To know something and to do something are two very different things. I know that I should get 7-8 hrs of sleep each night and drink 8-12 glasses of water each day, and yet I don’t do either! For some “unknown” reason, it is not on my priority radar. Yes, yes I know. I’m in the health industry and don’t do something so basic as those two things, how can I tell you to do them? Well, the truth is, I can’t. At least not very well. I can’t “preach” to you about all the benefits of getting 8 hours of sleep because I don’t know first-hand how it feels! It would be like the old saying “Do as I say, not as I do!” Ya…right!
When it comes to behavior, there is a common universal law, I will do as you do, not as you say. Two things come to my mind when addressing this law and they both require the person in the mirror to be the responsible party (as I usually spin it!).
1. I’m being watched: I’m a woman, a friend, a wife, a mother, a daughter, a business owner, a public figure…there is no doubt that others are watching me. What I do is important. I would never want how I act and what I say to be a stumbling block to others. I want to be an example. This all started out for me when I had my first child. As He grew, I grew too! I needed to learn (and am still learning 🙂 ) to put into practice what I talk about and what I ask of him ( and now 5 others!). There have been times when my kids have caught me getting angry and taking it out wrong, or using words that I shouldn’t. In the midst of those moments is usually when God sees fit to have a pair of big brown or blue eyes stare at me in disbelief. I haven’t always been great at being the beacon (again, God’s not finished with me yet!), but I do strive to get better and better. Why? Because like it or not, my actions affect others. I don’t control those responses, but I do contribute to them. And, therefore, I respect other people enough to abide by this universal law to the best of my ability.
How would it be if I was advising you on health and fitness and yet never worked out or only ate fast-food cheeseburgers all the time? Not too good. This Law applies to every area in our lives and we need to live our lives being fully aware that we were put here on earth with others! This law is a wonderful thing! Hear me out. Accountability helps each and everyone one of us and without it, we don’t get nearly as much accomplished or make the lifestyle changes necessary for something permanent! I’ve known this first-hand when it comes to business. No accountability = failure. This being watched can become an internal checking point that keeps us on track.
2. Who I surround myself with is paramount: This is the old adage, “You are what you eat!”, and “You are who you hang out with.” I grew up hearing this one constantly. “No you cannot have that person as you friend because they dress, behave, go to places (you name it…) that will lead you down the wrong path.” my mother would say. All grown up now, I know that she was right! If I associate with someone who is constantly lying, cheating, always late, or a heavy drinker etc., I will eventually become those things as well. Rest assured, I will adapt to my surroundings. This is what makes us quite unique and special, but can be a real hinderance if we are hanging out with the wrong crowd.
Let me spin this a little differently, because this doesn’t need to be one of the “deadliest sins” sort of thing. Take the activity of running for instance. I decide that I need to get more active and want to start by running a few miles a day to make this new change in my life. Typically what would happen is I would start out great and get some steam, but when the first few winds of pressure hit, I would revert back to a non-running lifestyle. Why? Honestly, I believe that people who want to make the changes have intentions that are good. They do know they need a change. They do know that they need to exercise. So, what happens? They forget to surround themselves with others that have made that change as well. We need the support of others. Surrounding ourselves with what it is that we want to become, assures us that someone else is also looking out for us. We need this because none of us can be up and at it all the time. We have doubts. We have insecurities. We have plain ol days that make us wish we could crawl right back into bed! None of us are strong enough to go it all alone. We need someone in our corner so that we can stand up and turn our unwanted behaviors around, replacing them with quality instead.
So the next time you want to make a decision for some change in your life, take a look around you. Are the ones around you encouraging you to have health, fitness, happiness, and growth in your life? Are you that person for others? None of us were put here alone, we were meant to “encourage one another in brotherly love.” Whatever that decision is that is requiring change in your life, get the support of surrounding yourself with where you want to go and who you want to become! You will be that much closer to making it permanent in your life!!