This morning my personal trainer…okay…so she is not really my personal trainer..she is on my “netflix of workouts” and is training thousands of other people online at the same time…but I feel like she is my personal trainer when I’m working out in my living room….well this morning that personal trainer said, “Let’s train the quit out of you.”
That is a theme I’ve been hearing often this week: in my audio book I’m listening to as I chauffeur all these minions around (Girl Wash Your Face), and again in some training I’m doing with a new nutritional mindset program, where Ilana is teaching us coaches how to change those emotional eating habits we all struggle with.
Everyone struggles to stick with things. It’s easy to start, then fall off, then start again. We are quick to set high goals, start a new plan, pump ourselves up, then before we know it, we fall back to into old habits, habits that have been emotionally ingrained for years and years. That’s just our pattern. That’s just what we do.
We have trained ourselves without trying to in so many ways throughout our lives. Maybe when you go to your favorite restaurant, you’ve ALWAYS gotten the amazing french fries they have with your meal, or you ALWAYS binge on the cheddar biscuits before your meal, because, well, that’s what you’ve always done. That’s your habit. That’s what you and your mind expect when you go to that particular restaurant.
What happens if you order a salad instead of the fries or ask them to hold the biscuits? IT WILL FEEL WEIRD AND AWKWARD! At least the first time. It will be hard to say those things to the server. Yet, if you just do it that one time…you might feel good afterward. That might make you want to do it the next time you go… just to see if you can again. Before you know it, your mind might “expect” you to say, “Please hold the biscuits” or, “Can I substitute a salad for the fries.” That might become your new habit and your new expectations when you go to your favorite restaurant.
Habits aren’t going to feel natural the first time you start changing them. You have to go through that awkward stage. Yet if you just try that first step and keep it simple, you will find you have more success. You have to give yourself permission to change your habits. You have to BELIEVE you can.
Do you quit a workout or eating program consistently after 1 to 2 weeks? What happens if you decide, just this one time, you are going to go past that 2 weeks…one day at a time. You’re going to get to that point where you usually quit, and you are going to tell yourself, stick with it 1 more day. Then the next day, you are going to try that again. In your head, you might be telling yourself, “I always fall off after the first 2 weeks.” What would happen if you tried to change that voice in your head, that mental block of letting what you’ve always done in the past stop you from believing in yourself. What would happen if you made it through week 3? It would probably feel amazing, and you might want to do it again. It might become a new habit.
What would happen if you fall off one day, and instead of getting discouraged and proclaiming you will restart next month, you just picked yourself back up and started back the next day? What new habits would you begin instilling in your mind. What new goals would you begin getting closer to reaching?
What could happen, if instead of the normal habit I have of snacking in the evening while I watch my favorite show, I did my nails (my nails I’m usually embarrassed to let people see because I never take time to care for them). The first night, it would be hard, because my mind would be telling me I need to be snacking. The next night might be hard too. Yet if I keep trying this NEW habit, taking care of my nails and doing something positive instead of my usual snacking, I might start expecting it. It might become my new norm. And the next day I’ll probably feel less tired, less bloated, closer to my fitness goals….and by golly, my nails will look nice for once!
Quit quitting. Start new habits. Don’t expect it to feel natural or come easy, but just start. Try to stick with it a little longer than normal. Try to pick your new habit back up immediately if you fall off track one day.
You don’t have to be the person you’ve always been. You have the power to overcome those mental blocks holding you back. I don’t care if you have quit everything you’ve ever started…today you can quit quitting if you decide to.
Make the decision. Start with small steps. Find a new habit to take it’s place (doing your nails, reading a chapter, taking a bath). There are so many books on changing those habits and learning to stick to your goals. If you need any recommendations, feel free to reach out to me.