Plans fail for lack of counsel,
but with many advisers they succeed.
but with many advisers they succeed.
Proverbs 15:22 (NIV)
No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
Hebrews 12:11 (NIV)
Before last year ended, I made a commitment, not to New Year’s Resolutions, but to more consistently intentional living. I gave myself a list of 10. In terms of making those changes stick, I think it’s important to check in, ‘fess up, and be accountable. This is my first check-in. In some areas, I’ve got it going on. In others…Lord knows I have work to do.
This commitment is a little larger than just doing a few things better. I want to live to my God-granted potential. I no longer want to stay in my comfort zone any longer than necessary. I read an inspiring article this week called “How to Achieve Goals That Feel Out of Reach,” and I’m taking it on. In the meantime, let’s review a couple things to see where I am…
If I look at the first 4 items on my list, I need work. #1 is a slam dunk and I’m on it.
1-Always a roast chicken in the fridge
|"those with help and accountability |
are far more likely to succeed"
from the Do What you Can Plan
by Holley Gerth
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Every week since I made this commitment, just before the New Year, I’ve made soup, chicken salad, or a quick chicken sandwich, just because I have chichen around. It relieves me of having to scramble at the last minute. It is absolutely one of those on-top-of-it-girl things that makes me feel a little cooler and keeps life a little simpler. This takes my list from 10 to 9. According to achieving goals that feel out of reach, I have expanded my comfort zone to make a chicken in the fridge the new normal. Gotta find something to add in the open position. I like ticking things off my list.
2- Always pause before speaking
I’m growing here, but I could use more work. Reviewing my list, it occurs to me that I could wed this to #3 and 4, and work on them together.
3-Breathe more, talk less, and 4-Consciously stop interrupting
Originally, my intent was to better control the things coming out of my mouth by pausing first. That helps ensures intentionality, and greater accountable for the things I say. It is one thing to think before speaking; another entirely to pause. I believe that pause honors the listener by conveying a) that I have heard them, and b) they deserve a thoughtful, considered response. I can do better. #3 and #4 naturally follow…breathing more and talking less (we could probably all do with more breathing and less yapping), and to become a better listener.
In giving myself the benefit of the doubt (which I think was overreaching, at best), I claimed originally that my reason for interrupting is that “sometimes my brain moves really fast, and while I don’t intend to be rude or give the appearance that I’m not actively listening, that may be the way it comes across.” No. How about I talk too much, and I am choosing to be concerned about being a better listener OVER always having my say. I assert now that the thing I am working on, intentionally, is giving a fully measured and well-considered response, after listening carefully AND actively. Fully engaged. Not musing about my reply instead of paying attention. My brain will submit to the patience the rest of me is working on.
With #1 off my list, and #2, 3, and 4 collapsed into one, I’ll do a little celebrating and then get my list back up to 10. We grow or we die, and I’ve heard more than once this week that we need to keep things ahead of us as goals.
I’ve also learned from coach/friend/encourager Holley Gerth that when you set goals, intend to change your life, “Don’t Go It Alone.” According to Holley, writing in The Do What You Can Plan (available here) “those with help and accountability are far more likely to succeed…if we invite someone into our journey, we risk them seeing our weaknesses and knowing that we aren’t (gasp!) perfect. Yet ironically, it is only through letting others see all of who we are—our triumphs as well as the mistakes along the way—that we truly feel loved.”
So, I’m asking you to help keep me honest. Make me accountable. I want to have a list at the end of this year with all new milestones. I don’t want to still be working on the things I started out the year working on, I want to move. Come with me? I’ll still be surrendered; I’ll still be broken, but at the same time, I will be new. You could be too...