How to Convince Someone to Change Their Ways

When I entered recovery over 26 years ago, I heard a zillion times “you can’t keep doing the same things and expect different results”.  So, when life throws me a curve ball, it is time to make a change.  With a little bit of effort and commitment, we can make the change in our life

BUT what happens when we want to help someone change their behavior?

I was social worker whose clients were addicts, chronically unemployed, and those who had a hard time seeing life could be different.  As long as they couldn’t see their life as any different, there was no reason to change their behavior.

There are two elements which are an absolute requirement for trying to convince someone to change their behavior:

  1. They need to understand the effect change will have in their life.
  2. They need proof beyond a reasonable doubt change will help them.

There was one young lady who I had the pleasure of working with and still keep in touch with today.  Let’s call her D.  She was a heroin addict who also had an AIDS diagnosis.  At our first meeting, I knocked on her front door to find her and her dealer getting high.  I opted not to go in and told her I would be back in an hour to talk with her.  Of course, an hour later she didn’t answer her door.  As someone who was early in their recovery, I knew I couldn’t save her, she would have to save herself.  She would have to want to change her behavior.

Over the next year, we had many run-ins over her drug use but every step of the way, I was able to show her glimpses into the positive effect not using would have on her life.  Would it cure her AIDS?  No but it could prolong her life.  She could feel better. The medicine wouldn’t make her sick.  With each little milestone – a few days clean, not sharing needles to not using needles – we celebrated.  With each little milestone, she saw glimpses of how her life could be different.

First, the restored relationship with family.  Was it easy?  No.  Did she slip?  Yes.  Each time she did, she remembered the positive impact the change had on her life.  Today, she still continues to fight the AIDS battle (27 years and counting ), has fought cancer and even went back to school to get her GED.  She is living a life she couldn’t even imagine 26 years ago.

Believe it or not, I use the same social work tactics in my business.  From helping team members reach their goal to working with colleagues to help them move forward when they are stuck.

The misconceptions about change are:

  1. It takes time to change.  Yes, it is a process but can happen as fast as you are willing to work to move forward
  2. Someone has to want to change.  We all talk a good game when it comes to making changes BUT are you really willing to reach down to the depths of your soul to make the change?
  3. Someone needs to hit rock bottom before they change.  I believe each person is different and for some, yes this is VERY true.

When you are ready to apply the two elements to the area of your life you want to change, AMAZING things can happen.  Want to make a change in your business?  Want to make a change in your relationship?  All things are possible when you embrace these two elements.

What do you want to change?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Learning to Give Joy Away

Thank you Mary Southerland for today’s message:

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I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want – Philippians 4:12, NIV

I once heard a story that offers a great prescription for joy. A young believer came to a man who had followed Christ for many years with the complaint that he had lost his joy. The older and wiser Christian responded, “Go do something for someone else. Repeat that act of kindness nine times. Then you will find joy.”

When we develop the habit of looking for a need and then meeting that need, we will experience joy as never before. Many times, instead of looking for a need, we look the other way.

One of the most amazing paradoxes in the Christian life is that the more we give, the more we receive. We simply cannot out-give God!

In Luke 6:38 we find an amazing promise, “If you give, you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over. Whatever measure you use in giving – large or small – it will be used to measure what is given back to you.”

If you want joy, learn to invest your life in others. Be on the lookout for a need and meet it. God created us to share each other’s load. A shared load is a lighter load.
F.B. Meyer once noted: “I used to think God’s gifts were on shelves – one above another so that the taller we grow, the easier we can reach them. Now I find that God’s gifts are on shelves, one beneath another, and the lower we stoop, the more we get.”

The apostle Paul says it this way in 2 Corinthians 9:10, “For God is the one who gives seed to the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, He will give you many opportunities to do good, and He will produce a great harvest of generosity in you.”

Give your time.
Give encouragement.
Give a praying heart.
Give a listening ear.
Give yourself.
Give materially.
The more you give, the more joy you will experience. The more joy you have, the more you will want to give. God always rewards “joy-givers.”

Philippians 4:17-18 “Really, it is not that I want to receive gifts from you. But I want you to have the good that comes from giving. Your gift is like a sweet-smelling sacrifice offered to God. God accepts that sacrifice, and it pleases Him.”

The idea of a sweet-smelling sacrifice is taken from the sweet-smelling incense that was burned along with the Jewish sacrifices. When we meet a need in the life of someone, it is a pleasing aroma to God and a sacrifice of praise to Him. In fact, when we meet someone’s need, we are actually giving through that need to God Himself. In other words, that met need becomes a deposit slip in our kingdom account. The perspective and heart behind the giving really matters. Joy-givers please God.

Three men were hired to work on a large building project. One was asked, “What are you doing?” He responded, “I’m mixing mortar. The second man said, “I’m helping put up this great stone wall.” When the third man was asked what he was doing, he replied, “I’m building a cathedral to the glory of God.” Perspective is a powerful thing.

In Philippians 4:19, Paul goes on to say that when we meet the needs of others, God will meet our needs. “My God will use His wonderful riches in Christ Jesus to give you everything you need.”

