Oh these dreary grey days. They’re one of the easiest days to wake up and suddenly feel as though all the motivation and energy you normally wake up with is just –POOF!– soaked up by your nice, cozy mattress.
I know they say that sunshine helps your mood, so it does make sense that on a day with a clear blue sky, you might wake up feeling a teensy bit perkier. Either way, though, coping with that oh so alluring temptation to just reset your alarm for an hour later and go back to bed is a fight I think we all wage from time to time.
Action vs. Regret
It’s taken me a long time to get to the point where this was a strong enough pull for me, but on Monday, when I was sooooooo tempted to just go back to sleep, my goals just kept going through my mind.
And I knew if I gave into my body wanting more sleep and went back to bed, I not only wouldn’t feel any better later in the day, I’d also have to live with the REGRET of not taking action.
And let’s face it: Regret sucks.
So I had a choice to make: Go back to bed or just suck it up and get moving. I chose to take ACTION! And it felt AMAZING and completely changed how I was feeling!
And because I took action, it led to others taking action as well. And there just isn’t a word that encapsulates how awesome that feels!!
Take That, Resistance!
I think that in all of our lives, we struggle with resistance and procrastination in all shapes and sizes. It could be as subtle as smacking the snooze button for the third time instead of sticking to your workout schedule. Or, it could be as loud as your family resisting the healthy changes you’re trying to enact for yourself (and for all of them in turn).
What’s tricky about this type of resistance is that we’re just so darn used to it, you know? It’s that teeny tiny little voice in our heads that goes, “Ah well. It was a really long day. It’s totally fine to have another glass of wine.” Or, “Meh. Eat the rest of the fries. You worked out, like, 4 times this week!”
To be brutally honest, it somehow convinces you that what you’re doing isn’t self-sabotage at all; it’s just warm-fuzzy rewards for deserving awesomeness! #mmmhmm
And who doesn’t want rewards and coddling? I mean, really. It just feels so GOOD! And that’s why we fall for it over and over again. However, you can break that cycle if you can teach yourself how to see through those “rewards” for what they really are. How?
Measure that Reward
The next time you feel that urge to “reward” yourself, try to build in a little space between the impulse and the action. You may think I’m crazy, but MAKE yourself count to 10 or 100 and see if you still NEED that “reward.”
Or, if you think you’re still hungry but you just wolfed down your meal, drink a full glass of water, wait 15 minutes and see if you’re really hungry. Also, the next time you get the impulse to reach for a snack when you logically shouldn’t need one, check in with yourself to see if you’re actually hungry or if you’re technically just BORED or emotionally zapped.
If you’ve already had your allotment of the tasty treat, ask yourself calmly and gently if a second helping is going to help you achieve the goals you’ve been working so hard toward. “Is that second scoop of frozen yogurt going to help me fit in my skinny jeans?” Or, “Will that second bag of popcorn help me keep my cholesterol low?” Most likely the answer will be NO.
I’m not saying DON’T reward yourself. I’m just suggesting that you do it within reason. Have treats — we all need them from time to time! But by weighing what you’re “treating” yourself with against what you’re trying to achieve, you’ll probably find that you have more inner strength to make the best choice for yourself. A la, “Actually, you’re right. I don’t need a ANOTHER cookie.”
You know I love hearing from y’all! What are some of the ways you work to overcome your own self-sabotaging tendencies? Have you found a reward system that works for you?