The way we usually try to help people is not usually the most effective way to help them, and we don’t even realize there is a better way. In this episode, I’ll talk about a more effective way to help them, and to have influence on the people you love. By prioritizing yourself and developing you, you will bring more of those things you want, like love, peace, understanding, and joy into your life and into your home.
Start this year off by prioritizing you and coming to my first workshop of the year:
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You are listening to parenting through the detour, Episode 30 The most efficient and effective way to help your family in 2022.
Howard W Hunter said, Your detours and disappointments are the straight and narrow way back to him. And we know that men and women are that they might have joy. But when you get taken on a parenting detour, it feels like joy is something that other people get to feel. But not you. It doesn’t have to be this way. Join me on this podcast. And let’s find some joy through your detours. And we’ll give you some help along the way. I’m your host, Tina Gosney. And I’m a life and relationship coach, and a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Welcome to 2022. How is this year going for you so far? We’re just a few days in? And maybe you can already answer that question. I think it’s really interesting how there’s really, if you really look at it, there’s not much difference between December 31 and January 1, except a shift in your mindset, that it’s a time to start new things a time to start fresh and start over again. It’s really interesting how that mindset comes just from like the turn of a clock.
So what is on your priority list this year, because you know, this is the time of year when most people think about what they want to do differently in the coming year. And I have seen most people go about making changes in a really ineffective way. Because they aren’t addressing the root cause of the thing that they want to change. Instead they’re addressing a symptom of the real issue. It’s kind of like having a broken arm and taking Tylenol, instead of setting the arm so it can heal properly. We just take Tylenol because we think I had this pain in my arm. And so I need to get rid of the pain, how do I get rid of the pain. And instead of like finding why the pains there, we just take something to get rid of the pain. I talk regularly to people about the thought process that happens behind the actions that they’re taking. And really how we think we should be doing something. The way that we we think we should be reacting to issues in our lives, most of the time is actually counterproductive to getting the result that we want to have. Remember the TV show Seinfeld, probably who do because it was one of the most popular shows ever. But I was thinking the other day about this episode with George Costanza, when he realizes that every decision that he has made in his life was wrong. And he starts doing the opposite of what comes natural to him to remember that episode, I’m going to put a link to just a little clip of it in the show notes.
But I thought how this is so true for most of us like that that example with George Costanza was on the extreme side. But it’s still true for a lot of us. Because the thing that we think that we should be doing, the way that we think we should be reacting to things, it does not actually help us get to where we want to be. So we have to start thinking differently. And often that different way of thinking feels very counter intuitive. But thinking that way is the way to get where we want to be if you know how to do it the right way. And I want you to think about that as you listen to this episode. I want you to think about that idea. That if you’re not where you want to be in your life, if you feel like you’re putting in a lot of effort and spinning around in the same results, not making progress. You’re probably using Tylenol on a broken arm. And you need to start looking at doing some things differently.
About 20 years ago, my husband Micah and I were going through a really tough time. We were struggling in many, many different ways. were financially our marriage wasn’t great. We had four small children, and we were struggling with some parenting issues. We just didn’t have like we didn’t know where we were going in our lives. We both felt pretty lost. And we both felt pretty unhappy with where we were. We were putting out a lot of fires every single day. And every single day was hard, mentally, emotionally, and physically and it was exhausting.
And we went on this way for a while for over a year. In fact, I think it was more like two years. And I remember one day when I was just done and I couldn’t keep going like this. And honestly I didn’t want to keep going I knew something had had to change. And I remember the day that we talked about this. And we started making some changes that very day. And the things that we did really helped us to turn a corner and a lot of ways. But I remember consciously thinking on a daily basis, as I was going about still, those fires didn’t go away, they were still there. I was still was thinking like, Okay, I have to put out today’s fires. But I’m also going to spend time today working on creating something different for the future, because I don’t want to keep living like this. And I had that thought, every single day for a long time. And it was really helpful to me to get through some of those tough times. And eventually, things did change. It took a lot of effort over a period of time.
