If you are a life long dieter like me, you are constantly trying new diets and then breaking them. Been there, done that, got the muffin top to prove it. Many of you know that back in April I decided to take control of my health and create a new destiny. No, I am not on a diet. No, it's really not about the number on a scale. I mean it this time. This time it's about creating healthy habits. And there are two habits that I am working on right now – two phrases that I have realized are killers of progress – at least for me. So I suspect I'm not the only one.
This week I had a moment of weakness in my strive to create a healthy habit regimen. Okay, not one moment, many. I won't go into detail, but they involved the words glazed, extra crispy, buttermilk, and to go. It's not really the food or lack of exercise that will hurt me as much as the two phrases that followed. "Well, since I've already broken my diet, I might as well…" and "I'll just start again on Monday."
These two phrases turn one or two (or three mistakes) into possibly twice that many. In fact, these two phrases could actually kill the whole deal if you follow them. These two phrases aren't just bad actions, they are bad HABITS, which are a whole lot worse than bad actions. And my goal isn't to reach a number, it's to create new habits. Following a list of things to do simply leads me to a new destination. Creating a list of habits leads me to a new lifestyle. So it's time to break these two habits. It's time to address the mistaken belief behind these two phrases. These two phrases indicate that because I've messed up, the path to success is blown up.
Just because I made a mistake does not mean all is lost and the journey is destroyed. Not at all. In fact, it doesn't mean anything except that I ate something I didn't want to eat. It means I didn't go to the gym today. Period. End of story. Moment over. Don't look back. Look in this moment. Make a different choice. We think because we made one mistake that we undid all our progress and that depresses us and makes us want to quit and give in to the craving in front of us. But one mistake does not a journey break. So get over it and step into a new moment. And if you think you feel bad now, wait until a week of responding to the words, "Well, since I've already broken my diet." It won't be pretty. And look on the bright side – if I feel this guilty, then I must be doing something right!
And once I break the habit of the first phrase (Well, since I already broke my diet, I might as well…) then I will naturally break the second habit of deciding to start again on Monday. Same path to forgiveness as above. Same rules apply. The time to stop a bad habit is now, not on Monday. It's always easier to break it today rather Monday, now rather than later, August rather than the day before Thanksgiving.
The road to a healthier new me will not be easy. It will be filled with potholes. And, like I always say, it's not the pothole that brings us down, but what we choose to do with it. Today I choose to let my actions go, and focus on my habits.
And THAT is worth celebrating.
Just not with a donut.
- Don't create diets of lists of things to do – create HABITS.
- Measure your success by the habits you have created and broken, not a number.
- One mistake does not a journey break.
- Kill the words, "Well, since I've already broken my diet, I might as well…"
- Kill the words, "I'll just start again on Monday."
- This time it really is different. Believe it.
- Celebrate your guilt. It means you're growing.
Your fluffy motivational speaker, trying to find her healthier ever after –
one bite one step one habit at a time.