Yesterday, I was going through some notes, emails and assorted clippings and came across a piece that I had clipped from a newspaper when I was struggling with quitting smoking. I so wanted to eliminate that habit from my life and was successful (for 25 years to date). The piece has appeared many times, and I am certain you have read it before. Most writings founded in truth, when revisited, reveal something new to me. This one is no exception. I’m not saying that you have any habits you are needing to change, but know I do. This is from a piece by Portia Nelson entitled “Autobiography in Five Short Chapters.”
“Chapter 1. I walk down the street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I fall in. I am lost. I am helpless. It isn’t my fault. It takes forever to find a way out.
Chapter 2. I walk down the street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I pretend I don’t see it. I fall in again. I can’t believe I am in the same place, but it isn’t my fault. It still takes a long time to get out.
Chapter 3. I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I see it is there. I still fall in. It’s a habit. My eyes are open. I know where I am. It is my fault. I get out immediately.
Chapter 4. I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I walk around it.
Chapter 5. I walk down another street.”
When I read that so many years ago, I realized and accepted that I had to take responsibility for my choices. If I continued to walk down the same street, falling into the same deep hole, I could not blame it on others or on circumstances beyond my control. The only way to avoid falling into the hole was to take the responsibility to walk down a different street. Breaking habits can be difficult, yet in truth, 90 percent of those who fail are not actually defeated. They simply “quit without trying a different street.” I am thinking about the new street I need to be walking down in my weight-loss journey. How about you?
Time to check in on your progress with TOPS Million Pounds Mission to lose ten or more pounds or be a KOPS in leeway by the end of 2017. How are you doing?
By Esther none Van Der Brink May 2, 2022
I just joined. I need to take responsibility for myself and stop saying, “it’s not my fault”. Over 30 years ago I was in a TOPS group but had not been able to continue because my work at my job conflicted with the meeting time. Since then that group has left TOPS, but still meet at a time that doesn’t work for me. I am hoping the online meetings will work for me now. So glad for the technology we have today.
By Ruth Knox June 29, 2021
This made me cry. We forget to realize that every time we stumble, we are a step closer to getting it right. What is the saying? “Fall down 50 times, get up 51.” It is so easy to focus on our failures and lose our momentum, or succumb to believing we really can’t do it. Some of us are slow learners, some of us are fast, but we all have the capacity to keep going, and learn what works for us.
By bonnis smith July 10, 2018
I attended the SRD in Stone Mountain, Ga. and heard Ms Cadys presentation “Diamond Dazzlers” and I tried to take notes but I do not have enough to use for a program I was wondering if this is in in print and could I access this by e-mail thanks bonnie smith
By Arlene Clayton August 22, 2017
My new street is a frig magnate near the door handle. The magnate has two words
THINK SKINNY. Didn’t register for the first week; beginning to now. Is this necessary to open this door because the contents remain the same as twenty minutes ago.
Small reminders are sometimes the best.
By Margaret Lee July 27, 2017
Hi, I’m the new weekly program director for our chapter.
Where do I begin? Are there previous programs on your website that I can download?
I know the magazine has some good ideas, but don’t you have to be on the executive
to access these chapter programs?
Thank you for all you do….I have gained so much being a member of Tops.
By berty May 23, 2017
i get inspired every time i read the monday message
since feb 22 2017 i have quit smoking thats 3 months
at the same time i managed to lose the 10 lb challenge
thnx to all my friends at tops
By nancy May 15, 2017
I’ve struggled, wanting to try some new ways to lose the weight.
By Sandy April 29, 2017
I had to take a U turn and look around. What worked in the pass? The truth was I needed to look at my health. Dust off myself and be me again. I found it. I walk everyday with my grandson and my husband. I have a new goal. Sometimes a look around will see beauty you passed by. I see again. Thanks Barb, I needed a U turn and a new journey.
By Rebecca Achilles April 25, 2017
Nothing changes “if” nothing changes!
By susan April 20, 2017
That is awesome! I quit smoking and did what you suggest here – changed where I had coffee etc since that is where I smoked most, and 3 yrs later I still have not smoked…but of course I ate instead which is why I am now here. 🙂 lol But guess the same goes for food! This is motivating to ‘take a different street’ with eating as well.
By kristine April 9, 2017
I liked this. I we give it a try .
By Nadeen Lester April 6, 2017
Great message. I like the part about changing “it’s not my fault” to taking responsibility for the problem. For me, that’s counting calories and exercising.
By Mildred Hall April 4, 2017
I decided last week that I needed to walk down a different street! So I started the Paleo plan(hate the word diet) yesterday on a Monday because Monday is the day I start anything new. I experimented with some of the recipes that were sent with the program but basically started Monday. I don’t know how much success I’ll have with weight loss but I do know I will be healthier.
By jilberte April 3, 2017
I would like to read more as I love TOPS
By Your Friends at TOPS Headquarters April 11, 2017
Dear Jilberte, if you need more information about TOPS, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Karen Ruff April 3, 2017
Thank you for this message, I have been struggling with my weight for the past year, at times I want to give up and say what is the use. When I read your Monday messages I am encourage to keep going on my health journey. This message speaks to me. Again thank you.
By Jennifer Eriksson April 3, 2017
One week I take a different street but the next week it has a big hole. Time to try a new street once again.