Tag: 1% principle

Want Lasting Change?

Over the years mentoring parents I have found that there’s one challenge that comes up over and over again. I call it the

100% Devil

 

This is the troublemaker who sits on your shoulder and tells you all your problems have to be fixed now; there’s not enough time to make the necessary changes; you have to do it perfectly, or not at all; there’s so much to do you’ll never get it done or you don’t have what it takes to make a lasting change. His purpose is to make it difficult for you to begin, let alone stick with it long enough to effect change. And he’s excellent at his job.

BUT there is a cure for the 100% Devil. It’s called the

1% Principle

 

This principle states that if you focus on the best 1% of whatever it is you feel needs to be changed, corrected, fixed, etc. then success in that 1% will affect in positive ways, all of the other things you aren’t focusing on now. The 100% devil is the enemy of this principle: small and simple things, done consistently over time bring big results.

The 1% principle works because the results of focusing on the 1 thing that will make the most difference right now is exponential change.

When you work on the best 1%, other issues which you aren’t even looking at miraculously resolve themselves. If you splinter your focus the best you can do is to maintain mediocrity and at the worst move backward. Real growth comes from building on a solid, consistent, best 1% improvement.

When I was a young mother, I was a yeller. It kept my family walking on eggshells because they never knew when I would explode. It took a neighbor walking across my street and handing me a brochure on anger management to get me to look at what I was doing. It was a painful place to come to, and for a few months, I wouldn’t even accept I was there.

But as I observed myself it became evident it was true. I needed to do the obvious and simple thing and stop losing my temper. In our struggling family of seven children, five of whom were teens, there were many things I could have worked on. But my heart told me this was the best 1% at the time.

It took over ten years for me to conquer that demon. So what kept me going? How was I able to persevere long enough to make it happen? How did I dash the 100% devil to the ground so I wasn’t tempted to quit after a few months, two years, or even nine years?

I learned a lot during the time I worked to conquer my temper. Here are the steps that worked for me. There may be other possible steps, but this list is more than enough to get you going and keep you going.

1. CONCENTRATE on the one thing you need to do right now
Do you need to take a look at your current family culture and build a vision? Do you need to give up using technology when you’re working with your kids? Do you need to listen more, yell less, play with your kids, have more mini-conversations, eat dinner together, or go to bed earlier, control your money habits? What is it for you?

2. COMMIT to being consistent for as long as it takes
Some of our family goals will take many years to come to fruition. So will many of our personal goals.

3. REMEMBER being consistent is not the same as being perfect.
Never let the 100% devil remain on your shoulder for long. Dash him to the ground. Don’t believe his lies. Change takes time. Growth takes time. Perfect is not the goal; progress is!

4. BREAK what you want into smaller steps
If the goal is to stop yelling, how would that look?
• Accept that it’s about you and not the behavior of others.
• Commit to your family you’ll use a respectful voice—ask for support.
• Decide what you will do instead of yelling when times get tough.
• Get counseling if you need it.
• Practice, fail, practice, fail, practice . . . for as long as it takes

5. CREATE space
When I was working on controlling my temper, I had to create space for reflection, for getting help from others who had accomplished what I wanted to accomplish, and for nurturing myself as I did the work. Make a commitment to the change you want to see and then make space for the work that it will require.

6. KEEP your word
Do what you’ve decided to do. Be as consistent as possible. Track your efforts. I had to keep taking the steps to control my temper for ten years. Don’t quit.

7. MAKE CERTAIN the steps you take are in your control
When I was overcoming yelling, I was careful my goals were in my control. I couldn’t attach my success to someone else’s behavior.

For example, if a mother wants to have the kids’ chores done by nine, her actual goal might be to stay Present at chore time and move from child to child encouraging and helping them.

If she works with her children each day, supporting them, then she’s successful and reaches the goal even if they’re not completely finished with chores by nine. If success hinges on having it all done by nine, she has less chance of success because she doesn’t have total control over what each child does.

8. FOCUS on today—it’s all you have to work with.
Ten years is a long time to work on one thing. But as I focused on one day at a time, I was able to persevere. Do your best today. If you don’t do well today, then when tomorrow is today, begin again. Once today is yesterday, let it go! Don’t quit!

9. BELIEVE the end result will be exponential growth.
Believe that 1%+1% will not equal 2%, it will equal exponentially more. While I was working on overcoming my yelling what else happened.
• I learned to be more forgiving
• I learned to be more charitable
• I became more grateful
• I strengthened my relationship with my husband and
children
• I got control of my responses

I could list quite a few more but this will suffice as an example that when you focus on the best 1% you get exponential results.

Real growth and change come from learning to move toward your goals and desires one step at a time, consistently, for as long as it takes.

It takes time and practice to make lasting change and to grow as a person or as a family. We must commit to it. We need to consistently do the work. We have to believe we can accomplish our heart’s desire. In fact, it has to be our heart’s desire.

