I adopted my dog Fenway 8 years ago when she was just 4 months old. She has been with me through good times and bad and I love her like crazy. If she was in jeopardy, I would risk my life to save her.
Right now my Fenway is pretty ticked off at me. If she could tell you about it she would say I traumatized her this morning. I pulled her hair, dumped water on her, and about tackled her in my arms.
This morning my Fenway got a good brushing and a bath. She hates them both with a passion. Every time she hears the shower turn on she runs into her crate and curls up in a ball. When I try to entice her out she pulls away from me. I have had to learn to get everything set up when she isn’t paying attention, call her into the kitchen for a treat and then scoop her up in my arms and carry her to the tub. Did I mention she hates to be carried?
The thought popped into my head that sometimes doing the right thing hurts. But it still needs to be done.
This can be applied to many things.
Using every extra dollar to get out of debt is hard and it hurts. When you are in Operation, Debt Be Gone there is no splurging on expensive gadgets, iphones, toys, or vacations. There is no going out to eat with friends. There are no trips to the mall or even to the ice cream store. Getting out of debt hurts but it is the right thing to do. You are worth it.
Getting out of a relationship that doesn’t bring out the best of you is hard and it hurts like hell. When you are in Operation Break Free there are a lot of hard conversations, soul-searching, drama and tears. There is no intimacy, no laughter, no joy. Getting out of the wrong relationship is hard and it hurts but it is the right thing to do. You are worth it.
Spending time and energy to figure out what makes you happy, what you are passionate about, what brings you joy can be hard and it can hurt. When you are in Operation, Developing a Strategic Life your free time is devoted to reading, quiet time, asking hard questions. It can be extremely frustrating and your family and friends may not be supportive about the changes you want to make. Developing a strategic life, one that makes you happy can be hard, it can be challenging, it can be emotional but it is the right thing to do. You are worth it.
I think we get so caught up in the day-to-day tasks that we don’t focus on what really matters. We let our To Do Lists take over and completing the tasks becomes our day, our week, our month, even our year.
Welcome to 2017!
This is a new year, a new beginning – I encourage all of us to do the right thing, even when it hurts.
Don’t make a resolution to do something, make a plan, develop a strategy.
I recently listened to an audio book titled This Year I Will… How to Finally Change a Habit, Keep a Resolution or Make a Dream Come True by MJ Ryan. In the book, she shares that 45% of people make resolutions but only 8% succeed. For most of us resolutions simply don’t work. She also shares that 90% of heart patients don’t stick to the changes they need to make. For most of us simply wanting to make a change isn’t enough.
So, let me say it again. Don’t make a resolution to do something, make a plan, develop a strategy.
This involves putting in some time and some effort before you try to make a change in order to ensure success.
Get clear with yourself on WHY you want to make the change. When you answer that question ask yourself WHY again and then again. Being clear on WHY doing something different or new or not doing something is important to you helps you be strong enough to do the right thing, even when it hurts.
I will share my WHY with you.
In 2017, one of my goals is to learn Tai Chi.
Why do I want to learn Tai Chi? My left knee is weak which negatively impacts my balance. I want to improve my balance.
Why do I want to improve my balance? I don’t want to fall and get hurt, I want to be healthy and strong.
Why do I want to be healthy and strong? I want to be physically fit, capable of doing any activity I set my mind to. I want this to be true now and in the future as I get older. This is one of my guiding principles of my strategic life.
Why Tai Chi?
- It is low impact. This will keep me from quitting because it shouldn’t bother my weak knee.
- It is inexpensive to learn and can be paid for by the class, month or quarter. If I pay for a few months in advance, this will eliminate the “I have no money excuse”.
- There is a place in town where it is taught and classes are offered 6 days per week. This will eliminate my “I have no time excuse”
- It has a meditative quality about it that I enjoy
- My sister, Child #1 is also interested in improving her balance and it would be great to do this with her. This will give me a support system to help keep me on track.
- There are 108 moves to learn – I like to measure my progress on a goal and knowing this will help me determine when the goal has been met.
If it turns out I hate Tai Chi, well there are plenty of other ways for me to strengthen my knee in order to be healthy and strong. I have gotten myself into a good stretching, yoga routine over the last few weeks which is a good start!
For me, learning Tai Chi is the right thing to do. Will it hurt?
I will have to devote some financial resources to learning Tai Chi. I will have to devote some time to taking the classes. I will have to devote some physical energy to completing each class. Is it worth it?
I know it is worth it because I know my WHY. I know how it fits into my strategic life.
One of my strategic principles is that I want to be healthy and strong, capable of doing any activity I set my mind to. I want this for myself now and in the future. I want to be one of those old ladies who are still living amazingly wonderful lives in their 80’s and 90’s.
This is what I will need to focus on when money, time and energy are low. The cost of not learning Tai Chi includes my weak knee becoming weaker. My balance getting worse. The cost of not learning Tai Chi is the decreased likelihood that I will be a cool, fun old lady who still enjoys kayaking, biking, and hiking.
Sometimes doing Tai Chi is going to hurt. Sometimes it is going to be hard. I am worth it.
Learning something new forces us outside of our comfort zone. We feel awkward, uncomfortable and uncoordinated. You have to experience these feelings in order to grow, to change to improve. Embrace these feelings because they indicate positive change is brewing! We don’t grow by remaining stuck in our comfort zone.
Do you have a goal for 2017? WHY is it important to you?
PS: Fenway has not come out of her crate since her bath!
PSS: Can you tell I am psyching myself up for Tai Chi?