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Guest Blogger: How to Avoid Over-Commitment by Dr. Melanie Wilson

I am so honored to have Dr. Melanie Wilson as my guest blogger this month.  She is a Christian psychologist turned homeschooling mom of six. She is the author of So You’re Not Wonder Woman, the story of psychology’s failure to change her life and how she discovered the Super Power for being fit, organized, and joyful. Melanie also authors the blogs, Not Wonder Woman and Motivated Homeschooler, where she offers tips, how to’s, and inspiration for Wonder Woman wannabes.


How to Avoid Over-Commitment

by Dr. Melanie Wilson


If you agree that there’s a high cost to over-commitment, you should be motivated to avoid it if at all possible. Before I share what I think are good methods for preventing the madness, let’s discuss why we over-commit in the first place.

Why Do We Over-commit?

 If over-commitment is so bad for us (and believe me, it is!), why do we do it? I’ve been asking myself that question. For as long as I can remember, people have told me that I need to learn to say “no.” I honestly don’t struggle with saying no to others as much as saying no to me.

  • I think I over-commit because I like being busy more than being bored.
  • I do it because I get an adrenaline rush from doing a lot of fun things (yes, some of my commitments were very fun!).
  • I worry that I won’t have another chance at some of the opportunities.


I could dig deeper in psychoanalytic fashion, but honestly, I think there’s a simple error at work when I agree to do too much: I focus on what I can do rather than on what I should do. When I get the email asking if I can speak for a women’s event, I look at the calendar and think, “Hey, that night’s open. I’ll do it.” That kind of time management is a little like asking how many people you can possibly stuff into your car clown-style. Even though it might be record-breaking, it’s crazy. If I took what I was considering to the Lord, I know He would veto it, so sadly I often don’t.


How Can We Avoid Over-commitment?


Really pray first.

By “really pray” I don’t mean to prayerfully think, “Should I do this? Ok! It’s a go!” Instead, refuse to agree to a major time commitment before you’ve been quiet before the Lord and waited to hear from Him. If I had taken my long potential list to God, I’m pretty sure I would have heard a holy ha ha ha.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is —his good, pleasing and perfect will. 


Seek loving counsel.

My husband is very protective of my time. He knows from experience what his life, our marriage, and our children’s lives will be like when I’m in over my head. If I had asked him whether to take on all of these opportunities, he would have been very clear about it. That’s why I didn’t ask him. But I will next time.


Recognize that life isn’t musical chairs.

God has a chair set aside for me and you and no one else can sit in it—even if we say no to something great for now. We don’t have to rush to accomplish His purpose for us. Jesus was never in a hurry and neither was the Apostle Paul. I don’t think I’m more important than they were.


Look at your calendar using a worst-case scenario.

I always think that I’m going to have things done ahead of schedule and invariably, I’m running around frantically at the last minute. Instead of assuming that you’ll be all ready for Event A so Event B will fit on the calendar, estimate how much time it will take if you leave everything to the last minute. If you can’t prepare adequately for both events at the last minute without staying up all night, pass on one of them. I can’t tell you how much I wish I had taken this advice.


Why do you over-commit? Do you have any other ideas for avoiding it?


Kissing my bad habits goodbye

Thank you to everyone who replied to my latest poll, “Can you really get rid of bad habits?” We had a lot of discussion and great comments.


Overall, you said that most habits can die. And I agree! In fact, I believe that all bad habits can die.


I don’t have scientific evidence to support that–but I don’t need it. That’s why I have faith–faith in the all-powerful God who has freed me from my bad habits:


  • Addictions.
  • Perfectionism.
  • Workaholism.
  • People-pleasing.
  • And more.


When I have laid these habits at the cross of Jesus–without taking them back again, He supernaturally erases those desires and tendencies so I can live in joyous freedom.



Some bad habits are so strong that I keep taking them back again and again. Part of my problem is that I put myself in situations that make it easier for my bad habits to resurface.


  • Relationships.
  • Friendships.
  • Even the computer.


Truth is: I can feed my bad habits, or I can starve them. I can go back to the same routines, or I can replace them with better habits–habits that give life–not death. Every time I fail to create healthy habits, I put myself at risk.


When a defiling evil spirit is expelled from someone, it drifts along through the desert looking for an oasis, some unsuspecting soul it can bedevil. When it doesn’t find anyone, it says, ‘I’ll go back to my old haunt.’ On return it finds the person spotlessly clean, but vacant. It then runs out and rounds up seven other spirits more evil than itself and they all move in, whooping it up. That person ends up far worse off than if he’d never gotten cleaned up in the first place (Matthew 12:43-45).


I don’t have to put myself at risk. When I’m tempted, I can call upon God. He will help me day-by-day, and many times, even moment-by-moment.


But remember that the temptations that come into your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can’t stand up against it. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you will not give in to it (1 Corinthians 10:13).


In the end, I will be free, and whom God sets free is free indeed (John 8:36).


Goodbye, bad habits!


Come alongside: How about you? Do you relate? Which bad habits have you replaced with good habits? With whom can you share this good news today?


Recovery Resources



Forced to rest

My basset hound Dudleigh resting after surgery

Sometimes I go, go, go and wear myself out. My body is screaming, “I need to rest,” but I just keep going, going going.


A couple years ago, I was forced to rest when I had to take a 6-month medical leave from work. This was very difficult for me. I wanted to go, I wanted to do, but all I could do was lie down. Despite my frustrations, I learned – and continue to learn – that rest is necessary. It rejuvenates, refreshes, and restores.


It also taught me a lot about myself, my friends, and God.


  • Rest doesn’t rob me of my value as a person.
  • Rest helps me to treasure the simple things in life.
  • Rest allows me to enjoy my true friends.
  • It gives me time to meditate on God and His word.
  • Rest grants me life.


Come alongside…How often do you rest? Have you been forced to rest? What are you learning about rest?


Big hugs,

Affiliate Disclosure

Daphne Tarango is a participant in affiliate programs with Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, DaySpring, Church Source, Hazelden, Christian Strong (via Conversant and ShareASale). These advertising services are designed to provide a means for sites like to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to said merchants. Some images and articles may contain links to products on merchant sites. Should you choose to make purchases through those links, please understand that I will receive a small commission. Please do not feel like you need to use these links to make any purchases. The links are only for your convenience. Thank you.