10. Control stress – to control stress or emotions people often eat. Christmas can be a tiring and stressful time as well as a joyful time. So, instead of using food as a comfort, use exercise or relaxation methods such as meditation and yoga to control this.
“I’m going to exercise more”
“I’m going to give up chocolate”
“I’m going to only drink at the weekends”
“I’m going to get the bike out again”
“I’m going to go to the gym 3 times a week”
How many have said these things and then 2 -3 weeks down the line they have already broken their statement of intent. Why are we so optimistic in December but then so disenchanted by the end of January?
Is it a lack of will power, discipline, or unrealistic expectations?
The habits we accrue over the course of years, or even decades, are not often undone in the course of a few days or weeks. Can we expect to change our habits, without changing ourselves? By just saying that you are going to do something is not necessarily enough. If we desire to do something, we must desire to become something. What do you want to become? Who do you want to be?
“A person only changes when the pain of remaining the same is greater than the pain of changing”.
We may well set ourselves goals and targets to achieve, but some things may not always go the way we want them to go. Things that are out of our control may happen. It is how we respond and adapt to these changes and occurrences that will determine our likelihood of achieving our goals. This is largely dependant on how we view ourselves. The only thing we have control over in this world is ourselves. Maybe ask yourself: “who do you see yourself being in 6 months time?” Who we are is most accurately reflected in what we do. What we do determines the results that ensue.
Think about the principle of ‘causality’ that Socrates wrote of. For every effect (or result) we experience in our lives, it can be tracked back to a specific cause. If we don’t like the effects in our lives more often than we do like the effects, the cause lie in the person we are and our mental map of the world. Therefore, if we want to change the results in our lives, we can, if we set a different cause in motion.
A marathon runner will not smoke. This is not because she is disciplined or has an iron clad determination not to, but simply because smoking does not fit into her self concept of what is important to her. Who we think we are, and who we think we are not, will strongly influence what we do or will not do.
Training and abstinence from health eroding habits is probably just as natural to the marathon runner as overeating and smoking is to someone else. Both habit patterns ensue from the person’s self-image.
Please leave comments for a discussion: