You are never going to feel like making a lasting change in your life.
yep. It’s pretty simple.
If you raised a child or have watched a niece or nephew being raised, you know what I am talking about.
I watched my kids come in all sweaty from a volleyball practice or a great game of playing tag with their buddies in 85 degree heat and plop down on the couch. Of course I would say, “hey, go take a shower before you sit there”, and they would do that huge eye roll thing and drag their body off the couch like they weighed 500 pounds and slump up the stairs to reluctantly take a shower. They never felt like it. At least, not until they got older and had been practically forced to do it many times by me over a period of time.
You are no different. Your whole being, even though you say you want to shed weight, or improve your relationship, or get a new job, is deep down inside happy just sitting in the current state because that is what it’s used to.
You have two minds at play here. The first one is your conscious mind, which has decided you want to shed that weight so you feel awesome in that swim suit in three months. And the other one is your subconscious mind, the one that says “but that’s hard and I really love my (insert your default food/drink here)”. And you know what, your subconscious mind wins every time. You take the treat or drink and think, “next time I’ll make a different choice.” But next time you pick that treat all over again.
Sometimes these two “minds” are called the adult brain and the child brain, sometimes they are referred to as the emergency brain and the autopilot brain. They all mean the same thing. And the child/autopilot/subconscious brain is the one that will win every time if you leave it up to your default mechanism.
Ever promise yourself you will get out of bed tomorrow morning and start exercising at home?Or swear you’ll start looking for that new job tomorrow, and then, 7 hours later when you are snug in your bed and that alarm goes off and you take a long breath and focus more on the warmth around you and the chilly temp “out there” and think… Well….tomorrow I will start that! And roll over, close your eyes and pull the covers up for 30 more minutes.
Or you think, I am going to keep eating this new way that is working for me and then THAT happens. The business trip, the late work days which keeps you from shopping, or your coworker comes in with homemade salsa and the most perfect chips you’ve ever seen. Or that pastry or doughnut practically jumped into your hands when you were checking out at the store. Or your neighbor comes walking over with a huge frozen summer drink and you suddenly think…well, just ONE!
When all this happens you end up thinking, “why is it only me that cannot keep the motivation up? Perhaps this just doesn’t work because I am (insert your excuse here. i.e. too old, too heavy, too busy, too stuck in my ways, etc.)”
Many folks give up right here and go back to their old habit. And the subconscious brain says “it’s ok honey, your FINE.”
But I challenge that. FINE is no way to live.
I would say to you…Really? You are fine with staying in this body that feels heavy and stuck and inflamed?
You are fine with rarely having sex with your partner because your relationship is disconnected? Or fine without doing fun stuff with friends? Or staying in that “fine” job that isn’t lighting you on fire?
I don’t think fine is ok.
Excellent is better than fine. Rocking it is better than fine. But how do you get past that part of the brain that keeps you right where you are?
Good news…There is something you can do.
You need to learn how to parent yourself!
Your parents make you do the things you don’t feel like doing. You need to learn how to be your own parent. You need to figure out how to pop yourself into action to do these new things. And the good news is, it’s not that hard to do.
I call it
There is a tiny bit of time where you can jump into the action phase and do the things you want to do. If you act before your subconscious brain has time to chime in, you’ll be out of bed and walking to the door every time. Or you will have said “no” to that sugary, frosting coated doughnut before you can change your mind.
When it’s time to make a good food or goal related choice, say to yourself, 3.2.1 Go! In counting down in that moment, you will create excellent tension and excitement in your brain that will give your brain a quick, powerful boost to get you going in the right direction.
My alarm goes off on Tuesdays and Fridays at 4:40 a.m. Every single time I have flipped my covers back and I am out of bed before I have a complete thought. I act instantly, mostly because I know that in one hour my 6 a.m. group will be arriving for class. I take action every time before my brain has a chance to talk me out of it. That, and my “accountability partners”, aka my 6 a.m. class, are counting on me being there.
On the flip side, I set my alarm yesterday for 6am to get up to run. When my alarm went off I reached over, almost got out of bed, but thought I’d wait a moment while I woke up. And by the time I’d taken two breaths I had already talked myself out of getting up. I didn’t use this powerful tool to help me.
When you wait around to see what decision you’ll make, you will almost 100% of the time make your old, default decision.
Don’t let that happen.
Combine your initial desire with immediate action.
3.2.1 Go! (as in, go work out) or 3.2.1 NO! (as in, do you want this doughnut?)
Start doing it before your subconscious brain has time to talk you out of it.
That’s it for this week!
Go create the life you are dreaming about!
All the best to you.