When Seeking Change, Blame No Buddy

Purge: To remove what is undesirable; to cleanse.

Our son-in-law, Erik, husband to my speaking colleague, Kristin, must have one of the highest IQ’s of any person I know. One day, he challenged me with a question.

While chatting about music, a subject he enjoys immensely as a singer/musician at heart, a well-known group came up and I said, “Yeah, I have one of their songs on my iPod, but I don’t like it.”

After a brief pause, he asked this:

“How can you have something on your iPod that you don’t like?”

Hmm … good question.

That’s like asking someone, “How can you keep doing something that you know you shouldn’t do?”

Well, the answer to both questions could be this simple:

It just creeps in.

Now, to be clear, I am 110% personally accountable for any creeping that has occurred. I mean, no song has ever jumped into my iPod that I didn’t put there. Similarly …

No negative behavior, bad habit, or lousy personality trait exists in me that I don’t allow to be present.

Just as holiday stress is a choice, the things I say and do are choices. This means I can un-choose them. The free will I have over my iPod music inventory is no different than the “personal purging power” I possess in my daily living. Said another way …

I. Can. Change.

As 2013 winds down and the “New Year, New Me” bandwagons fill up, let’s explore one tactic we can use to increase the odds that some serious purging takes place.

That tactic is this: Securing an “accountability buddy.”

This is not a new idea or practice. However, what is new to some is this critical principle that flows from the QBQ! book’s message of Personal Accountability:

No buddy is accountable for me changing me.

If my personal change journey starts and ends with the first step, it’s MY fault—not my buddy’s. End of story. Now, if you embrace that point, you can safely move on in this blog to acquire some …

Practical ideas for selecting and utilizing an accountability buddy:

1. Start the process with these introspective questions:

“When am I least pleased with myself?”

“What self-defeating habit of mine needs to go?”

“Specifically what do I do that wears thin on others?”

2. Ask yourself, “Who do I know that cares about me, is in a position to observe me, knows me pretty darn well, and I trust to be honest with me?”

3. Once identified, invite them in, giving them complete freedom to speak candidly with no fear of defensiveness or retribution from you.

4. Ask them questions like these:

“What’s one thing I do that doesn’t reflect well on me?”

“If you were me, what would you seek to change?”

“How can I be a better ________________?” (Fill in the blank with “spouse,” “friend,” “sibling,” “son,” “daughter,” “manager,” “employee,” or “parent”)

5. Share with your buddy your answers to question #1. This is a give-and-take relationship. Your buddy doesn’t have all the answers—and neither do you.

6. Connect regularly. Whether it’s once each week or once each month, it doesn’t matter. The key is consistency over a period of time that allows true change to occur.

7. Make no excuses! Make no excuses! Make no excuses!

I just couldn’t resist adding #7 since, well, without a “no excuses” mindset, we’ll get exactly … nowhere!

Questions to make us think!

What behavior or habit do you want to “purge” from your life? Who will be your buddy? What questions will you ask him/her? What excuses will you be tempted to make if the desired results don’t come? When will you begin applying the content of this blog??? 🙂

Comment away!

If you liked this piece, here’s another: Absolute Secret to Goal Setting

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