A practical example of why the only way to change everything is to focus on changing one thing.
Thinking through my relationship with my daughter, I came up with the following for a minimum commitment to see results…
Ten hours per week:
- An hour per day as 30 minutes AM/PM;
- Twice a week do a trip together for 90-minutes (go swimming, ride bikes, trailer ride or park visit)
This structure has me focus on making the small interactions (first each morning, last each night) quality.
With my kids, where I fall short is working on the quality of the little things. I didn’t notice this until last month when we suspended TV, iPad, electronics. To stick to my guns with the electronics ban, I had to interact with my daughter and she had to learn other ways to fill her time (drawing, stacking blocks and playing house).
I learned a lot from the process. Our daughter’s behavior improved and I was forced to face my laziness with engaging with her.
Just like bedtime routines, maybe acting out was driven by a need to get my attention.
Another area for applying ten-hour commitment might be improving health. You might apply as:
- An hour per day as 40 minutes walking/cycling in the AM and 20 minutes eating a mixing bowl of salad in the PM;
- Twice a week – stock the house with healthy options – an hour each time
- Twice a week – strength training – 20-30 minutes each time
That’s going to capture nearly all of the health benefit from my current lifestyle. I like to exercise more than an hour per day but that’s for mental wellbeing, rather than physical health.
The above makes it clear, at least to me, why I can only work on one thing at a time.
- Three kids
- Amateur sport
- Spiritual Development
If I seek to change everything (~100 hours per week) then I’ll become overwhelmed and lose the consistency required to achieve anything!