Thank goodness I’ve got three well-informed, healthy, socially connected Millennium Generation kids (counting my younger son’s wonderful and bright girlfriend as one of my own) who knew and appreciated that I’d “enjoy” Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit as a wonderful 61st Birthday Day present. Duhigg’s missive that spent 62 weeks on the NY Times best seller list includes a flowchart (also online at: http://charlesduhigg.com/flowchart-for-changing-habits/) that I’ve since posted on our refrigerator to help guide me through my own change process, with one of my more pervasive bad habits, and one that’s shared culturally, which adds an interesting social/psychological twist to overcoming it, of course unless I’m already blaming society for my having the habit, and already setting myself up for failure… Ho boy…
Being an architect, experience designer and design thinker I love infographics and process. My Dad, who developed Adult Onset Diabetes, was a bright patent-holding pipeline systems engineer who inspired me to see how things work and to become an engaged ‘maker’ by improving processes and to design problem solutions. I’ve enjoyed a rich, legacy-creating career helping make some of Colorado’s leading environmentally sustainable buildings that also provide a great educational resource for us all to change our habits that we’ve formed around being environmentally responsible, including the visitor center expansion at the Great Sand Dunes National Park, along with some interactive educational exhibits.
But I’m finding that it’s one thing to be an educator and quite another, by necessity, to be the one who’s most committed to following my own advice, changing my own habits first as the only way to provide effective education as a servant-leader. It’s been fairly easy and fulfilling to provide environmental leadership (including an honor as Colorado’s Architect of the Year in 1999 for service to the profession) but as my doc points to high levels of Triglycerides in my blood, I’m faced with an entirely different challenge, one that’s far more difficult for me to meet than almost any that I’ve faced personally and physically.
To me the stakes are ponderous, they’re personal, very personal, calling for an inevitable change in not only my body but in my relationships and in my social setting, where I know help is going to have to come. All sorts of feelings well up, wondering with concern about how my son’s, who literally have some skin in the game will help me, and how I’ll react without being too paternal or overbearing or just plain grumpy… What the hell, we love each other dearly, so my knowledge reigns supreme that they’re here for me. The same goes with my sweet, resourceful and forthright wife Debra, who I’m ultimately lucky to have as a coach and supporter, both physically and emotionally. It certainly doesn’t hurt that she was two-time National Womens’ Tae Kwon Do Champion!
Nonetheless, ponderous, very ponderous.
So, as my beautiful son’s say, WTF, here goes! During August of 2013 I’m going to lose at least 5 pounds and more importantly level out my Triglycerides with a new, lasting “sustainable” Keystone Habit.