And then years later, many years later, when I finally got around to reading Stephen R, Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, I saw something in there that we had done, even though we didn’t know we were doing it at the time, we were doing this thing, and it’s plays directly into Habit number three, where he says, put first things first. So I think all of Stephen Covey’s habits are extremely important and really helpful. But I’m just going to kind of talk a little bit about HABIT NUMBER THREE today, on putting first things first. And he does ask a question. In that chapter. He says, What is one thing that if you could do if you did it on a regular basis, would make a tremendous positive difference in your personal life?
Now here, we’re going to answer that question, what would you say? I don’t think it’s a question that can be answered really quickly. I think it takes some time to really think about it and consider what would that thing be? What would your answer be? Take some time, maybe after you listen to this podcast and answer that question for yourself. And as you listen to this podcast, maybe I will give you some ideas of how you can do that for yourself. What’s the one thing that if you did on a regular basis, would make a tremendous positive difference in your personal life.
So one thing I learned from that habit, and from Covey’s book was, that it was so helpful for me to use his time management matrix to see where I was putting my time and my focus. Now, if you’re not familiar with this, you can Google that. And you can see different visuals of it that are really, really great. But basically, it’s a combination of things that are important or not important, and urgent or not urgent, and he divides a square into four smaller squares, with some combination of those categories. So number one, score number one is urgent and important. And this is where we put out the fires of our life. And in that time in my life, 20 years ago, we were living our life putting out fires. And that looks like like health and financial and relationship crises.
And you spend so much of your time putting out fires, it feels like there’s nothing left of you to put anywhere else. And that people that I talk to are spending a tremendous amount of time in box one, and don’t see an end in sight to putting out the fires of their life. Now I’ll just give you a really quick overview of the other boxes. You can Google this remember. So box number two is not urgent but important. Box number three is urgent and not important. And box number four is not urgent and not important. Now, I don’t want to get really technical with the different boxes and what they mean. But I will tell you this, that many of us spend a lot of time in the boxes that do not move us forward in our lives in the way that we want to move forward. We we either spend time putting out fires in box number one, which is urgent and important, or we waste time doing things that don’t have lasting value in our lives.
Box number four, which is not urgent and not important. But I want you to think about box number two, because this is probably the most important box in this matrix, which is labeled not urgent but important. And what kind of activities do you put in that box? Because the more time you spend doing activities that are not urgent but are important, the less time you spend in box one, putting out fires, the less crises you have in your life. And when Micah and I spent more time doing things that were important, but not urgent. We were better able to handle the fires that we had to put out immediately. But we were are also able to gradually move from having so many fires to put out into having a more meaningful life with less fires, and less time living in a crisis mode.
And I remember thinking to myself that there was, you know, there was no way I wanted to live the rest of my life, putting out fires, so something had to change. And if all I did was put out fires, I would be constantly playing catch up and putting out new fires. But if I spent some time every day working on creating something new for the future, there will be a day where I wasn’t only putting out fires, but I was living a life that I loved, that I wanted to be living. And that was the day that I realized that if I spent time working on myself, that I could be different. And I could influence my life, my marriage, and my family’s lives, to someday be different.
So we spend so much time I see people all the time, spending time trying to put out fires, but they do it with a garden hose instead of utilizing the fire department. And we make ourselves so busy, and our children so busy, if you still have children at home, we make their lives so busy, too, that we don’t have time to focus on the things that are important and not urgent. We spend a lot of time in box one, three, and four. And not enough time, not nearly enough time in box two.
Now, I’ve talked to some women, so many women who are going through really tough situations. And they don’t know how to change anything, they feel really helpless and hopeless. And I see the debt, that desire that they have, they want to help their husbands and their children. And they’re rushing around doing so many things that are not really effectively helping. They’re finding themselves spinning around and around and not making progress. And not really efficiently helping anyone. And the more people I talk with, the more it reaffirms that I think just about everyone is going through some really tough things. I’m not sure if it’s like more tough things going on in people’s lives. Now, or if it was always there, and I just didn’t see it before.
