is comfort. Part of it is fear and just not knowing where to start. I feel overwhelmed. I don’t know how to be organized because I never have been, so it’s hard to force myself to change in that way. Even though I want to.
2. I don’t have to face the fact that maybe I’m just a fat girl who will always be squidgy in the middle and look like crap no matter how hard I try.
3. If I never get around to sending my queries to major magazines, I never have to hear them tell me I suck as a writer. So, I guess I get to avoid feeling like a total loser.

So now we both know why we’ve created our excuses - to avoid something. All we need to do now is find a way to overcome these bad habits. I want you to write down 3 behaviors you want to stop._

1. Putting off doing the hard work – getting organized, setting a plan, doing what I need to do.
2. Skipping work outs and simultaneously not believing in my ability to accomplish the goals of working out.
3. Eating junk.

Now write down why you end up doing it…were you bored, fearful,lazy, etc._

1. Lazy. Sometimes, I’m just plain lazy. I’d rather read or blog or do anything but the things I need to do.
2. I skip workouts because I have a lot on my plate and it’s easy to put other things ahead of myself. I fail to make myself, my health, and my happiness priorities.
3. I eat junk because it’s easy. It tastes good. It’s there. And I hate feeling deprived. My sweet tooth just gets the better of me sometimes.

Now give yourself the permission to change. Envision the rewards you will get when you make the change to your life and habits. Give yourself a powerful list of reasons for fixing the habit._

1. If I get and stay organized, I will ultimately have more time because I will stop wasting time looking for things, trying to remember things, and getting started on projects.
2. If I work out and get myself in shape, I will have more energy for my kids, and I will feel happy and confident about my appearance.
3. If I take charge of my life and pursue my dreams I can always live my life knowing I gave it my best shot and wasn’t afraid of taking a chance. That, if nothing else is a fine example to give my sons.

Working on bad habits everyday will give you an incredible boost in self-esteem and confidence. With each small successful improvement you’ll build confidence to take on the bigger, badder habits that are holding you back.


Aleta said...

Thank you for sharing the post about bad habits. I have similar ones to work on and I plan on answering those questions. I want to know I gave this life my best shot too.

Dawn said...

Aleta, thank Semi-Charmed Wife. : )

She has a terrific blog to help people trying to find their purpose in life. She seems like an amazing woman who has got it goin' on!

I think this sense of aimlessness or lack of purpose and inability to focus plagues everyone at some point in their life.

But, I think that's part of the point. I think when you start to feel that way, you're at a crossroads and it's a wonderful opportunity to figure out what you really want; what matters.

Good luck and thanks for visiting and commenting.

I really appreciate it.

Dawn said...

Also, if you follow the links I posted to SCW's site, you can see that she has a post with the whole exercise as it was originally published (blank) so that you can cut and paste it, as I did. It's very convenient and makes it almost so convenient that you'd feel guilty if you didn't do the exercise.

Jen said...

First of all, Dawn--you are TOO SWEET!

Second, you did an awesome job with this exercise. It's hard to take a critical look at your life and yourself and identify areas where you need to improve. Filling out that worksheet was a very humbling experience for me. But I think the best thing about it is that it's kind of a bonding experience, you know? We all have our trials and challenges, and sharing them brings us together and makes us all feel like we CAN do this.

Third, as you know, I share your goal of making a living as a writer. You have a very distinctive voice and a real talent for capturing and conveying emotion. I have no doubt that I'll be seeing your byline in a magazine some time soon.

We should make a deal with each other to develop a piece to submit (me for a short story contest, you to a magazine) and have a deadline. I always work better knowing that someone is counting on me. What do you think??

Have a great weekend!!

merlotmom said...

Thanks for sharing, Dawn. I feel like I took the quiz myself. We should put together a blogger writing group and force ourselves to be productive. Do you think??

Aleta said...

Thanks again, Dawn. I'll check out SCW's site!