CLEANING THE JUNK-IN-THE-TRUNK!

In my last blog we looked at the process of how bad habits and lifestyles can slowly take over our lives. Every one of us have made those bad choices, developed bad habits and struggle with something on nearly a daily basis that tries to hinder our lives.

A couple of summers ago I was at my father-in-law’s home in Milledgeville Georgia. He has a wonderful house on the lake that is one of the most relaxing places to go and chill. My father-in-law also enjoys cars which I am very blessed that he lets me drive when I visit. On one occasion I had gone out in his Corvette to get a few things from the store and had returned to the house (any excuse to drive the Vette!). When I was unloading the car I noticed a peculiar smell coming from the back. When I opened the trunk a swarm of gnats flew in my face and the stench was overwhelming! Upon more investigation I discovered a small brown sack with something very nasty running out all over the carpet of this immaculate Vette’s carpet!

We later found out my father-in-law had been given a bag of figs by someone and he had forgotten to get them out. He didn’t want the figs in the first place, so just chunked them in the back with the intent of getting them out later. The Georgia summer heat baked and re-baked the bag of figs into an incredible gooey formula that soaked the fibers of the carpet which took quite a bit of scrubbing and cleaning to get back to where someone could stomach to ride again!

Much like the figs bad habits are often unwanted items that we take on in our lives, throw in the trunk and intend on getting out later. We forget about them until one day someone or something forces us to open the trunk of our lives to find the mess they have left.  The good news is WE CAN CLEAN OUT THE JUNK IN THE TRUNK!  

Are you ready to C-H-A-N-G-E?

C-ommit

On New Year’s Day resolutions are made by almost everyone, yet few are kept. Why is that? It is mostly because these resolutions are no more than a fantasy wish list with little to no thought on how to see the resolution through. For us to break any habit or lifestyle we have to be committed 110%! Being committed means we have developed a plan, considered every angle that might cause us to get off track and created an alternate maneuver to avoid going back or quitting.

If we want to change the first question to ask is, “How committed am I to this?” If you want to quit smoking, are you willing to stay away from parties and people who might tempt you? Is it a healthy lifestyle? Are you willing to get up an hour early to exercise? Is your commitment level to the point that you will only eat half servings while everyone else around you is doing the opposite?

Sit in room without any distractions with a piece of paper & pencil. Think your plan through and write down everything that might go wrong. The time to plan for getting derailed is not when you are at the moment of temptation, but before you get there. Are you committed?

H-onest

How did you get here and what are you willing to do to change? This step is taking commitment to the next level. In order to be committed you have to be honest with yourself about every aspect of your life.

Being honest about how you got to where you are is critical. This is why I wrote the blog Quicksand first. It is like the history of a nation. If we don’t know our history we are destined to repeat it. The same is true for us. If we don’t know our personal history, the weaknesses, strengths, compromises, mistakes and victories we will keep going in the same vicious circle.

What are you willing to do to change? There can’t be an escape hatch. We can’t say, “I’ll be committed to eating right unless there is chocolate cream pie at the party” or “I will quit smoking unless the stress of work gets worse.” If you have an escape hatch, you will take it…guaranteed! Get out your hammer, nails and boards; nail the escape route up! No excuses and no turning back!

A-ccountability

Many people won’t even tell anyone they have intentions of changing something in their life. The reason? If they bail or fail no one will know! If they cheat, who cares? When you make a commitment to change you don’t have to post it on Facebook, in fact I recommend you don’t because everyone asking you how you are doing will only magnify your temptation to give in. But you must have someone to help along the way.

Get someone you trust, who won’t judge and will encourage you along the way. You need someone strong. Tell them the signs you are getting weak. Let him or her know what to do if you give in. Share your reasons for changing so they can help remind you why you are doing what you are doing. Most times this does not need to be a spouse, because we have a tendency to ignore them. As a coach I have had people come to me for this very reason. They need a non-bias person who will be understanding but firm in their life. We all do.

Bottom-line is we can’t go it alone. These habits/behaviors in our lives are deeply rooted and it will take more than just one person to uproot what has been growing.

N-otice

The interesting things about habits are they are so much a part of our lives that we don’t notice them. Just like the figs in the Vette; the smell slowly grew and became a part of the car. It wasn’t until someone got in after not being in it for a long time that the odor was noticed.

We have to be aware of everything when we are in the process of breaking old habits! What triggers your desire? For the person addicted to porn it can be something as simple as a commercial with a sexy girl. The person addicted to eating it might be boredom or stress. Do you want to quit smoking? You might need to find a whole new routine. For example if you are used to getting up and having coffee & a smoke you might try changing your morning routine. Get up earlier and walk on the treadmill, substitute coffee with another drink or find some other activity that will throw off your desire to follow the normal routine. 

G-o

If we want to change we have to kick our plan in gear and “Go!” We can’t wait for the next party to pass or to get some problem out of the way first. There will always be parties, problems and other things that will try to keep us from engaging the dreams we want to live. Go Nike and “Just do it!” It is procrastination and excuses that got us where we are allowing these bad habits/behaviors to settle in. Stop the maddness and get going.

Go! Go! Go! It is time to start! Today is the day, not tomorrow, not next week, next month. TODAY!

E-njoy

When making positive changes there is no room for self-pity! If you are feeling sorry for yourself because you can’t eat as much or what you want, you are going to go right back. This is where your accountability and writing down why you are doing what you are doing is critical to success!

The good has to outweigh the bad! Is that extra slice of cheesecake worth being 50 pounds overweight and feeling bad about how you look? Is one cocktail really worth it if you know it will turn into uncontrollable drinking binge that is taking a toll on your marriage? Is the moment of stress at work worth the cigarette knowing you are taking years off your life and robbing the people you love of living a full life with you?

When we make a conscious decision to change for the good we need to surround ourselves with reminders of the joy of where we are going. We are on a new journey of living a life having broken the chains of something that has bound us! The joy of being able to wear the clothes that have been collecting dust and feeling pretty again; being able to breathe and adding years back on life.

Whatever choices you are changing ENJOY IT! When we are ridding our lives of junk-in-the-trunk we can’t look at it as if we are losing, sacrificing or missing out. NO! We are opening up new directions, opportunities and a whole new way of life! Embrace the change and don’t look back!

Thoughts….

Everyone has some kind of rotting figs in the trunk of their life. Do not let anyone convince you their life is pure and free of anything that stinks. In fact, anyone who tries to portray a life of perfection probably has more things rotting in his or her trunk than you do and they don’t want anyone to smell or see it.

We can’t clean up until we wise up enough to admit we have a problem. The moment we are willing to admit there are things rotting our lives away, that is the first step toward making positive changes.

How about you? Are you ready to open up and clean your Junk-in-the Trunk?  Today is the day! I am excited for you and what is ahead!

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