This week, our office had a time and life management expert spend several hours with us to help us clean up our act. The simple pieces relate to email organization, meetings, project management, and procrastination. But the big picture is about change, and your attitudes and behaviors that affect that.
If you aren’t happy with how something is going, you can tweak it, improve it. If it’s something little, you make the change and then life goes on. If it’s something bigger, a true lifestyle adjustment, it will take longer. It takes 21 days to make a habit, and three months before it becomes a subconscious act. It can take years to readjust feelings about someone or something – and sometimes, it can seem like just a snap of the fingers to fall back into old habits, and old emotions.
What about when you’re a roadblock to change, and it affects other people? For instance, you know that you are terrible about keeping in touch with friends or family. “I never call people, I’m bad at responding to emails, or texts.” Okay, well that’s nice that you admitted it, but what are you going to do about it? Saying it out loud doesn’t mean it’s acceptable. The burden shouldn’t all fall to the people that are waiting to hear from you. Think about how your actions are affecting others. Maybe you can’t call every week, or respond to every email, but can you set aside half an hour each month to catch up with loved ones? Put it on your calendar if it helps.
What if you’re waiting on someone else to change? That person that never responds to your texts, that doesn’t seem to make the initiative, that seems to give lip service. Well, you have a few options. You can a) keep going on like normal, and accept that you will be making most of the effort, with little or no return, b) bring it up with the person and try to come up with something that works for the both of you, or c) if it’s negatively impacting you too much, remove that roadblock from your daily life. Sure, it may mean a lot of pain, but sometimes we have to do that. It’s like quitting smoking, or drinking, or throwing out sentimental items, but it can make us happier, healthier, and more sure of who we are.
While we’re sitting around for everyone else and everything around us to change, here are a few ways that YOU can change your outlook, and make change yourself:
- A thunderstorm ruins your outdoor picnic plans with friends –> bring all the fixings and have it inside. The point is the same: quality time with your pals.
- A colleague constantly has input on your projects –> listen to it, and incorporate what you think works, and thank them for their thoughts.
- Guy says he wants to meet up, randomly will reach out, but then is MIA when it’s time to make something happen. –> He’s just not that into you. Move on. It’s not worth playing games.
- A family member or friend is consistently obnoxious about a certain topic, says inappropriate things, or generally pisses you off. –> Ignore them. Remove them from your social networks if you can. Be civil when you see them, but don’t encourage the behavior, or respond to it. Don’t let it affect your attitude.
- A friend is in a situation in which you’ve given advice, but s/he refuses to acknowledge they are headed for a bad ending. –> You’ve done your part as a friend. Support them and let them live their life, or stay out of theirs.
What are some ways that you change your attitude to create change?