Diet’s don’t work – you can’t go on a diet for a month, then get off the diet and maintain the weight loss.
Going from carrots for six weeks to eating donuts again because you’ve reached your goal weight doesn’t work. You are going to have to quit the donuts all together, or drastically cut down on your donut eating.
Pretty simple right?
But so hard to do.
It’s that way with everything in life. I am going to give you one of my real-life struggles and the steps I took, which I believe is applicable to any changes you want to make.
I was determined to stop over-drinking, so I would abstain from alcohol for a month, then start drinking again, and I would always go back to over-drinking. There is no 30-day miracle pill or other quick fix that is going to work. That’s just bullshit to play on your emotions and to get you to dig deep into your wallet.
What I’ve learned about making sustainable change in my life
Be realistic about the changes you want to make. I used to drink like a fish. I have abstained from alcohol for extended periods, on purpose. However, on the other side of self-imposed abstention I learned to clearly define what I want. Did I want to stop drinking all together, or did I want to cut back on the amount of alcohol I drank.
Changes had to be made to get my drinking under control.
(But first I want to say, before you start dogging on me – alcoholism is real and devastating. I’ve seen it up close and personal. If you are an alcoholic don’t drink…period.)
- I stopped hanging around people who drink all the time.
- I started walking at night instead of settling into the couch with a glass of wine or three. ( I replaced the bad habit of couch slouching and drinking, with the good habit of walking.)
- I set a few goals around my core values. In particular health and how I want to spend my money. I am healthier if I don’t drink all the time and I have more money for the things that really matter.
- I make a conscious decision about whether I will have alcohol before I go out. I do a check of myself, how I feel before and I will feel later. I set an amount I will drink before I even leave the house. The majority of what we think are conscious decisions are actually habits we have developed. In the past I would say, sure I made the decision to drink. But it really wasn’t a decision. It was a habit, triggered by being in a bar with certain people.
These were hard changes to make. It’s a step by step process that contains many layers.
- I had to break some bad habits. But that first required understanding how habits occur, the function they play in our lives, and setting up systems to start good habits.
- I learned the truth about willpower – it’s a finite resource and you have to nourish it. You can only get by on sheer willpower for a limited time.
- I learned about systems and how my decision to make changes affect those around me.
- I learned how to recognize the different types of sabotage and how to handle the all the grief I got from family and friends.
Most of the time there are two or three different areas that have to be handled simultaneously for you to be successful in creating sustainable change.
Check out one of my favorite TRYP Power Hours with Katy Hoyer on this subject:
Check out the rest of my You Tube Channel for helpful videos, and livestreams that will give you concrete action and other resources on this very topic!
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