Thursday, June 26, 2014

What Is The First Step ?

In famous self-help programs it is almost always said that the first step is admitting the problem.  This may seem odd in some circumstances, as it feels rather obvious that there is a problem.  But as I have observed different people in different circumstances lately, it has become clearer to me that many people don't even realize they have a problem in the first place.  And getting them to admit that would be a HUGE first step.

Let's take a few examples of things that might not even be considered a problem.

Electronic device connectivity.  I'm talking about your phone, computer, internet, television, or your iAnything.  How long do you go without needing to "connect" to the grid electronically?  Has it become a habit at certain times of the day or in certain situations?  While we're at it, Facebook or social media could be a problem for you.  FOMO (fear of missing out) isn't healthy, and actually can cause you to "miss out" on real life.

Unhealthy eating.  When was the last time you wrote down everything that you ate for the entire day?  You may actually have snacking patterns that are the main contributing factor to lack of weight loss or increased cholesterol, etc.  Either on purpose or inadvertently, you could be setting yourself up for failure and not even be able to be fully aware of it.  You can't stop poor or excessive eating if you can't admit that it is happening.

Excessive shopping or spending money.  Here again, it likely takes a serious, in depth look at where and when you spend money before you can recognize a problem.  Credit and debit cards have certainly made this very easy to happen without us noticing.  It may only feel like (or even actually be) just $10 here and there, but at the end of the month, the money is long gone and you're left wondering how.

I think the key to fixing these problems begins with having a mentor, coach, or close friend to whom you give explicit permission and authority to call you out on anything.  This likely cannot be your immediate boss at work or even your significant other, as that may cause more problems than it solves.  You need someone who you can trust, but not hold a grudge against, to help you admit where you have problems.  I'm confident this is why we have financial planners, diet and exercise coaches, etc.  I personally would prefer not to have to pay someone to tell me I have a problem, but if that's what it takes to be able to admit it, perhaps it's not a waste of money at all.

Song Of The Day:
Yeah it's a love song, but "Step By Step" by Eddie Rabbitt works well for today's post.  The phrase you've gotta take that first step is why I picked it, because nothing else can happen until you do that.  It works with everything in life and soon those first steps become easier and easier to take.


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