Better Living Today

Better Living Today – Improving your life and productivity
Subscribe to the RSS Feed Subscribe to Science in Review by email

Are You Spinning Your Wheels?

By • Jun 4th, 2008 • Category: Lead Article, Personal Development

If you're new here, you may want to subscribe to my RSS feed. Thanks for visiting!

At some point in our lives, most of us, decide that we want to make a change, either in our lifestyle, (health, spiritual climate, living conditions, leisure pursuits, etc.) or our career. The problem arises when we think only of making a change yet do nothing about it or engage in stop and go efforts. The result is the same; we end up spinning our wheels in our good intentions.

Very often, when we consider a change, it is in response to something negative. A troubled or failed relationship, organizational restructuring at work, illness and death are some of the reasons that might cause us to consider making a change. Moreover, we hope that the change we envision will purge us of the effects of our bad experiences and put some distance between us and our painful past.

Whatever triggered your decision, if you really want to effect some significant change in your life, you must have a clear idea of the change you want and the path you will follow to make it happen. Or, you could well find yourself stuck in a holding pattern and spinning your wheels.

These are the three strategies I continue to use to help me avoid this common dilemma in my own life.

Determine the outcome

Do you know the old saying that asks, “If you don’t know where you are going, how will you know when you get there?”

This might seem obvious, but you will be surprised to learn how many people start the process of change without really having a clear idea of what they want to accomplish.

Wanting change in response to something negative is valid but we can be so focused on running away that we forget to look at what we say, we are running towards. The memory of difficult or painful experiences, coupled with the long-lasting consequences can consume our minds and muddle our ability to function in our day-to-day roles. Still, we must muster the courage to look away from the past and focus our attention and energies on the process that will make the dream of a particular change real.

Have you ever seen movies, where people are running from danger? They take off in a fright. They know only that they must get away, far away. Their frightened dash for safety usually takes them down a deserted part of town, a dark, lonely alley, usually with a dead end, or an abandoned house. Even the perceived threat of danger or some other distressing situation can thrust us into a disorganized flight. Like in the movies, we scamper with no clear idea of where we are going. We could end up running in circles, spinning our wheels and going nowhere.

It is only when you know definitively the change you want, will you be able to chart the course to take you there. And, you could travel the path with confidence instead of fear and doubt.

Design the structure

Desire alone will not create the change you want, but structure will keep the change process together and moving at a manageable pace.

The structure you design should consist of the resources you will need to implement your change. Make sure you avail yourself of books and courses that can equip you for the way ahead.

Include the support mechanisms to help you work through the normal hiccups that accompany any change. Compile a list of people you can turn to when you feel stuck or despondent. Factor in leisure activities to add variety and respite from the demands of daily life and the stress of trying to implement changes. Activities unrelated to your day-to-day responsibilities can offer rest for your weary mind and body. Time alone is another necessary component of your support mechanism. Schedule it as you would any other activity. Make sure you have stretches of time to reflect and recharge your emotional batteries.

Draft a schedule of accountability

Frequently, when we have no one to whom we have to give an account of our progress, we lapse. We let crucial tasks slip and fall by the wayside.

Even when the change is small, schedule periodic sessions with a mentor, fellow change-seeker, friend or family member. Your accountability team should be cognizant of your plan, the path as well as the problems you are facing. They should hold you accountable and not be afraid to demand it. They should be brutally honest and critical when necessary.

Update them on the progress you have made, the obstacles you faced and overcame and ask for advice to deal with any ongoing struggles.

Accounting sessions like these help to keep you motivated and focused. They help to cement the bond between you and those to whom you have to give an account.

Once we decide to effect some change in our lives, those critical voices in our heads begin to tell us that we are not good, smart, strong or worthy enough to accomplish our goals. They keep dredging up the issues that cast a coat of fear over us, causing us to doubt the validity of our decisions and we even toy with the idea of giving up.

Have you lost your initial desire for some change? Are you stuck there spinning your wheels? I encourage you to revisit the outcome you wanted, revise the structure to get there and renew your accountability to someone. Your wheels will find their traction again and propel you on your way to the life change you want.

Popularity: 49% [?]

Found it interesting? Don't forget to bookmark the feed from the site.


Categorized as   Lead Article, Personal Development   |   Trackback URI   |  

Leave a Reply