I've been using myself as a guinea pig for a special project I've been working on.
Basically, my thoughts are, that it usually takes a long time to build up the bad habits that put us into the situations that we don't like and want to change. However, everything out there promises these quick fixes, but no lasting results. I believe it's because there isn't sufficient time put into rebuilding the good habits and tearing down and unlearning the old bad habits.
I like to use weight and health as an analogy because it's pretty easy to understand and easy to explain. Would you rather lose 10 pounds in one month, only to gain back 12 the following month? Or would you rather lose 10 pounds, but keep it off for 5 years?
It's quite a paradigm shift for us living in this instant/microwave society. We expect everything to come as quickly as we want it.
If it took us 5 years to put the weight on or for our health to deteriorate far enough to have some major issue. There's a good chance it's gonna take more than a month to correct it long term.
I imagine it like facing flights of stairs. You can go up, to health and your ideal body, or you can take a step down and give up on those dreams but enjoy the moment. Now imagine that you've made a lot more steps down than up over the last 5 years. Do you really think that you'll be able to just jump clear to the top stair?
You're gonna have to climb back up. It's a whole new group of muscles that are going to need to be worked and if you try to take the stairs 4-5 at a time, there's a good chance you're going to get seriously hurt. Now compare that to how we look at weight loss/health. How many times have we tried, after only walking down the stairs, to suddenly turn tail and run, full barrel back up them? Only to fail, run out of breath and give up. Defeated, we just head back down the way we came, because, hey, that's familiar. We know how to do that.
Well, that is where my little idea came in. What if, instead of HUGE, GIANT leaps, that lead only to the inevitable crash and burn, it was small baby steps. Little choices. Almost so small you wonder if they are even going to make an impact.
This is where I am now. I'm in the very early stages of testing this theory of mine. I'm using my health/weight as a model to start with. It's easy to have daily goals/choices, and it the results either way will be clear.
Many times in the past I have tried different diet plans, programs, pills, you name the eating plan, I tried it. However, I always tried to do it all at once. And always came crashing down at some point in the process. The leaps and bounds approach. All or nothin' baby!
Looking back, any of the changes that have lasted for a very long time, were these very small, micro choices. For instance, I no longer buy potato chips. I don't even really like them anymore. It was a very small step. One thing. that I did years ago, and honestly, I don't even really like them anymore. Don't do chips at all really.
So small the mind can't even really begin to fight you. It's simple to just say, “Hey, it's just this one small thing.” And the mind backs right off. Done and done. The mind doesn't come up with excuses because it doesn't see it as a big enough thing to bother with. It's not a threat.
I'm letting go of deadlines, timelines, etc. My only focus is, do it until. Until my health has improved. Until I feel better, look better, all of those joys of reaching a goal of this nature.
I'll keep you posted on how this is going and then I'll move on to another aspect of life. At the moment, this feels like the most pressing issue and I'm hopeful for the future at this point.
Everyone's answer is different, but I may have finally found mine.