Tie Your Shoes
The other day my husband noticed the way one of the kids was tying his shoes. He asked him to show him again slower and called me over to watch. The technique was new
to both of us, but the laces were tied up in a bow and looked the same as any other tied laces. The goal was to have the laces tied; the journey was the tying of the laces. No one really notices how someone ties their shoes, they only notice whether or not they are tied. Once you find a way to tie your laces, you usually stick with that method because it works. You don’t care about efficiency, political correctness, cool factor; just that the laces get tied.
One person may go to the gym every morning at 5:30 to stay fit. Another might sleep in until the last minute then play sports after work every day. Both manage to stay fit (the goal), yet their methods are different (the journey). Which way is the right way? Which is the best? Both are right. Both are the best. But I would imagine if the two people swapped what they do with each other, they would not do as well.
Find the method that works for you. Just like tying shoe laces, we can use another persons technique and get to the same destination, but when you are stressed or rushed, you will resort to the technique that is familiar to you and not the one your are copying from someone else. If you want to change your technique, it takes a lot of practice--make room for mistakes and setbacks. It takes a while to learn to tie your shoelaces, but it takes longer to learn the habit of tying them differently. You may also learn that someone else’s way is not your best or right way.
No, you don't have to be set in your old ways. If you choose to make a change in a habit, know that habits are difficult to break. Give yourself some room to grow and change and make mistakes. Start small with plenty of forgiveness. And my favorite bit of advice when it comes to making a change or adding something new is to reward yourself like a kindergartner! Reward yourself for efforts not just accomplishments. One client was trying to cut out pop from his diet after 20 years of drinking 5+ every day. He was down to 1 a day for several weeks and then called me to tell me he failed big time and drank 6 in one day! I said, just one day? How many did you drink the other days this week? He said 1/2 to 1 a day the rest of the week. Gold Stars to him because he was still WAY under the 5 a day habit he wanted to break when you average out for the week!!
Don't get tripped up with minor setbacks. Set a goal, plan your journey, re-route or start over if the journey is wrong. What is your next goal ?