Monday, January 17, 2011

I always called it the "FIZZLE FACTOR"

**  This was an article in the Deseret News that I really liked. It was nice to see it written out SO CLEARLY why it is so stinkin' hard to reach the lofty goals I set.  The goals are good, the emotion and commitment are strong,  then the emotion fades and the status quo takes over once again.  I am hoping that by giving full credit to the author and the source that I am not guilty of some copyright or plagiarism laws....

 Setting goals and the shelf life of emotion

By Timothy R. Clark, For the Deseret News
Published: Monday, Jan. 17, 2011
Two weeks ago you could walk into any health club and greet the same scene: An hour wait for a spin bike. Pilates classes spilling into the halls. Smiles, sweat and heavy breathing. From gym to gym, it was the same story. Simply electric.

Two weeks later: Rows of idle ellipticals, racks of stoic weights. And listen. What do you hear? The decibel reading has plummeted from 85 to 42. Give it one more month and the annual burst followed by the desolate aftermath will be complete. A lot of things change over time, but the basic pattern of human behavior remains the same.
In most cases, a goal — in this case a New Year’s resolution — is an act of violence against the status quo. It pits you against yourself. Self 1 wants to experience the exhilaration and rewards of pushing to your outer limits. Self 2 is firmly ensconced in the routines, stability and equilibrium of life. Self 1 wants to disturb. Self 2 wants to preserve
Self 1 feels the excitement, promise and anticipation of a new year. There is an air of expectancy. Self 2 is resistant and content. But in the first days of the new year, Self 1 overpowers Self 2 with a sense of urgency and renewed hope.
Most New Year’s resolutions are goals to achieve meaningful behavioral change. For example, exercise more, eat less, get out of debt, stop smoking, demonstrate more patience, become a better leader, and the like. These things are more than tweaks or tinkering at the margins.
Effecting behavioral change is astonishingly difficult. It pegs out at a 10 on a 10-point scale. If you have doubts, consider the avalanche of confirming data. Success is a deviant case. Studies show achievement rates in the 10 percent to 20 percent range, so there’s a high chance you will wake up one day before January has expired and realize that your resolutions have passed into history in the form of noble intent.
The pattern is one of early failure. We tend to flame out quickly because we rely on the shelf-life of emotion. Emotion is a great catalyst for change, but it’s more like a booster rocket. It gets you off the landing pad, but it won’t sustain the journey.

Most people go slack after just a few days. Inertia stages a coup and re-hoists the flag of the status quo, quashing the effort. We slump into intractable and rebellious complacency. We accept defeat quickly, run a soothing script in our minds, and resume normal patterns of behavior. And for all of this we have several perfectly logical explanations at the ready. Furthermore, it doesn’t help that our mainstream culture is in a mad rush for on-demand thrills, sensations, and instant gratification. So a long, hard slog to change behavior can be an exquisitely difficult journey.

Thomas Edison said he failed his way to success. Teddy Roosevelt said his life was checkered with failure. Success is not the absence of failure. It’s the rejection of a life of ease, which also happens to guarantee some failure. It’s a willingness to travel to your outer limits.
Go at it again, but this time put up some scaffolding for support. I often use what I call the “8 Here-to-There Questions” to help leaders and organizations prepare for goal achievement.
1. Do I know what the goal is?
2. Do I know how to achieve the goal?
3. Do I have the resources to achieve the goal?
4. Do I have the skills to achieve the goal?
5. Can I measure the goal?
6. Am I accountable for the goal?
7. When will I achieve the goal?
8. How will I replenish energy along the way?
If you have good answers to all eight questions, you have a solid chance of sustaining your efforts far beyond the shelf-life of emotion. Remember, the uncelebrated little things lead to the celebrated big things. Finally, listen to Self 1. Tell Self 2 to hit the gym.

Timothy R. Clark, Ph.D., is an author, international management consultant, former two-time CEO, Fulbright Scholar at Oxford University and Academic all-American football player at BYU. His latest two books are "The Leadership Test" and "Epic Change." E-mail: trclark@trclarkpartners

Sunday, January 16, 2011

primary at home

Apparently there is a problem with one of the sensors in the church alarm system.  It went off twice last week during church (I was home sick and missed out on the fun), and had gone off twice already today before we started our sacrament meeting at 1:00.  The facility management personnel told our bishopric that if it went off again they should just cancel the remainder of church and send everyone home.

About 15 minutes into the meeting, right after the first sacrament prayer was said and they boys had begun passing the bread, the alarm went off.  Under the direction of the bishopric, they continued to pass - through the ensuing alarms and continual emergency announcements.  It was certainly a first for me.