When we give out of our limited resources, God gives out of His unlimited resources. What a solid foundation for a life of joy!

God stands today, arms open wide, ready to pour out His unspeakable gift of joy into our lives so we can have joy … and so we can share that joy with others. Our gift back to Him is to be a joy-giver.

 

How Do You Manage Time?

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If you are anything like me, the words “time management” makes you cringe.  You are busy.  There is not enough hours in the day or week or month or maybe even the year.  I read a blog post on Girlfriends in God that really made me stop and think about the way I prioritize my time.

Time is wasted unless it is invested in goals and priorities that are rooted in God’s plan.

SMACK! I will admit that I waste time – I think we all do.  Now, don’t get me wrong, you could be very busy,busy doing good things but you feel exhausted and burned out.

Lately, I have begun to look at time differently as a result of some health issues.  I used to plan every moment, prioritized what I thought was important and was always busy.  It was painfully obvious that I needed an adjustment.   I needed to understand that time is a precious resource given to us by God who trusts that we will use our time wisely following his plan for our lives.

Here are some great ideas on time investment NO time management from Mary Southerland.

  • Tithe your time. Just as we tithe our money, we should tithe our time. God blesses and multiplies the time we spend in Bible study, prayer and service.
  • Get organized.  Being organized is a spiritual discipline, freeing us from the tyranny of the urgent while making room for things that matter.
  • Keep a calendar. A calendar keeps you from wasting time and “bunching up” activities. It forces us to prioritize, doing the important things first.
  • Establish a planning day. Pick a time to plan the week ahead. Review the tasks you need to complete and appointments. Pray over your week, asking from your Higher Power for guidance.
  • Eat the FROG. Tackle the job you dread the most and then you will be energized  for the remaining tasks. Use the time of the day when your energy is highest, for the most important and the most difficult tasks.
  • Delegate. When we delegate work to our children, we teach them discipline as well as basic life skills.  Look for people waiting help and then delegate.
  • Leave margins in your schedule. Sometimes this is easier said then done, right? We tend to fill every minute of the day, then the “unexpected” happens and we become overwhelmed.

If we don’t set priorities – others will. Time thieves will steal our time as we allow them to impose their plans and standards on us.

So, how will you prioritize your time this weekend and in the week to come?  What is your best tip for time management?

Hope you have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Last Minute Holiday Shopping

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I am off enjoying the day with Belinda and family but that doesn’t mean I don’t have some words of wisdom to share with my readers….

This is for those ambitious people who can actually pull off a “crafty Christmas” in 36 hours.

As I reflect on the last year, my inner gremlins always want me to head to the “shoulda”, “coulda”, “woulda” kind of things.  You know what I mean, things like wanting to pay off debt but not getting very far, vowing not use credit cards and then you do or the big one this time of year is to not spend ALOT on Christmas gifts.  Everyone’s definition of “a lot” is different but a post on Dave Ramsey‘s site about Christmas on a Crafty Budget brought back so many memories….

Somewhere in the midst of the hustle and bustle of Christmas  and the desire to make sure Belinda had everything she wanted (but maybe did not need), I lost some of the meaning of Christmas.  Yes, I was one of those crazy moms who didn’t care that I went into debt.  I was a single mom and never wanted Belinda to feel like she was missing out on things.  Don’t get me wrong when she was younger, I used to make her clothes for special occassions including Halloween costumes.  The sewing machine was my friend.  It took up space in my dining room and when we moved to the trailer, I had an office.   A corner of the office for my consulting business and one for my sewing.  I miss those days.  Those were the days of the crafty Christmas….

Ever heard the expression “It’s the thought that counts”? I always felt like that was the polite way to say, “This gift stinks, but I don’t want to hurt your feelings.”  That was always my fear just before the person receiving the handmade gift opened their present.  Only to find out, the best gifts you can give are sentimental or have some thought attached to them, not a price tag.  Some of these were: table runners that are still used by family or the recipe file that contained all of recipes we loved that Grams made.

When I buy gifts now (non-Thirty One gifts that is) they are usually from a fellow crafter.  I love being able to share the amazing things that others create.  Add to my bucket list  – get back to sewing or at least making some things.

So, are you fretting about money or the lack of it and worried that you don’t have something for everyone on your list?  Are you getting sucked into the shopping frenzy, tempted to just “charge a little” this holiday season?  Why not try some of these ideas…

  • The gift of time is a great gift for that mom that never gets a break from the kids.  Or how about a set of new parents that could use a date night.  What about spending the day with YOUR mom or dad?  Special time of just hanging out together, enjoying each other’s company.
  • Homemade goodies are always well received especially by those who have little time to bake.  Why not bake a batch of cookies and drop them off to a friend, a neighbor or even that family member that you don’t know what to give them.

I was blessed this year to have a CASH Christmas as a result of my Thirty One business.  Of course, fewer gifts were bought since Belinda and Ashley just got married in August.  The best gift is that the girls are back in NJ for Christmas.  Gathering with family and extended family over the holidays will be the best gift of all.

Maybe you have already finished your shopping and are having buyers remorse.  Bless and release!!!! Now is never too late to start planning for next year.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!