Often we have things about ourselves that we want to change. We want to be a bit slimmer, a bit healthier, a bit more muscly. Sometimes we wish we had more energy, better organisational skills, more will power. So what do we do about it? Well, we join a gym and decide to go 4 times a week. We decide to follow a whole new diet, cutting out any and all of the ‘bad’ foods we normally eat. We may decide to go to bed 2 hours earlier every night so we feel more awake in the day or choose to rearrange our house to make it perfectly organised. We decide right then and there that this is the best idea and that we will not stop until we complete all of these things.
So what is a common outcome of this?
We join that gym and go 4 times a week….for the first 3 or 4 weeks….and then it gets in the way of everything, it’s hard and tiring and it’s ok to miss a couple of days a week…the excitement has gone and it’s just hard work, being a regular gym goer just isn’t part of who you are. After clearing out the cupboards of all the foods you are trying to avoid you come home and are really craving something that tastes nice and fills you up, you are bored with the ‘healthy’ stuff and just want a little treat for doing so well, may aswell get something quick and easy and tasty. Soon enough the fresh food in the fridge is thrown away as it has started to go off and the old ways are back in. Going to bed 2 hours earlier was a silly idea because you don’t get everything done in the evening and you simply lie awake for most of that time anyway. Ok it’s the weekend lets rearrange everything in the house. It all begins brilliantly, you are clearing stuff out the cupboards and drawers, throwing things you do not need, there is stuff everywhere that you are in total control of…..wow, there is a lot of stuff, it is everywhere, what should be done first? This isn’t fun anymore and is never going to get finished!
Now I am aware that for a lot of you I may be slightly exaggerating but I think most of us can relate to at least one part of this. So why does it go so wrong?
It is because you are asking yourself to change very drastically, very quickly. You have spent a lot of time and effort towards becoming inactive and unmotivated to train yet overnight you want to become a fitness fanatic? You have become accustomed to your current eating routine and your body habitually craves the foods you are used to eating. You are in a sleeping pattern that you have set in place for weeks, months or even years. You can’t suddenly become tired just because you lie in bed. Trying to rearrange a whole house full of stuff in one day is a ginormous task and if you lack organisational skills to begin with then it can be very overwhelming. You are setting yourself up to fail by asking too much of yourself. If it was that easy to change then none of us would have any problems.
Work with your mind to change the habits of your body and character, as a team. The only way change can occur and become a new way of living is to team up with your mind and plant and nurture a will power seed. Taking small steps and setting realistic goals is the best way to a new and improved you. For example:
Instead of jumping in to 4 days of exercise a week, start off with 1 or 2 max. Stick to these days and decide to commit to them, do not give up, even if it gets tough. Stick it out. If you can’t manage 2 days then just stick to 1 until it becomes part of your weekly routine, then introduce another day and as the weeks go on, another day.
Instead of changing everything you eat break it down. Decide one small change to start with. A healthier breakfast 5 days of the week, to drink more water each day, to ask yourself if you are actually hungry or just bored before making something to eat. One small manageable change at a time will help implement new eating habits. The rest of your eating should continue as normal and be guilt free. Remember we are only focusing on one small change at a time and that is the only one we observe and HAVE to stick to.
Try going to bed 20 minutes earlier and turn off all electrical devices 30-60 minutes before this. This won’t make such a big change to your routine and you won’t feel like you are missing so much time.
Choose one small area of your house to organise. One drawer a day or every other day. Don’t push to do more. Stick to what you decide to do. Before you know it you will have a nice organised house.
Be kind to yourself and set small, manageable and realistic goals. Most importantly if you decide to do something make a promise to yourself to complete it and NEVER break a promise you have made to yourself. There is no point in beating yourself up about what you are not doing. Focus on little things you can do and then do them. Always remember that a quick fix will be exactly that and will just as quickly be reversible like I said in my last post – ‘Start small, grow tall!’
Task for today:
Ask yourself this: If you spoke about your friends the way you speak about yourself, would you have any friends left?