I found it really interesting that once I got over the initial distraction of the alarm (and the giggles and noise of children (of all ages) going on around me), I actually felt the spirit MORE than I have, while taking the sacrament, for a long time. I think it is because it really drove home to me the importance and sacredness of that ordinance.  Partaking of the symbols of Christ's Atonement are SO important, that we continued on through the chaos that surrounded us.  (and don't worry, they sent someone out to check all the rooms to make sure there really wasn't a fire this time...)  I was reminded that the spirit can be felt in all circumstances, if our hearts are open.  That sometimes it takes something out of the ordinary occurring to help us appreciate the simple, "routine" things, that we take so for granted.

When the alarm went off, Aaron was just a tad bit too excited about the prospect of NO MORE CHURCH - and NO PRIMARY, so I announced that we would be holding primary at home.  We prayed together, sang songs, repeated the theme, and read scriptures.  Our Primary President came down to our home and presented her sharing time lesson for us. LUCKY US! (this came about because Luke, her son, is Aaron's best friend and he wanted to invited Luke to come to "our primary." - Aaron seemed pretty excited to be able to invite his friends to come (Luke and Chris), but realistically I have to admit that it just might have something to do with the whole "misery loves company" thing.)  Any which way you choose to look at it, when we invited Luke to come, Sister W. said she would come down and do sharing time for us.  It was great.  The lesson was on holding to the iron rod (symbolic of the word of God) to guide us through the trials of life.

For singing time we played pictionary - each child got to draw pictures until we guessed the name of a song (of their choosing), then we sang that song.  It was fun.  I took the opportunity to teach them that if there ever came a time that for whatever reason, we couldn't attend regular church meetings, we could still have the lessons, sharing time, and singing time, in our home - and I pointed out to them the things I had be taught today about how important the sacrament is.  It was a good meeting, I felt the spirit and I hope the kids did too. PLUS they still got out a whole hour early!

Thank you Laura for your sharing time - it was great!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

there were five in the bed....

and the biggest one said - -


That has pretty much been the scene at our house this week.  My bed has been filled all week with sick little bodies, including my own.  I haven't been this sick for a LONG LONG time.  (knock on wood)

(I wanted to have Tim take a picture of all 5 of us lying in bed like a bunch of sick-heads so I could post it here on my blog, but to tell you the truth, it was just too much effort to ask him to do it.  (Yes, I was THAT bad)  Maybe we'll do an re-enactment so I have a photo)

I feel pretty silly admitting this, but for a while now, any time I start feeling the tiniest bit sick, I start popping my immune boosting vitamins (A,C, & E) - and I typically cut off the illness at the pass and just keep plugging along without too much trouble.  This time, however, I was a bit cocky and thought, "oh no, I'll be FINE."


Don't know for sure what exactly I had - but I would guess the flu.  I had the coughing, stuffed sinuses, fevers, aches and pains, and totally weak.  Tuesday was the worst day, and I've been gradually (very very gradually) getting a smidgen stronger every day.

Today I stayed home from church, not because I was SO SO sick that I couldn't go, but because there was NO WAY I'd have the energy level required to fulfill my calling.  Plus Caleb has a goopy nose and I'm pretty sure that the other Sunbeam mom's would prefer that I keep him home.

I have repented of my cockiness and started taking my ACE vitamins a couple days ago (coincidence or not, my recovery started to be marked and noticeable by the 2nd day)  I expect that this week will require a bit slower pace, but I am glad I am on the uphill side of this particular battle.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year

As you can tell - I fell off the blogging bandwagon again - and it is becoming rather obvious to me that my blogging "roller coaster" follows rather closely to my "emotional roller coaster."  (obviously I've spent the last month or so on a mostly downhill portion of the track...)

I typically LOVE Christmas, but I had a really hard time getting into the right spirit this year.  I'm working on a few things, and planning to get back in to see Nathalie (energy healer) ASAP!  I am hopeful and confident that life will be back to it's regular ups and downs (as opposed to mostly downs) soon!

As I said, I am trying to do my part.  I've been listening to a Wayne Dyer seminar that I am finding very interesting - and I'm looking forward to trying out his "manifesting" mediation technique.  If all goes well, I'll be sharing some of the principles and affirmations here in the upcoming weeks.

I watched an online episode of "Hoarders" today, in an attempt to make myself feel slightly better about the constant state of chaos that my home is.  (prompted by a facebook comment made by one of my friends)  I definitely feel confident in saying that I'm in a better place than the two people they featured on the show I saw...

[And I should throw in here that my front room IS clean.  I took down the Christmas tree, and packed everything away a couple days ago.  I pulled out the furniture and vacuumed underneath it.  So ONE room is good - for as long as I can keep the kids out of it.  (just today I looked int here and saw Katrina's boots, coat, and stuffed animals - right where she dropped them when we walked in the door...)]

I just spent 30 minutes working in the kitchen (not done, but better) and now I'm feeling "inspired" to spend and hour in my bathroom and throw away some of the junk in there.  (we're talking makeup and nail polish that is from my "single" days... 
catch ya on the flip side!