With so many choices available, how do I move from ‘I want to change’ to ‘I am changing’?
I recently received several months of NutriSystem(r) meals. Seriously, a friend’s husband had had enough and she ended up giving his dinners to me. Interestingly, I found many of the meals quite tasty. But the big surprise was that I realized if I used those containers to determine portion size, I’d lose weight eating most anything.
The fact that so much packaging is used to create these easy-to-fix meals seemed to conflict with my good intentions. Trading healthy eating for more things to be recycled or put in the garbage, well, I’m not sure it’s an even trade or even good barter.
More thought-provoking was the awareness that if I stay on this program for long, I’ve not really changed my ways. I’ve just allowed someone else to ‘take care of it.’ For all the diet programs out there, I’m pretty sure that most folks return again and again. That is not a change. For me personally, I’m working steadfastly to consider portions. It’s an awareness. It’s a discipline. No, it’s not easy.
On a broader scale, information of every ilk is available via internet searches. If you visit a library, the research librarians are able to introduce you to more resources than you can possibly consume in a lifetime. More and more books, videos and information materials are available to us for every subject we may be searching!
Add the opinions you read daily in your social media circles and you’ll soon reach the terrible state of inaction often called ‘paralysis by analysis’ due to overwhelm. We are given so many choices and solutions, we can’t decide which one or where to start! Add the gnawing feeling that you’re not living up to the same accomplishments and successes as your friends, and your soon feeling depressed.
The final blow is the “easy, one-click solution.” We know this does not exist. Yet we keep chasing this shiny object only to be more disappointed. Oprah is still dieting. Your best friend is still trying to maintain her exercise program. You’re still trying to become more ‘organized.’ There’s just one more class I need to take before I get started!
Yet, are our lives being improved? Not so much…
Why is that? Could it be that we are not truly committed to our goal? Might it be that we quit before our effort has become a habit that is now part of our lifestyle? Possibly we’ve made a goal that is unrealistic, based on someone else’s image, not our own?
Like the dog chasing its tail, we go round and round. Soon, we’re chastising ourselves several times a day. We go out to eat with friends only to bemoan that “I shouldn’t have ordered that.” Now our well intentioned program has started haunting us. We can’t enjoy our lives because we’re always falling short of our goals. Thus begins a vicious circle of effort, disappointment and frustration resulting in not much change.
All the information available to us is truly amazing. But let’s put it in perspective. Each of us has the same 24 hours in a day. It is time to determine your intention (not someone else’s), time to make decisions and acknowledge that “no, you can’t do it all” (at least not all at once), and that it’s action that creates change (not another class, another book, another info-product that promises ‘easy’).
So what do you say? Will you step out of the vicious circle? Will you make a choice that matters only to you? Will you take action and quit procrastinating by reading one more book or taking one more class or buying one more shiny object that will ‘fix it with one click?’
Are you ready to make the changes that matter for the reasons the motivate you? If so, let’s get started! Remember, nothing changes – EVER – without action!
PS I highly recommend the following:
Stephen Guise has done a tremendous amount of research in writing this book. Yet one of the first things you’ll read refers to his ‘one push-up daily’ routine and takes you from there. The most exciting part of his journey is that, as you read, you’ll be thinking, “I could do one!” In this simplicity is the genius of mini-habits.