What one critical factor will be most determinant in the success or failure of your ambitious weight loss plan? What is really the bottom line? If you haven’t guessed it, it is your habits.
Habits are there for us day in and day out. They don’t care if you are in a big “unshakable iron will power moment”, or if you just got done reading the latest “miracle no sweat, guaranteed weight loss” best seller. Your habits instill a steady, consistent and unwavering train track to either success or failure; it is critical that you develop and nurture the correct ones if you want lasting results.
But here’s the surprise. It’s actually pretty simple to do. You don’t have to sign on to any costly long term programs. You don’t need any inspirational, “bolt of lightning”, life changing event. You only have to understand a couple of important principles about addiction. Thats all it really is. I found this out myself years ago in my battle with the butts.
Before I discovered that habit breaking or formation was mostly about understanding, I was caught up in the typical cycle of on – again, off -again, quitting – endulgence, elation – frustration. I would give em up for a week or two, then some day “have just one” and be right back at square one. Then I finally figured it all out.
I analyzed my situation and arrived at a few conclusions concerning my motivation, impulsive and addictive behavior. Once I had laid it all out, I was able to develop a program for “channelling myself in the right direction” and viola, I was a nonsmoker.
Well, it didn’t actually happen quite that fast, but I was finally moving in the right direction. Here are the conclusions I had drawn out:
1. A powerful addiction warps your thinking about it. You can readily list all of the powerful reasons for changing your particular vices, but when the moment of truth arrives, when you are holding that pack in your hands, the only thoughts that fly through your mind are the reasons why you should go ahead and indulge. You can only envision the thrill, burst of elation, wonderful taste, and so on. The dirty, bloating, smelly, health destroying consequences? Pffft. Last thing on your mind right now. So you must always be aware of this as you proceed in your struggle day to day.
2. One of the biggest stumbling blocks an addict is faced with is the fear of having to stay on the wagon for his entire life. You find the indulgence of your habit to be enjoyable. It is a part of you. You can give them up for a short, clearly defined period, but the thought of never being able to have another cigarette – ever again?? That’s daunting. What must be realized is that after a certain behavior modifying period your desire for the indulgence will simply evaporate. You won’t even miss em. This is where a little mental jiu jitsu is in order. You should take the pressure off yourself by putting a short term limitation on your program. Just give them up for 10 days. After that you can reevaluate. In other words, before lighting up just go for “another 10 days.” You see what I mean.
3. You have to be prepared for a battle. It’s not easy to quit. The urges will be persistent for a time, and as stated earlier, they will perform an all out mental attack. You have to always be aware of this, and also the reasons why you are quitting in the first place. So keep a constant vision of that slimmer, stronger healthier you that will be your reward. As the time goes on it will get easier and easier, and you will begin to see the results. But don’t ever forget how easy it is to destroy this progress you have attained! A tiny slip can become an avalanche. Don’t take it lightly. Lastly, be sure to stay away from places where you will be exposed to the source of your craving: parties, smoky rooms, etc. “Proximity breeds propensity.” (I like that:) You can always go back later when you’ve fully licked the habit.
So if you put it all together, you can devise a program that will stick, and finally break the chains of your powerful addiction. You can also create a diet or exercise plan that will actually have a chance of success. Modifying behavior sometimes takes insight and a little creativity, you don’t have to be an unyielding, unbending, iron willed monster. Try this out and good luck!
If you like my post, sign up for my regular updates! Just put your email address in the box to the right then click “sign me up” its direct and unpublished. Thanks – Warren