December 27, 2011

Challenge for the Week—Asking the Question behind the Question

Update from last week--

Last week I started writing about how I set weekly goals for myself, and how I’m trying to be more intentional with expressing appreciation and gratitude towards others. 

First off, I want to write a note to my Hubby as part of his Christmas gift thanking him for the many ways that he provides for us and gives to us each and every day.  Next, I want to make a point at least one time a day to talk to our daughter about something she did that I appreciated or something that I noticed she did that I thought was awesome.  Since we eat suppers together as a family almost every night together, I thought that I might do so in front of her Daddy (and whatever other family members or friends are there).   Last, I want to make a point to write at least 3 letters of appreciation to others this week.  I might write more, but given that it is a week until Christmas, I’m thinking that 3 is more doable.

I accomplished these goals.  I wrote a letter to Hubby and could have written a novel.  He does so much for us that it was hard to write anything all inclusive.  While I didn’t always note positives to our daughter at mealtime, I did make a point to do so in front of Hubby or another relative at least one time a day.  I think it helped to bring out more of the positive behaviors through reinforcement.  I also sent letters of appreciation, but instead of 3, I wrote 5.  Today I spoke to someone who had received one of them in the mail.  She said that she had an awful day just before receiving it and that it meant a lot—knowing that something so simple can make such an impact makes me want to do much more of this kind of thing. 

Goals for this week--

On the Friday before Christmas, I read the book The Question Behind the Question.  This week I want to work on asking myself how I can positively impact situations rather than becoming frustrated when something negative happens.  The book talks about how important it is to be accountable for yourself—you can’t change others and many times you can’t change situations, but you can control how you choose to interact and respond.  You can control what YOU DO. I read the book in about an hour, and while it wasn’t brand new information, it was a great reinforcement of what I already know through using cognitive behavioral therapy as a social worker—change the way you think about a situation, and you change the way you feel about it.  Those little changes add up and effect your relationships, your work, your life. 

Since this goal is a little hard to measure, I’m going to break it up into smaller goals that I can check off.  I’ll sign up for the QBQ e-newsletter so that I have little reminders as they arrive in my inbox.  When I notice myself becoming frustrated in a situation, I’ll stop and ask myself, “What can I do?”  Hopefully that use of self talk will spur me to positive action.  I’ll also make a few notes about the QBQ concepts and post them around the house.  We’ll see how it goes. 

The QBQ book is about more than just self talk and making changes in yourself.  If you haven’t yet read it, I recommend you check it out from the library.  It could easily be used as a daily calendar read, as it is written in short chapter sound-bites that encourage the reader to try a different approach than he or she might already be using to a situation.  Good stuff!

New Year’s Day is around the corner—a big goal setting day for most people.  Have you given any thought to your goals for 2012?


  1. Gabrielle, thanks so much! As the author of the QBQ! book, I am honored to hear your kind words about the book. Thank you so much! Email me at! Blessings! John G. Miller, Denver, CO

  2. Gabrielle, thanks so much! As the author of the QBQ! book, I am honored to hear your kind words about the book. Thank you so much! Email me at! Blessings! John G. Miller, Denver, CO