But just about everyone that I know is going through something really hard. And as women, we tend to be the glue that holds everyone and everything together. So when your family is going through tough things, you’re the one that picks up pieces, and you’re the one that tries to fix everything. And so many times I see women doing this at their own expense, they’re over functioning to the point where they have nothing left to give. And they don’t even know who they are anymore. And this is where this example from George Costanza comes in is that we think this is what we should be doing. We think that this is the way these are the decisions that we should be making. Because this is the way that makes sense.
And it seems like that’s what you’re supposed to be doing. Right? It seems that way to me all those years ago. But it’s actually a very ineffective and inefficient way to help your family. And in the long run, it does not help them and it does not help you get out of box number one, where you’re constantly putting out fires. Now, what is the one thing that you can do if you did it consistently, as Covey says, that would make a big positive influence in your life. I’m going to tell you one of the biggest ways that you can do this. One of the ways that you could have the greatest influence on others, is when you spent time working on you. And you work on yourself by spending time in box number two, by doing things that are important but not urgent.
Self improvement is one of the best ways to help other people in your life. This seems so counterproductive, right? Self improvement means I’m working on me I’m not helping others. But by becoming a new person. By using part of your resources for yourself and for your family, including your time, your money and your focus to grow yourself. It will pay back greater benefits than you can even imagine right now. And by putting yourself last on the list of priorities by not using your resources, it’s you’re wasting, actually one of the most valuable opportunities your family has, which is developing you It’s so often the seems counterproductive. It seems like that’s the opposite of what you should be doing that remember the example of George Costanza.
Sometimes if you’re if you’re finding you’re spinning around, and not making progress, it’s time to look at things differently. And there are different ways of self improvement, there are different ways to focus on you, and develop you. And it might look like taking a class, or signing up for coaching, or diving into some self help books. Maybe it just looks like valuing yourself and your contribution to your family. There are so many different ways that you can focus on you that I can’t even list all of them. But just realize that focusing on you is not frivolous. And it’s not unimportant. It fits into that important but not urgent box box number two. So stop trying to take care of everything by yourself, and trying to make everything better for everyone else besides yourself. And ask yourself instead, what do I want for my life? Can you even answer that question? It was not too long ago that I had trouble answering that question for myself. So if you find yourself having trouble answering that question, and how do we get not have to do anything with anyone but you?
That’s kind of tricky, because most LDS women I talked to cannot answer that question. They haven’t given it any thought. So we spent so much of their lives giving, giving, giving that they never take time to consider what they want is also important. And then they come to a point where they have a crisis, either an identity crisis, because something changes in their lives, and they don’t know who they are anymore, or a mental or emotional crisis, or relationship crisis. And this comes because they’ve never taken the time to really figure out who they are. And what they want.
And why they are important too. Is this you is this where you have found yourself, or where you see yourself going. Because the messages that we get at church are that we should forget ourselves and go to work, or always be in the service of someone else. And so we think that we are last, we push ourselves last to the priority list. And there is value in giving service, but not at the expense of yourself. It just just goes back to that example of you know, the airplane where you have to put on your own oxygen mask before you can try to help someone else put theirs on. And so many of us are trying to live our lives by making sure that everyone else has their oxygen mask on correctly. Forgetting that we even have one, or that we even need one.
And you might find yourself telling yourself all the things that I told myself 20 years ago, like I can’t use our family’s resources on me, I am not the priority. My husband’s education, my husband’s job is their priority. My kids in their development, they are the priority. But when you make yourself a priority, this requires some sacrifice, not just for yourself, but for the family. Because you’re going to think that self development is a luxury, you’re going to tell yourself like I don’t have the time. I don’t we don’t have the money and not you know, my focus is not on me. It’s on all these other people. And I told myself all of these things for a long time, but none of it was true. They were just excuses. And they were excuses. kept me from helping my family more efficiently and effectively. You use your resources for things that you value. Do you value yourself enough to use resources on you?
