Posted on May 25th, 2006

Not too long ago a got together with some friends for a little full court basketball, which means a lot of running. It did not take long at all for me to notice that my body was just not able to do much of what my brain was telling it to do.

My body was screaming at me that I had neglected it for too long.

Neglect - what a nasty and potentially life changing word.

When applied to our lives, neglect can look like this:

Neglect your health and, at best, you’re out of shape and embarrassed by your appearance, and, at worse, you die.

Neglect your spouse and you can wind up disconnected and divorced.

your kids and they can become unreachable strangers.

Neglect your job and you might not have one.

Neglect your spiritual life and you can begin to lose hope.

Neglect your finances and you may wind up in debt or worse.

Tips for reversing neglect

1. Identify areas of neglect - Begin by taking an objective look at your life. Do you notice any important areas that are suffering from neglect?

If you cannot find any, ask someone close to you. Those close to us can act as great mirrors, showing us things we would otherwise miss.

You may notice many things that have been neglected or left undone. At this point it can be dangerously tempting to become overwhelmed.

All you need to do is identify areas that have room for improvement. If you have identified more than one area, list them in order of importance to you and then focus on the top priority.

2. Assess the damage so you have a realistic notion of how much repair work you have to do. Then acknowledge the damage so you can break through any denial.

You can’t change a thing unless and until it becomes real for you.

One way to acknowledge and experience the results of neglect is to ask yourself:

"What will happen in the next month if I don’t get on top of this? In the next year? In five years?

Next, stop digging yourself further into a hole. In addition to ending the neglect, stop doing anything you might be doing to make matters worse.

3. Then create and implement a plan to turn things around. Sometimes turning things around can be as simple as doing the opposite of what you have been doing.

4. Make a commitment to be a good steward of whatever area of your life you have been neglecting.

For example, if you have been neglecting your physical health, then get a physical, eat less/better and exercise more.

If you have been neglecting your spouse, apologize, clean it up, plan some time together and follow through.

And remember, failing to follow through leaves you in a much worse position that you were before.

5. Celebrate your successes. This builds your momentum for the next challenge.

At the same time, however, be careful about celebrating too much. Becoming overly satisfied with yourself can quickly lead to complacency, which is one small step away from neglect.

Visit SecretsofGreatRelationships.com for tips and tools for creating and growing a great relationship. You can also subscribe to our f*r*e*e 10 day e-program on how to enrich your relationship today, from relationship coach and expert Jeff Herring.

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