When you’re researching a new project or looking for advice, there’s plenty to be had. The challenge is having the confidence to reject things that just won’t work for you. You don’t have to try everything that everyone suggests. For one, a lot of the tips may contradict one another. It’s a bit like the whole red-wine, red-meat debate. One month it’s good for you, the next it’s not. And look at the whole fat debacle – everyone ate unnatural, processed, created margarine for ages because butter was meant to be bad for you and now suddenly “oh whoops, we got it wrong and didn’t actually base it in scientific fact!”. Don’t take everything you read as gospel – don’t even take this blog as gospel! As I tell my students, question, examine, challenge.
It’s hard to reject suggestions when you’re floundering at the start of a new idea and don’t know where to start. The whole reason you’re looking for suggestions is because you’re not sure how to go about something.
Here are my top questions I ask when trying to decide whether to accept or reject suggestions
- Is it wildly different from anything I usually do?
- Is it going to be simple to implement?
- Is it going to require an excessive amount of time?
- Does it fit my needs?
The reason behind these questions should be fairly self-explanatory, but just in case:
- If following the advice results in a sudden and drastic change in habits or lifestyle, chances are I won’t be able to sustain it and will find the change too difficult. Habits take, on average, 28 days to form. I’ve been alive for 28 years so imagine how hard my lifestyle and behavioural patterns will be to break? I’m a believer in baby-steps and, my guess is, if you are seeking help in order to make changes, then you will be too. If we were capable of changing our lives independently and easily, why would we require help?
- This goes hand in hand with #1. If something is complicated and hard to implement, it’s easy to become disenchanted with it and then drop it before it becomes a habit. I personally want to enhance my life, not turn it upside down and if the changes I make for myself disrupt my family life and don’t slot in easily, then I’ll find it harder to get them going and keep them going. I’m a big one for feeling guilty!
- Time is a luxury few of us have. Disposable income is the same. I’m sure the people who look for tips on things such as finances, efficiency and health are people who haven’t the luxury of lots of free time and disposable income. Of course, this is a generalisation and based solely upon my personal experiences of people I’ve come across. However, in my case, if I had lots of free time I’d be able to manage things myself. If anything takes too much of the time I don’t have, I drop it.
- Be serious about this – common sense will tell you if something fits your needs and will help you achieve your goal. I’ve just read a Pinterest Pin which has inspired this particular post. It was “5 things to do at the beginning of every month”. One of the suggested items was: “Clean your coffee pot”. I don’t have one. Another suggestion was “Clean your fridge”. I already FLY (FlyLady) so do this once a week. Couple that with my menu-planning and cleaning it again at the start of every month would not give me any benefits.
Read all the posts, advice and tips and don’t be afraid to pick and choose.