Do you find yourself if you have young children? Do you ever think like, if I go and do this thing, I say sign up for this class or want to go back and finish my degree or I want to go and learn this new thing? Do you think in order for you to go and do that thing. You can say okay, I can do this. But first I’m going to make sure that everybody has their homework done. And that dinner is made and it’s ready and that everything is already done before I leave. If you do this, if you’re thinking like this, then you’re over functioning. If maybe your kids are older, maybe they know how to fix dinner and you don’t have to do sit there and do their homework with them. Maybe they’re teens or they’re young adults and you maybe you see relationship problems in your family like people aren’t getting along. And maybe you think well it’s my job to make sure these kids are getting along in their friends.
And you find yourself doing things to facilitate them getting along or trying to manage people’s emotions, and manage the things that happen when your kids get together. Then you’re over functioning. Maybe your kids are all adults, maybe they’re all older, and they all have families of their own now, or they’re all out on their own. And maybe you’re thinking, well, if I don’t make myself available to help them, every time they call me or need me, then I’m not doing my job as a mother or grandmother. If you’re thinking this, you are still over functioning, you are not taking care of yourself. But allowing the other people in your life to step up and claim responsibility for themselves. That is where you stop over functioning. You do not need to do everything, for everyone else.
And by not over functioning in your family. This alone this one way will help your family. It will help them to accept responsibility for themselves while you claim responsibility for yourself. And this is a healthier way to live. And by spending some time on you, figuring out what you want for you, you will not automatically become a selfish, self centered person. This is not an all or nothing situation, you don’t go from being a totally self sacrificing person, to a totally self absorbed person.
By spending time focusing on you, you develop into the kind of person who has more perspective and knowledge about how to help your family. And think about what if you spent time in box number two, doing things for yourself that were important but not urgent, focusing on yourself, investing in yourself, you create more resources for your family? What if that is true? What if by doing that, you actually create more resources to help your family. And that might look like having more love and understanding that you bring into the home. That creates a strong connection between family members.
What if that resources more connection in your marriage as you learn who you are? And you bring the best version of yourself to that relationship? What if it’s emotional resilience, your ability to handle the challenges that life brings you and to help others handle theirs? What if it’s a version of you that feels confident, peaceful and authentic? What if that resource is knowing when to set boundaries with your adult children, and maybe your teen children too. And those boundaries allow you to show more love for them, as you allow them to take responsibility for their own lives? What if the resource is the ability to model for your spouse and your children, what an emotionally healthy person does, how they live their life, how they take care of themselves, and the people that they care about?
What if these types of resources that you create are far more beneficial to your family, then the sacrifice that you would make to get them the financial, the time the energy resources that you’re worried about giving up in order to focus on you. So the most effective and efficient way for you to help your family this year is to work on yourself. You belong in box number two. Taking care of yourself in a way that develops you is important, but it’s not urgent. At least it’s not urgent until the fires pop up in box number one that you have to deal with.
So then you find yourself putting out fires and trying to work on yourself at the same time in 2022, spend more time in box number two, working on yourself. See how that is how you can more effectively and efficiently help those around you that you love.
And one way that you can do that is to join my relationship reset workshop that begins January 13. That’s only a few days away. If you want to sign up for this workshop that’s four weeks long on Thursday mornings, use coupon code box two, two isn’t a number, which I’ll put in the show notes and that will give you a $50 discount. This coupon code is good until January 11 At midnight, mountain time. That’s when registration will end and the doors will close for this workshop. And you are not going to want to miss this because I’m going to talk about over functioning and under functioning in relationships. I’m going to talk about how to bring more love into your life. and into the lives of other people that you love, how to set and when to set appropriate boundaries, and how to manage expectations of others. I’m going to break bringing a lot more to this workshop. So don’t miss it. I don’t know when I’m going to be offering it again. So make sure you get in on it now while you can. And until then, remember to prioritize yourself. Put yourself into box number two. How can you be working on yourself every single day? What does that look like for you? Think about that, and I’ll see you next week.