Let’s say you decide that you want to stop eating sugar. Or you want to start drinking water first thing every morning. Or you want to stop eating late at night. That’s your new habit you want to institute. So you start off and you’re doing really good for a week or two, even 4, and then there’s a drop-off period where you just stop. You lose motivation to continue with this new habit.
This is when a lot of people quit. It’s different for everyone depending on their willpower “battery pack” or your current situation in life that is affecting your decision making. You get to the point where you don’t want to do it anymore and you want to “go back to normal”: eat whatever you want, stop working out, etc.
It’s hard to hit that wall and then bust through it. But that’s what it takes to really change!
You’ve probably heard the phrase “change your body, change your life”. I think it should actually be “change your life, change your body”. Because honestly, changing your life involves changing your habits.
Your body is neutral. It’s a physical manifestation of your habits and lifestyle. Of course your genetics and other things too. But let’s say you’re living this poor lifestyle of eating a lot of junk food and late at night, not getting enough sleep, not exercising, and you’re overweight. That’s not your body’s fault, that’s the fault of your habits.
In order to change that, to lose weight or get healthy, you have to change your habits. And that’s hard! The reason you’re not already doing those things is because it requires more effort.
But what I want to say is that when you get to that point…that wall of “I don’t feel like cooking dinner, let’s just order pizza” – or whatever the new habit is, push through that uncomfortable feeling and keep practicing that new habit until it becomes your new normal.
As an example: I don’t drink. I never have, I never will, and it’s not a choice that I even have to make. If I go to a party and someone offers me a glass of wine, I don’t even have to think about if I will drink it or not. That choice has been made! I just don’t drink, it’s a part of who I am.
You can become a person who doesn’t eat sugar! You can become a person who goes to bed and gets plenty of sleep. Those habits become part of your identity after a long time of practicing them. It’s not like a 21 day program or something like that, this may take a year or even more of pushing through.
Again, I’m not advocating an all-or-nothing mentality. If you’re trying to become a person who doesn’t eat sugar or junk food and you find yourself downing a bag of chips or cookies, that doesn’t mean you have failed completely. Oh well! It doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things, just try again. Just start over the next day.
There is no finish line or a deadline for becoming the person you want to be. What really matters is that you keep trying and keep going. And when you feel that “I don’t want to do this anymore”, push through that and just make it happen!
That’s the key to changing your life is changing your habits. It’s hard, I’m not going to lie and say it’s that easy. There is no easy way out of this, it just takes work. It’s taken a lifetime to get you to where you are right now with your habits, even your bad ones, so it might take a long time to break whatever habit it is you’re trying to break or new habit you’re trying to start.
So be kind to yourself. Recognize that it’s going to take practice. You’re going to fail. You are going to fall off the wagon and you will mess up. But that doesn’t mean you should stop trying, that just means you need to try again. Just keep on going and push through.
Through weekends, though I’m no advocate of restricting yourself, if you’re trying to change your life and change your behavior, just stay strong! Be who you want to be regardless of whatever people think. I don’t worry about if people think I’m weird because I don’t drink. I just don’t care!
If you’re trying to not eat sugar and you worry about your friends thinking you’re weird, you don’t have to be annoying about it or preach about it, just be who you want to be and do what you want to do, and do it in a kind way. Then it won’t matter what other people think.