I Can’t Change Your Life

Thinking Through a DecisionSometimes you hear someone say, “You changed my life!” Perhaps you’ve said it to someone yourself.

But mostly that’s a false statement.

There may be a kernel of truth there, but the larger truth is that I can’t change your life. Nobody else can. It’s up to you!

We get into a lot of trouble when we wait for someone else to change something for us. The real truth is that no government program can fix you. No professional can fix you. No spouse or parent or friend can fix you.

And even God can’t fix you!

At the risk of sounding blasphemous, let me clarify.

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Why Should I Change?

Dangling CarrotLifestyle change is hard.

Our brain is addicted. Yours is. Mine is. Everyone’s is. We’re addicted to doing things the same. And changing anything significant is likely to make your brain want to SCREAM!

And yet sometimes a change is necessary. Perhaps you know it’s necessary, but can’t seem to get it done. It’s easier to say, “Why bother?”

Something has to push you to make that first step. And the next one. And the next one.

Finding that reason to change may be the most important step in the whole process.

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If HE Changed, You Can Change Too

NoSmokingLifestyle change is hard!

You may know you should eat healthier, exercise more, lose weight, or stop smoking. But saying you should isn’t enough. Knowing you should isn’t enough. It takes the action steps.

And it takes persistence.

When my husband and I first got to know each other he was living a very unhealthy lifestyle. It was killing him. Literally. And he knew it.

Today he has changed all of those unhealthy lifestyle habits. It wasn’t easy, but he feels better in so many ways. He’s given me permission to share some of these changes here so that hopefully you will be encouraged to make the changes YOU need to make for yourself.

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Be Quiet and Listen. (Or, SHUT UP!)

Teens ArguingEach person is unique in many ways, including how they respond to stress, to a threatening or difficult situation, or to the unknown. But men and women often display characteristic patterns in how they deal with life, and with each other.

Women, on average, score higher on the relational scale than men. They tend to sense early on if there is something amiss in an important relationship. And sometimes they may over-dramatize what may otherwise be “normal” bumps in the road.

In many ways this relational sensitivity can be a gift. A woman’s intuition has saved many a relationship when both parties involved are working hard to make things right.

I recently wrote to the men who tend to run when they don’t understand or can’t fix something. And I promised to talk to women as well. So here it is.

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Don’t Run: Do SOMETHING!

Boy HidingMen love to fix things.

That’s not a bad thing. In fact, it’s a very good thing! It’s the way they’re made.

After all, if men didn’t like to fix things, there would be no point in a Honey Do list!

But when a man can’t understand or fix something, he will often withdraw. He’ll try to ignore or deny the problem. Perhaps he’ll run. He’ll withdraw into his own world and hide. Or he’ll find some place to run away to.

That running may lead him to long hours at work, to alcohol or other substance abuse, to an affair, or other dangerous or unhealthy ways to get away from what he can’t fix.

And if the problem is in his marriage, this tendency to run or hide can be devastating.

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