Doing small and simple things, consistently over time, is what will ultimately give us the success we seek as individuals and as families.

Have you waged war with the 100% Devil? What have you done to win your personal war? Let’s share and help each other out.

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Say NO to New Years Resolutions!! Tools to Make Next Year Better

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Many of you have been with me for some time now. We’re friends in learning.  We’re seekers together. I want to thank you for the past few years of association by giving you some real tools to make 2018 better.

Start by saying NO to ineffective New Years Resolutions!!

2017 is almost gone! I’ve been thinking about the last year and I’m satisfied. No, I didn’t get everything done I wanted to do. No, my life isn’t always peaceful and put together. But, I have learned a great many things. I have made some significant changes in my own way of being this year. I have done some work that matters. I’m content.

My One Action Step to Make 2018 Better!

Now I’m facing 2018 and I have determined that I want to flow into the New Year gracefully and move through the year making needed changes, learning and again, ending 2018 with a sense of satisfaction. So for the past few months, I’ve been taking that desire to the Lord and asking him for some guidance. I have phrased it this way, “What is the one action step I could take this year that would make the most significant change for good in my life?

You will notice I asked for an “action” step and only one of them. I have learned from 60 plus years of New Years Resolutions that there is a tendency at the end of the year to take note of all the weakness, imperfection and losses and then create a huge list of to-dos for the next year, to fix all that stuff. I’ve also learned that this is a recipe for failure.

I have come to believe in and act upon the 1% principle; that when you make the correct 1% change it exponentially expands that change for good in your life – it affects not only the 1% you were focusing on but all the rest of your life as well. I have also come to understand, through experience, that focusing on my strengths and successes and then seeking divine guidance helps me clearly see the correct 1%. No more New Years Resolutions for me based on what hasn’t gone well during the past year.

I went through this process of discovering the correct 1% in 2013 and here is what I came up with – Stop complaining! I didn’t realize I was complaining so much.

This year, as I pondered my work in the area of complaining I realized that I have made some progress but I’m still not where I would like to be. So I again went through the process of discovering the 1% for 2018 – Be more grateful. Hmmm, I thought I was grateful. Back to the drawing board. : )

Three Steps to  Change

There are some steps that are helpful to know in order to really make change stick and not feel discouraged in the process.

  1. Awareness of what to change. Now that I am aware of what my work is for 2018, be more grateful, I can see when I mess up. Wahoo, progress. It looks like this. You mess up, recognize the mess up after the fact and then decide how to do it differently next time. When I find myself feeling ungrateful I will remind myself what steps I have decided to take to be more grateful and then I will commit to doing that next time.
  2. The second step looks like this. You mess up and in the middle of the mess up you recognize it and stop and redo right then. So eventually, when I have an ungrateful thought or am beginning to complain, I will be able to stop and rephrase in a more grateful way.
  3. The third step is that you think about messing up and you don’t! The time will come when more often than not when I feel ungrateful and want to complain I won’t. I will change my thoughts and focus on what I am grateful for.

Each step takes time – weeks, months, sometimes years. We have to give it what it takes.

Because I know the steps I can see that I am already making progress and it isn’t even 2018 yet. I am on my way to success!!

The Tools in a Nutshell

Here is a summary of the tools for a better 2018 in a nutshell:

• Stop focusing on what you didn’t get done in 2017. Stop looking at all the problems that still need to be resolved. STOP!
• Look at all the successes you have had this year no matter how small. Make a list of at least 10.
• Ask your Higher Power for ONE action step for 2018, a step that can make a big difference in your personal life.
• Hold that thought no matter how insignificant the change may feel to you.
• Make a commitment to work on that one thing all year long.
• Understand that the first step in change is awareness. When you mess up and then recognize the mess up, rejoice. You are in the first step. Don’t stress about how long you stay on step one. Don’t quit!
• Know that when you can stop in the middle of a mess up and redo right then, you are in the second step.
• Change has happened when you can stop the impulse to do the thing you want to change and instead do something better!
• Repeat the process at the end of 2018

May each of you have a remarkable 2018 filled with movement toward personal happiness.

Your friend and mentor,
Mary Ann

I WILL BE SPEAKING at the Winter Homeschool Conference on January 27, 2018, in Layton, Utah. This conference is designed to support and rejuvenate home educating parents who want to thrive, not just survive the homeschooling experience. You don’t have to be currently homeschooling to attend! I will be speaking on Process vs Outcome. Knowing the Difference Can Change Your Family. If the topic resonates with you I would love to have you join me. ​​​​​​​

P.S. You can learn more about seven ways to get better self-care in my new book Becoming a Present Parent, Connecting With Your Children in Five Minutes or Less. Knowing the difference will help you let it be enough. You can also receive a chapter from the book on Touchpoints, creating points of connection rather than having points of contention, FREE by visiting becomingapresentparent.com It can be life-changing for your family. I promise!