5 Wise Choices to Change Course!

I have lots of writer/speaker friends. I treasure each and every one. One of the things I treasure MOST, is traveling the journey towards Life Unstuck, side-by-side and learning more about HOW TO DO IT from them!

This new book Overwhelmed: Quiet the Chaos & Restore Your Sanity by my friends Kathi Lipp and Cheri Gregory knocked my socks off! It is slam full of NEW REVALTION and action plans for living Life Unstuck and NOT Overwhelmed.

overwhelmed-cover

Please enjoy this very special and timely (considering my past few blog posts) Guest Post from Cheri Gregory!

What to do After a Mistake: 5 Wise Choices to Change Course

One of the most potentially overwhelming things I did last year was wreck my husband’s car.

Our only car, actually.

The accident was entirely my fault. (If you’re a recovering perfectionist like me, you know how much it pains me to say that!)

Five minutes from the end of a four-hour drive home from speaking at a retreat, I saw the signal light turn green, and I floored the gas pedal.

Too late, I realized the car in front of me hadn’t budged.

You Didn’t Mean Not To

An hour earlier, I’d thought I should stop for a stretch break. But I’d done the math and realized If I kept driving, I’d be home before 3:00! (Needless to say, I was not home before 3:00.)

Now, you’re probably ready to let me off the hook and assure me, “Oh, you didn’t mean to!”

But when I was a child, my father had the most annoying—and usually accurate—response whenever I told him, “I didn’t mean to!”

He’d say, “You didn’t mean not to.”

Last March, I didn’t mean to wreck my husband’s car.

But I also didn’t mean not to, as evidenced by my stubborn choice to skip the stretch breaks I knew I needed.

Losing My Gamble

I’ve programmed stretch breaks into my driving routine for decades. Ever since I totaled my first car as a foolish 19-year-old trying to make an eight-hour drive without stopping. (This really handsome guy was waiting at the other end … and I did end up marrying him.)

I know that every hour I need to stop, walk around, and renew my focus before hitting the road again.

I’m so good about it for the first half, even two-thirds of each trip.

But toward the end, when I’m so close but still so far, the temptation to cheat “just this once” doubles with each mile marker I pass.

Each trip I arrived home safely made me feel like a gambler who’d just bet a quarter and won $10. Which made me feel like it was safe to skip my stretch breaks.

Until I gambled and lost.

Not Taking Care of Myself Had Far-Reaching Consequences

I was beyond grateful that the only harm was to my vehicle; it could have been far worse.

I was also keenly aware that I made a poor choice which would cost me, immediately and in the long-term.

The week after the accident, I dealt with the hassle of obtaining a rental. Making decisions about repair. Re-arranging our home budget to include paying our deductible.

When our insurance company deemed the car a complete loss, I overhauled our home budget to include a necessary new car purchase. For years to come, we’ll be making auto loan payments and paying higher insurance premiums.

I’d skipped my 10-minute stretch breaks because I had so much to get done. And I ended up with so much more to get done.

The 5 Wise Choices We Can Make

Coping with the consequences of my own poor choices is one of the most overwhelming things in the world for me.

Here are 5 things I did that helped.

     1. I chose my response.

As my old habits of anxiety-driven self-condemnation started to rise up, I smacked them right back down.

Consciously. Intentionally.

I did not berate myself in the moment. Nor did I beat myself up the way I used to in the days or weeks after.

I also chose how I’d respond to well-meaning voices who had all sorts of “helpful” things to say about the accident.

     2. I chose to detach the wreck from the weekend.

The accident occurred as I was driving home from speaking at a retreat.

But thinking about the retreat doesn’t trigger thoughts of how the wreck “ruined the entire weekend.”

It didn’t, because I’ve intentionally processed them as separate events.

     3. I chose to learn from my mistake.

I’m back to taking my stretch breaks when driving long distances.

No exceptions.

     4. I chose (and continue to choose) not to punish myself.

Car payments were not in the plan for this season of our life. The upcoming years will require extra discipline. I’ll need to say “no” to a lot of things I’d hoped to say “yes” to. I will say “no” to myself firmly, but not unkindly.

Discipline, yes.

Punishment, no.

     5. I chose (and continue to choose) gratitude.

“…in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

1 Thessalonians 5:18

I am grateful…

That I did not cause a second accident when I tried to drive home, only to have the damaged hood flip up and block the windshield.

That a family friend happened to drive by while I was stranded at the side of the road.

That our excellent insurance company took amazing care of us.

That we found a new car quickly.

In the aftermath of a mistake, the consequences often limit our choices. Practice these five choices now, so they’ll be at your disposal when you need them most:

  1. Choose your response.
  2. Choose to detach from triggers.
  3. Choose to learn from your mistake.
  4. Choose discipline; reject punishment.
  5. Choose gratitude.
  6. Instead of making New Year’s resolutions (that will only last for a week), how about creating a Personal manifesto that will carry you through the rest of your life? Sign up for great ideas and resources about how to get out from Overwhelmed and you will receive “How to Write Your Personal Manifesto” as our gift to you. Get off the overwhelming cycle of making and breaking resolutions and create a gentle plan for lasting life change.

Kathi and Cheri would like to send a copy of Overwhelmed: Quiet the Chaos & Restore Your Sanity to one of my readers! YEAH!!

To qualify for the drawing, you need to do TWO things:

#1. LEAVE A COMMENT below.

#2. SHARE THIS POST on social media.

That’s it! Once you do both, your name will be entered into the random drawing. Be sure to tell your friends so they can sign up too.

The drawing will take place on MONDAY 1/16/17 so don’t delay! {Contest is limited to US & Canadian readers only.}

Blessings,

Pat

 About Overwhelmed

Feeling overwhelmed? Wondering if it’s possible to move from “out of my mind” to “in control” when you’ve got too many projects on your plate and too much mess in your relationships?

Kathi and Cheri want to show you five surprising reasons why you become stressed, why social media solutions don’t often work, and how you can finally create a plan that works for you. As you identify your underlying hurts, uncover hope, and embrace practical healing, you’ll understand how to…

  • trade the to-do list that controls you for a calendar that allows space in your life
  • decide whose feedback to forget and whose input to invite
  • replace fear of the future with peace in the present

You can simplify and savor your life—guilt free! Clutter, tasks, and relationships may overwhelm you now, but God can help you overcome with grace.
kathi-and-cheri-photo

 Kathi Lipp is a busy conference and retreat speaker and the bestselling author of several books, including Clutter Free, The Husband Project, and The Get Yourself Organized Project. She and her husband, Roger, live in California and are the parents of four young adults.

Cheri Gregory spends her weekdays teaching teens and weekends speaking at women’s retreats. She’s been married to her college sweetheart, Daniel, for more than 28 years. The Gregorys and their young adult kids, Annemarie and Jonathon, live in California.

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