Monday, January 28, 2013

Game Change

Taking Steps to Regain Control

Your Decisions, Your Actions, Your Life

Over the past few days I have been completely and utterly exhausted; there were two days this weekend that I didn't manage to get out of bed until 6 pm. I have been moving through life so rapidly and engaging in different activities non-stop; I was bound to crash at some point. My life has been going at a pace that I just can't seem to keep up with. I am unhappy with some of the choices I have been making- going out incessantly, drinking often, staying up late- and it's time that I incorporate some major alterations into my life; it's time for a game change because the game I have been playing recently is simply not manageable. It's impossible to give 110% in all areas of your life- school, socializing, family, friends- and not expect some physical and/or mental repercussions. For me these repercussions materialized in my sleeping for basically two days straight. In terms of academic responsibilities I can't afford to lose two days to sleep. It is physically painful because lying in bed for 48 hours results in aches and stiff muscles that take a few days to mend. And emotionally, disappearing from the world and being inactive and nonproductive for that length of time is debilitating. I wake up feeling fat, lazy, and worthless. My stress and anxiety shoot through the roof as I realize the amount of time I have lost and the work that I need to catch up on. I feel as if I have lost control over of my decisions, actions, and life. This lack of control results in further situations that create feelings of chaos, such as my sleeping for two days and missing classes. As I think about this upcoming week I am conscious of the fact that I hope to make a game change. This change involves taking steps to regain control over my life and beginning to truly own my decisions, my actions, and my life. This game change requires that I actively make decisions that meet my wants and expectations and than follow through with these decisions via my action. 
It can be intimidating and overwhelming when we choose to embark upon a mission to change our ways. We can be filled with doubt; if we weren't able to do it before why should we think that we can change now? Anxiety can overcome us as we recognize all the different elements of our lives that we hope to alter. Feelings of shame or guilt can also often enter the picture. I think back about my behavior over the past week or so- neglecting responsibilities, missing class, going out when the right choice would be to stay in- and I feel guilty for not making better choices for myself. I remember times when I acted foolishly- drinking a bit too much, saying something stupid, behaving in a way that doesn't accurately reflect my values and personality- and I am filled with shame. But doubt, anxiety, guilt, and shame aren't going to help us as we try to move forward and regain control. In order to successfully undergo a game change we need to tap into our positive qualities and resources- organization, confidence, internal values, desires, and diligence. But, perhaps more importantly we need to build and utilize a sense of self-assurance; we need to believe that we are capable of taking steps to regain control and consciously make decisions, act, and live in accordance with our morals, values, and wants. Before I go into detail about my plan to regain control I want to introduce an affirmation about that we can focus on and contemplate in order to aid us in our quest.

I have the power to control my life and the direction in which it is going.

