How to Make a Decision and Stick to It
Post on 15-Oct-2014
How to make a Decision and stick to itWe have all tried at some time or the other to start a new life. That has often translated into changing everything all at once: eating habits, giving up caffeine, going to the gym, cutting down TV, learning a new skill. But many of our new life projects soon start foundering within weeks. In the past few years I have coached tens of thousands of people to conduct a change in their own lives. I have thus witnessed thousands of failures and hundreds of triumphs. Whether it is a question of using time more rationally or improving skills as supervisors and negotiators, the key to a solution is invariably the same: How honest are you about the change? Step one is to recognize the facts that make a change necessary in your case and the causes that have led to your being in your present situation. And get an honest answer. If you have been a smoker for years, shopping he puff from your daily routine can be like trying to amputate a limb. Fleeing to televisions illusory world to escape problems of a personal relationship satisfies an immediate need. But creating a higher-quality content for your life demands an effort, one of the postponed gratification. Biology has given us a weapon to keep things in balance: homeostasis. It is what keeps our body temperature, our weight and our moods steady. Unfortunately, its a double-edged sword. If the body is used to eating more than it needs, dieting will cause hunger pangs. This is the stage when it is easiest to give up. To be able to loosen the grip that television or the refrigerator has on you, first be honest to yourself. What is your conception of who you are and your alternative way of life. Seven laws determine whether you will succeed in making a change permanent. The secret is to abandon unattainable idealism and set a realistic goal.
1. Aim to change your actions and habitsThe dieter who stares at the mirror or weighing scales too often becomes depressed when the target looks so far from reality. Those who have become prisoners of their goals are satisfied with seemingly insignificant steps towards the goal and dont enjoy the journey. The most rewarding approach is to make an immediate change in behaviour your only goal. What is one lost tennis match if youve won the set! Shift your attention away from small failures or matters that you cannot handle now.
The faster you aim to achieve permanent results, the less probable your success and more temporary the achievement.
2. Seek support from comrades-in-destinyMany of your friends will not be supportive to your cause. The best people to look to for open and selfless support are those who share your goals. Peer support is what drives both Alcoholics, Anonymous and Weight-watchers. Share your enthusiasm with those who have seen the light.
3. One thing at a timeIf you decide to straighten out a lot of things in your life all at once, it is probable that you will achieve nothing. If your challenge is a whole lot of bad habits that includes, say, a passive lifestyle, smoking, drinking, overeating and too much TV, start with one of your vices. Let the remaining habits serve as temporary safe havens. When you deny yourself one compulsive habit, smoking for example, over eating is a natural way to compensate for the lost security. If you change everything at once, the stress can be too much to handle. Major makeover takes two or three years. Start by substituting a ball game or gym for your couch. Just think what fun it is: exercise, or quality time with a child. After that you could go on to giving up over-eating. When you take small steps your ability to face the next challenge grows.
4. Dont give up anything completelyGiving up is difficult, and we always want more. Why does the method developed by Weight-watchers diet and exercise combined with a group spirit eventually achieve better results than any miracle diet that promises immediate effects? Persons who go to Weight-watchers do not have to give up anything; instead, in addition to shedding kilos, they are able to ea better and make new friends! Years ago I used to smoke so much that I would wake up during the night o have a cigarette. I have shaken off my dependence, although I have never really quit the habit I sometimes allow myself a few puffs by way of celebration.
5. Enjoy slow progressThe faster you aim to achieve permanent results, the less probable your success and more temporary the achievement. When you lose weight only by counting calories, your metabolism slows down; the rate at which your body stores fat speeds up and backsliding becomes more probable. When you lose weight slowly, your body and mind agree to change. Have you decided to save money? A strict high-amount saving program is more difficult to maintain over time than putting aside, say, Rs. 500 a month.
6. Give space to your strengthsWhile people find the concept of change unnerving, we all like to develop and grow through our skills and talents. Slaves of tobacco or alcohol do not just smoke and tipplers; and that defines them. If you smoke or drink occasionally, you are free to choose your relationship with the stimulants. And thus choose your own identity based on your skills and talents. Accept and control your weaknesses, but let your strengths define who you are.
7. Stop feeling guiltyYou cant give up smoking by wishing it to happen. You dont stop overeating by feeling guilty. Pious wishes like I wish I were slimmer or I should give up smoking lead to a sense of guilt and feelings of inadequacy. Im trying is he battle cry of liars and quitters. I should is a way of blaming yourself before others have time to do it. I must takes he pleasure out of doing anything. I hope is a letter to Santa Claus. A healthy obsession fills the gap that is left when an unhealthy addiction is shaken off. In other words, we need an alternative: It is easier to give up smoking if we develop some minor obsession, such as exercise, in its place. And junk food, for instance, is forgotten if we take up healthy eating as a regular practice. DONT AIM FOR perfection, because that is the worst enemy of all when you are trying to get something done. Prisoners have to. The unhappy must. The competent receive. The happy want. Its all about the same thing; the only difference is in your attitude.