Friday, August 28, 2009

DAY 19 New Habits: Teflon or Velcro?

Good Evening Journal,

I have read information from many, many sources along this journey of change. One of my favorites is by Dr Phil McGraw, titled The Ultimate Weight Solution. To me it's not really a "diet"'s more a down-to-earth-change-your-thinking book. It's not that it has revolutionary ideas, but I liked the way he laid it out, in a logical order...a plan to follow. I was sooo tired of trying everything my way only to fail. So, I read it...a few times. And guess what his first key to success's Right Thinking.

He says on pg 144: "It is a truth of human nature that you will want to resist things that are new...But let me get real with you: you can overcome this human truth by consciously taking on the attitude of a ‘willing spirit’. Be willing to experiment and try new things in order to weaken your old habits. Adopting this spirit and putting into action everything you’ve learned is critical to keeping your positive momentum alive.

He says you don't get rid of bad habits, you replace them with healthy ones. You take action. And for me, it took taking those actions over and over and over, and I will admit that some of those old habits STILL give me problems (umm, like...not getting regular sleep!).

I was wondering WHY the new good habits don't always stick very well...they slide away as from teflon. Dr Phil says to "act as if" fake it til you make it. That is another way of saying that you are in Training to form new habits.

So what's the difference between successful change and failure....between the changes sticking or sliding away??

It takes CONSISTENT action...not just action. How long? For as long as it takes to stick. Shakespeare said: "Assume a virtue if you have it not."

Could it be that if we don't consistently put the new habits into action, again and again and again--as long as it takes, until we have "grafted" it into our thinking and actions and it really has taken root--well, that might be why it seems to evaporate so easily, and we find we even forgot all about it for awhile??? I know for me, that trying to learn too many new habits at once is very difficult. I do better conquering them one or two at a time.

In the first of 2009 I started an "Improvement List", with 20 items on it. I only took one at a time, and worked on it til I was comfortable it was becoming a habit. How did I know? I didn’t have to rely on a “note to self” to remember to do it! Then I added a new one to work on, then another, etc. I am embarrassed to admit how many times I have had to go back and repeat one...or more. Gee, I wish I could say it was always Easy...but I would be lying. For first a change is not always easy...but it GETS easier as time goes by, until it has become a part of my routines, a part of who I am.

It is taking lots of repetition, with some splats onto my face and getting up again, to build my new healthy habits.

But, this is good news!! This only means that with repetition (a LOT of repetition for me!) we CAN build new healthy habits. You know how it is when you have a new, fragile baby plant, and are waiting for it to take root; for awhile it can die pretty easy of neglect. It might take a little extra effort at first, but once firmly rooted and growing, and watered and fed occasionally, it can be hardy and tough. I want to hang in there while I am "growing" my New Self!

From Dr Phil's book: "Weight loss doesn't just happen; it happens one step at a time."

My verse for today: "...He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither."

My quote for today: "Obstacles don't have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don't turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it."-- Michael Jordan

Enjoy the Journey,



Sean Anderson said...

Very nice post. I haven't read his book, but I imagine I would be constantly nodding my head yes, yes, yes!
Good stuff Loretta, great stuff.

You're doing fantastic my friend,

Rettakat said...

Hi Sean,
Thank you for your comments! Yeah, I think you would enjoy his book...if you got on CD like I did, and you could listen while driving. :-)

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