“I do not understand what I do.
For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.”
So said a guy named Paul writing in the chapter of Romans in a pretty popular book, the Bible. He was talking about sin, but I see this in so many aspects of life. Why is it that we know what is good for us, or even feels good when we do it, but don’t? We set intentions for great habits, but we self-sabotage relationships, business goals, diet, exercise, personal development, even sleep.
I’ve read it takes 21 days to establish a new habit. Some days it feels more like 21 years. And it makes sense that it takes a longer period of time if it’s a tougher task. If you already exercise four times a week and increase it to five, I think that would be an easier adjustment than zero to five, right? I also read that we have countless daily habits in our lives but don’t realize that they are habits; they are so natural it feels wrong if we don’t do them. I think driving a car offers lots of these examples. We signal, look both ways, put on our seat belt, all without really thinking, but each is a habit. Brushing your teeth is a habit, but did you know if you have a routine to shower, then clean teeth, for example, and try to add flossing in between the two things you are so used to doing together it messes with your head? What crazy brains we have.
And there are many actual psychological things that keep us from developing new habits, or changing old ones – fear, lack of self-belief, comfort. I’m no psychologist so I’m not going to delve into that. But I do find it fascinating.
A fellow blogger and friend, Tammy Hudgin posted a shout out for help on Facebook for topic ideas because she was drawing a blank. See her Help Me!! blog post. When I saw her Facebook post it reminded me of earlier this year when I was posting every two weeks on my blog, and got down on myself for getting behind. What Are You Telling Yourself?
And here I am again.
Not for the same reasons. I have resigned myself to blogging when I can to make it authentic. What I didn’t do this time, is I did not jump back into routine after my vacation in early August. I was on a great roll eating well, going to the gym, planning out my days, and, generally balancing life. I returned home rested and ready to go, but I did not get back on my healthy eating. I did not jump back into the gym. I did not engage in my business the way I planned. I did binge-watch some Netflix. Am I feeling guilty? Not really, but I am curious. I know how good it feels to feel good! Focus, food, fitness. Haha! I posted this picture on Instagram on my one and only visit back to the gym when I returned home.
Why not keep at it?
I admit I got thrown off a bit on my return home. Some business fell through, I had an unexpected change in my household, my youngest was home all week with no camp. I got in a ‘funk’. The funny thing is exercising and getting busy would have totally helped my head space, but I just wallowed in it. I have discovered a lot about myself in the past several years. One of those discoveries is that I need accountability.
I was accountable to my blog, and my business Facebook page the whole month of July on my transformation. I had every intention of keeping it up, and posting about it off and on, but without a schedule of posts to follow I disconnected. I was very active on vacation, and ate well for the most part, but some habits slipped back in, like those dreaded potato chips and Oreos. Just a few days home, and a few small breaks in diet while away, a few unplanned events threw it all off.
I realized I tend to do this with so many areas of my life. I learned how and employed two different times a weekly ‘brain dump’ with subsequent scheduling on my calendar. I did it – it worked – and I stopped. I macro counted for several months that improved my body composition and Crossfit performance. I switched to a vegan diet – and I stopped. I got up early and read for a half hour every day. I slept in a few times – and then I stopped.
On a recent visit to my massage therapist we were discussing the health care approach in Canada; re-active versus pro-active approach. So is this societal? Probably. We tend to take the easy, or the familiar. I’m sure there are a few of you out there who are very disciplined, or take the road less traveled. I have to work at it to make change. I’ve already made some good habit changes over the years, and I’m making more. Back to accountability. I’ve joined a macro coaching program at my gym for September. I’m reporting in a business plan to my coach weekly, and, has fate would have it, a friend asked to come to my gym. So I’m scheduled back to class next Tuesday.
Here we go again! Maybe this time it will stick.