The Hole in your Path
Ditches or holes...regardless of the name, nobody wants to get stuck in one.
And yet, the grooves of well-developed poor habits can deposit us into them time and time again.
If we dislike them so much, why don't we stop? Why don't we simply say "I'm not interested in you...no thank you."
I think the answer to this lies at the cellular level...far beyond the realm of will power. Fortunately, though, we have dynamic brains that continue to adapt throughout our lifespan. So, the trick is to create a new path that is more compelling than the old. In other words, there need to be enough rewards along the way to the new behavior to overpower the prior worn paths.
Consider this example:
You are presented with a cinnamon roll. There are those among us (usually male from the latest poll I took) who think: "that looks good, but I'm not hungry." And they pass it up. Then there are those among us (me included) who have to have a bonafide conversation with ourselves over the value of eating it. IF the temptation is wrapped up with memories of sitting in grandma's kitchen with the smell of cinnamon mingled with love and fun conversations...AND you miss grandma and those associations...odds are high you'll eat the roll. IF on the other hand, those same memories are competing against new good feelings of people complimenting you on your weight loss and muscle definition, and your buddies are waiting right now for you to exercise together...your odds of resisting the roll are much greater.
Developing a new habit is a circular process of filling your coping tool box by:
- finding success
- developing skills
- building strength
- feeling better
. . . creating an ever wider and wider buffer against the prior temptation...lessening the odds of you finding yourself in that old hole.
Committing to an exercise or nutrition program is an act that both acknowledges your current holes, while also being willing to consider an alternate route.
Is it going to be comfortable? Probably not.
Will you be sentimental about the sights and smells and sounds of the pothole path? Probably.
Give yourself the greatest chance at success, and find a coach who you look forward to seeing, who motivates you to keep moving forward, and who gives you the tools you need to be the best version of you . . . and forge ahead to chart your new path.