Sunday, April 5, 2009

Is this the Kate I want to be?

My clients are extremely wise.

One of them said the other day that if a doctor prescribed her medication to make her life better, she would take it on a regular schedule and be very diligent about it. "I'm good about that kind of stuff," she said, and showed me her stash of new vitamins. But making the small changes in behavior that she believes (and I would argue, knows) will make her life better? Well, that's a whole lot harder.

Because that means making change. Turning your life upside down and getting into some unfamiliar -- and uncomfortable situations, all because you have the faith that making these changes is worth it.

So how do you motivate someone -- yourself -- to make those little changes? Where's the Magic Door to Faith? Yeah... I don't know.

What I do know, though, is that when I ask myself, at every opportunity, "Is this the Kate I want to be?" I make choices that serve me better.

Tonight, for example, I had a sink full of dishes, a half-exploded suitcase leaking clean clothes, and a National Disaster Area in my office. And, not so surprisingly, I found myself lying on the couch. With the remote in my hand, index finger poised over the play button on the DVR, I asked myself, "is this the Kate I want to be? Do I want to be the Kate who puts things off, plans to do them later, and then never really gets to them? The Kate who regrets not cleaning up after herself when she has the time -- but has seen every episode of Without A Trace even though she doesn't even really like that series? Or do I want to be a different Kate?"

Needless to say, the dishes are done, the clothes are folded and put away, and my office is, well, FEMA-approved. I even managed to find time to write a post.

Because this is the Kate I want to be. And there's not a pill in the world that can help me be her. I just have to be responsible, see my opportunities to make change, and choose behaviors that help me become the Kate I want to be.


  1. I had a very similar moment tonight and the kitchen sink is sparkling and my bathtub mat (the one that goes in the tub) has never been scrubbed so much, ever.

    I think of small chores like this in terms of quality of life, like what can I do in 5 - 10 minutes that will impact my quality of life for longer than that. Cleaning is a really good answer ; ) So are grocery shopping and cooking...