Wednesday, July 27, 2011

How To Implement Change

Change is tough.  Changing your behaviors and habits is hard.  Changing the behavior and habits of others is even harder.  Or is it?

The book Switch shows how to create environments, emotions, and triggers that promote change.  Here are 3 quick principles:

1.  Create New Environments - Changing your environment makes changing your behavior much more likely.  If you're trying to eat healthy, your environment should include more fresh fruit and vegetables and less candy and chips.  You need easy access to healthier food choices in your refrigerator, pantry, and even office/desk at work.  The less choices you have to make the more likely you are to make better decisions.  As a leader, it is important to develop environments for success.

2.  Appeal to Emotions - If you have ever watched Biggest Loser, Intervention, or any other show that involves someone making a big change in their life, you know that people rarely make changes for themselves.  They are always making changes for their kids, spouses, or family.  The more you appeal to your emotions (or as a leader the emotions of others) the greater your chances for change.

3.  Develop Action Triggers - It's not enough to say that you're going to change behavior, you need to set up an action trigger to remind you.  Craig, a friend of mine, prays for his wife everyday at 4pm.  Each day an alarm on his watch goes off and he stops what he is doing and says a prayer for his wife.  The alarm simply reminds him of what he wants to do and dramatically increases his chances of doing it.  As a leader, develop action triggers to remind others to make successful choices.

How do you successfully implement change in yourself or in others?

Monday, July 25, 2011

There Is No Place Like Home

Breckenridge, CO
At the beginning of the summer I was super excited about all of the traveling I was going to do.  Vacations, visiting friends & family, and conferences filled over half of the summer.  I enjoyed my time away and all of the learning, conversations, new experiences, and memories.  However, I must agree with Dorothy that there is no place like home!  

Here I am with one week left of the Summer before I head back to school (most people call it work).  I'm so thankful to have a Summer Break and I do cherish it.  And although there really is No place like home, sometimes it takes trips, vacations, conferences, and the land of Oz to realize it.

Remember Me?
Lazy River

Fence in Saledo, TX

Pine Cove in Tyler, TX

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

5 Ways to Beat The Heat

It is ridiculously hot outside!  Here are a few ways for you and your family stay out of the heat, stay out of the house, and stay out of debt doing it!

1. Wake up early.  We can learn from roofers and construction workers.  Change your personal hours during the summer to wake up earlier to get outside work done before it gets too hot.  You can go for a jog, work in the yard, chip and put on the practice greens at your local golf course, or take your kids to play in the park all before 8am. 

2. Go to the Library.  The library is one of the most under utilized resources in America.  Not only is it fully air conditioned, but you can also check out books, audio books, DVDs, and CDs all FOR FREE!  If they don't have what you want you can request it and they will usually get it for you.  Let me say that again.  You can read any book or magazine, watch almost any movie, and listen to almost any music absolutely free.  Do you understand what that can do for your budget?

3.  The Mall.  People watching, mall walking, and window shopping are classic mall activities.  You can also Google mall scavenger hunts and come up with a ton of other fun ideas.  Also, many places offer extremely cheap matinee movies and some stores like Apple offer free training sessions. 

4.  Day at the Museums.  I know museums can be boring but everything can be boring with a bad attitude.  If you really want to stay out of the house and stay out of the heat then check out your local museums.  It's a great way to learn about local history and expand your mind. They usually cost money but there are always discount coupons online.

5.  Serve.  Ever wonder who puts all the pens and envelopes on the back of every chair at church?  Or who puts the extra insert into the bulletin?  It could be you.  Small tasks like that effect everyone and can make a big difference to a secretary or to a volunteer who needs a break.

[For more ways to beat the heat, ask the Dallas Mavericks.  :)  ]

What are some free/cheap ways you like to stay out of the house and out of the heat?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Can You Be Trusted?

"Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much..." 
                                                                  - Words of Jesus in Luke 16:10

I am learning that this biblical principle has a ton of applications.

What does your refrigerator look like?  Is it filled with month old leftovers, empty soda bottles, and unopened ranch dressing that expired in 2009?  Or is it organized so that each shelf has a purpose and everything is still edible?

What does your closet look like?  Do you have a large pile of shoes at the bottom, your kids presents from 2 Christmas's ago, clothes that you haven't worn in years that are jam packed so tightly that when you pull out one shirt you get three or four?  Or are your clothes separated by long and short sleeves, organized by color like a rainbow, with shoe, jewelry, tie, and belt racks?

When was the last time you washed and cleaned out your car?  Is it covered with bird poop and filled with fast food wrappers and other trash?  Or do you have a regular routine for washing and cleaning it out?

What about your desk?  What about your garage?  What about your purse or wallet?

Am I saying that the more organized you are the more money you'll make?  Its possible. Or the cleanliness of your refrigerator or garage has something to do with your bank account? Maybe a smidgen. Is cleaning out your closet or organizing your desk going to make you a better person? Who knows? 

All I know is Jesus said, "Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much."  I think I need to pay more attention to the little before I think about the much.