“You can’t talk yourself out of a problem you behaved yourself into.” (Stephen Covey)
There are a lot of people who try to talk their way out of a problem, and I can tell you I have been one of those people in the past. As a person who has always had a gifted tongue, talking was always my go-to answer for a problem. With the exception of a traffic ticket or two, this strategy seems never to work.
The fact is that talk is extremely cheap. I can say all the right things, but if I can’t back them up with behaviors to match, then they aren’t worth the breath used to speak them. Lately there has been a lot of crossover between this blog, and my Fitness Journey blog. Today the best examples of talk versus behavior are a crossover as well.
There have been countless times in the past when I have made bold proclamations about losing weight and being in better shape. One infamous time came at a family gathering many autumns ago. At the time I actually weighed far less than I do now, but I needed to lose a few pounds. I told my brother and sister that they “wouldn’t recognize me” come Christmas because of all the weight I was going to lose. That Christmas came and went, and many after, without me losing weight. In fact, I was still gaining. I have been teased many times for making that statement, and each time the teasing stings, not because of the teasing itself, but because my own actions didn’t back up the claim.
The fact is that I can talk (or write), all day and night about being healthier, losing weight and the like. But, unless I eat less and exercise more, none of it will matter. While writing my health blog is an enabler to the process because it helps me to stay accountable, it hasn’t made me lose one ounce. My behaviors are all that matter in that equation.
When I took the Dale Carnegie course in 2000, I was able to make changes in my life that had a very positive effect on myself and my relationships. Each week I would come back and report something, via a public speech, about my progress. After the 12 weeks there was a measureable difference in my life. But, that difference didn’t happen because of what I said on those Monday nights; Things changed because of what I did on the days in between.
Stephen Covey offers a succinct reminder that behavior is the best, and usually only, way to fix a problem.