As I have been committing to making lasting change in my life, I’m at the stage where the novelty has worn off and the real work begins. This is always a dangerous place for me because this is when I tend to start making excuses and rationalizations and begin my slow descent to old habits. “One cookie today is not going to make a difference.” or “I walked the dogs today. That counts as exercise.” or “But the yarn is on sale.” These excuses/reasons may silly to you, but they represent the signs of the beginning of my waning commitment. Now I have to say that I haven’t uttered these yet, but I know myself and if I don’t put measures in place, they will show up.
The other area where I notice my commitment faltering is my propensity to watch more television, play games on facebook and spend hours (literally) “researching” on Pinterest. Now, I love Pinterest and understand it’s value as an idea tool, but it’s also really addictive. I say to myself, “I’m only going to look for 15 minutes” and that turns into 3 hours.
So now I’ve admitted to my propensity to throw away countless hours on fruitless activity. Disclaimer: This is only fruitless to me when compared to all the productive activities I should be doing. There are times when I need to just vegetate and not think too deeply about anything. That’s when I turn to Slingo or Pinterest or episodes of the Andy Griffith Show :-).
So why do I do this? I’ve already mentioned the novelty wearing off, but I think there is another reason. I could say boredom, but that’s really just the novelty wearing off. The activity required to choose good habits is exhausting and it’s the increased expenditure of energy that starts to wear me down. Eating well, exercising, taking care of my home and family requires much more thought, energy and preparation than grabbing fast food, sitting on the couch not doing housework or fixing dinner. I think I choose to say that I’m bored, but what I really mean is I’m tired of having to work so hard.
So at the risk of spiralling into a full-blown pity party, how am I going to address this?
- Be grateful that I recognize the speed bump.
- Acknowledge that it is hard, but I’m making better choices.
- If boredom is a factor (because you can only walk the same 30 minute loop so many times), then find another route. Do something completely different.
- Resolve to be unstuck.
- Talk it out (dogs are great listeners :-)). So are friends and family.
- If the task/project seems overwhelming, break it down into bite-sized chunks.
- Don’t view a slip (eating that cookie) as complete failure. Get back on track.
“You’d be a good listener too if you had ears like mine.”