Let us use this affirmation to bolster both our confidence as well as our self-assurance as we work toward regaining control over our lives. So, the question is, how do I plan on bringing myself back down to earth? What do I need to do in order to commit myself to my priorities and act in a way that supports them rather than counters them? How can I be sure to follow the plans that I set out for myself, rather than succumbing to both personal pressure as well as unintended peer pressure? Well, as always, I am going to rely on a detailed and organized plan/schedule that will help me as I pursue this game change. I need to take note of what tasks I need to complete, when my classes are, and what is required of me in order to fulfill these academic obligations. I must exhibit a degree of self-control. If I say I am not going to go out because I have an early class or that I am not going to drink because I am getting over being sick than I need to stick to my word. Saying that you are committed to doing something is meaningless if you fail to follow through with it. It will be important for me to set up guidelines or rules for myself in order to feel as if I have a level of control over my life. As I formulate this plan, made up of organization, self-control, and structure, I am keeping in mind my numerous priorities and attempting to picture how I can manage to balance all of them within this program that I am creating. 
"...keeping in mind my numerous priorities..."
I suppose my top priority is my responsibility as a student. I don't want to do anything that will interfere with my ability to perform to the best of my ability or that will prevent me from fulfilling academic obligations. Another priority I am keeping in mind is the significance I ascribe to my meals, caloric intake, and body image. I am striving to find a balance so that I am able to function and be healthy while also making choices that enable me to feel comfortable. I want a put an end to intense drunk eating that forces me to restrict for days after. I become tired and miserable. I don't feel happy in my skin and everything starts to feel like it's going to shit- school, friends, appearance, life itself. I hope to figure out a way that I can balance my eating so that I am not subjected to these extreme feelings and moods. While I want to focus on my work and add structure to my eating I would also like to maintain some semblance of a social life. 
Different levels of priorities-
I want to go out, spend time with friends, drink occasionally and in appropriate amounts, and have fun. But, I need to put some limits on my fun- socializing, going out, drinking- in order to respect the other areas of my life that I find important. By giving myself a set rules or guidelines, such as not going out if I have an early class or not drinking if I have work to do the next day, I can create a life that honors my values and desires. During the week I can continue to hang out with friends but, by keeping it low key I am ensuring that I will not let myself down as a student. My plan allows me to let loose on weekend, which permits fun and socializing to remain in my life. When we realize that our behaviors are not in line with our wants and expectations for ourselves it is our duty to take it upon ourselves to makes changes.

"If you don't like something change it; if you can't change it, change the way you think about it."
Take action to make change-

- Mary Engelbreit

In my case, I have the opportunity and ability to change some of the things in my life that I am not exceptionally fond of. I am choosing to change my decisions, follow through with these choices through my actions, and subsequently change and regain control over my life. However, at the same time the latter part of this quotes applies to my situation. I have been thinking about the way I have been living over the past week or so and I am unhappy about it. While these thoughts have had a positive impact on me, provoking my game change, they have also managed to effect me negatively- evoking negative feelings of sadness, anger, frustration, shame, and guilt. I cannot change my past actions and what has already transpired; but, I can change the way that I think about them. Instead of dwelling on the past and allowing it to fill me with negative emotions I can choose to reflect upon it, embracing the experiences, and be thankful that it has inspired me to take steps to regain control. We all have times in our lives when we seem to get off track. We lose focus on what matters to us and begin to neglect our priorities and values. Instead of mentally punishing ourselves for deviating from our planned path we should congratulate ourselves for realizing that we are not moving in the direction that we had hoped. We should offer ourselves additional complements when we choose to take steps to regain control and put ourselves back in the right direction. Finally, we owe ourselves some type of reward when we are not only able to make good decisions for ourselves but we are able to honor these decisions through our actions. 
Do your actions equate to your wants?
Take a moment to think about what is important to you in your life- work, family, boyfriend, health, school- and then take a look at your life. Do your actions accurately reflect your priorities and values? Do you feel as if you have control over your behaviors and the subsequent results? Are you happy with the way you are living? Are you proud of your life? If you can answer yes to all of these question than I am giving you a virtual pat on the back. 

"Are you proud of your life?"
If, like me, you are unable to answer affirmatively to these questions then I urge you to join me in making a game change. Assess what needs to be corrected or altered in order to get back on track; determine what you need to do so that you can regain control and move forward in the direction of your dreams and aspirations. Then make a plan that you can follow in order to change the elements that you recognized as bothersome or debilitating. If we can follow our personal plans then we will soon be able to answer all of the previous questions with a resounding yes! Yes, my actions correspond with my priorities and values. Yes, I feel as if I am in control. Yes, I am proud of the way I am and I am happy with my life! All of this is within our grasp once we recognize the we have ownership over our decisions, our actions, and our lives. If we are able to follow through with the decisions that we make then we have the ability to create and live lives that meet our expectations, values, and desires.

Mix it up and make a game change,

Regaining control and getting it together sometimes calls for a game change-

1 comment:

  1. You are right, I am in control. if i don't make these changes i will lose control. i want to be proud of me. this is what i needed.