Sunday, July 6, 2008

What’s Your Motivation?

I'm here today, ladies, to talk about change. Changing habits. We all have those little idiosyncrasies, those bad habits that we really struggle with. The tiny little thorns that we just can't seem to remove from our daily lives.

For me, it's receipts. Credit card receipts—or actually, the lack thereof. I am terrible about remembering to keep my receipts. To fully understand why this is on my mind enough to merit a blog entry, you have to know my husband. He is the Organization King—and yes, he really does deserve a capitalized title! J If his current business were ever to fail, he could make a killing as an organization consultant. And of course, since organization and efficiency are so important to him, it only makes sens that he married me, because I am… a tornado. Seriously. I have no organizational skills whatsoever. I am my own personal disaster area.

Usually this works out well, as we complement each other. He is fantastic about helping me whenever I need it or ask for it; and I like to think that I helped to prepare him for what life with small children would be like. J

But it does not work well when it comes to receipts. Jon is absolutely militant about making sure that we have every single credit card receipt, and that they are all labeled appropriately for our budgeting system. I just reread that sentence, and I have to admit that I smirked a bit. But honestly, my point is not to poke fun at him, it's just to let you know that it is important to him. And this is nothing new—he has felt this way for the entire time I have known him.

And yet, after 7 ½ years of marriage, I still struggle to give him my receipts. And it frustrates him—and it frustrates me because it frustrates him! It's not that I don't care about his feelings or our budget or anything… I don't know what it is! I just can't get it together when it comes to that area.

So, ummm… I'm talking about receipts a lot more than I really intended to here. My point is, we all have some area in our lives where we just struggle to get it together, to make a change and really commit to it. These are not your typical I-didn't-like-this-so-I-changed-it habits. These are the this-has-been-my-New-Year's-resolution-for-six-years-running habits. The things that just keep coming back. For me it's receipts—I've tried sitting down at the end of every day to get them together, I've tried putting them in a specific place each time so that they're easy to find (because even when he sits down to go over the bill and asks me for them, I consistently come up short by several receipts…), I've tried many things. And they all work for a while. But then the novelty wears off.

For some people, it may be an issue of diet. Or exercise. Or being on time. Or many, many other things. But regardless of the issue, here's my question for you: Have you overcome a habit/issue like this? Or are you overcoming one now? How do you keep yourself motivated in the long run—when the novelty of the newest "fix" wears off and reality sets in?

To me, I think one of the best tools in any change is accountability. When my son was born and I needed to lose weight, I joined Weight Watchers. Just knowing that someone else was going to be weighing me every week really kept me honest—and knowing that I would get little rewards for my milestones along the way helped, too. I am now implementing that with my little receipt habit by asking my husband to help keep me accountable, by the way.

So what do you say? What keeps you going when the going gets tough? I'd love all the help I can get! Believe me, credit card receipts are the only things standing between me and perfection. ;-)

And by the way, the next installment of Katy's Family Forest is coming soon. In fact, that's what I sat down to write this afternoon—but this is what came out instead.

Talk to you all soon.

1 comment:

Courtney said...

You guys sound like my husband and I. I do feel bad, but I never really change it. I guess I'll have to now that you've brought it to my attention again!

I look forward to your next installment.