Change is Hard
They say only a fool keeps doing the same thing waiting for a different result. We are all that fool in one way or another.
Habits dictate our lives. Good or bad, they are very hard to break. Here is an example. I am on day 10 of the Whole 30 program, which for those of you haven't heard about it basically makes you change your eating habits in 30 days. For a whole month you can only eat products that don't include anything extra added, especially sugar. To be specific, you can only eat chicken, meat, fish, fruits, veggies and eggs. That is it. No dairy, no legumes, no booze.
I have always thought that as long as there are avocados and seafood I will be happy and full. I usually go for healthier foods anyway, so this Whole 30 didn't seem that hard to follow. And, honestly, it isn't. My body doesn't NEED to have processed food or sugar. Like it really can function on healthy stuff. It's the mind that start playing tricks. I don't even crave anything specific, but I do want certain products out of a habit. Like I had to remake my coffee the first day because I accidentally put creamer in it. Eating out isn't as fun. I have turned into a everything-on-the-side-no-butter person. And, of course, a cup of green tea isn't the best substitution for a glass of wine, but hey, I'm on week 2 and alive, ain't I?
The biggest trap on the way to change is self-pity. Oh my God don't we all like to treat ourselves with extra love? Hard day at work? You deserve a drink. Went to the gym yesterday? Why not eat a cupcake today. And you definitely need a new pair of shoes even though your credit card is almost overdrawn. We are masters of excuses and we usually never blame ourselves for not succeeding.
It is so easy to yield to temptation and give up on your big goal. Why? Because the brain wants the immediate pleasure. Your mind mostly focuses on the short term goals, it is used to processing information fast and making snap decisions. There is a whole book about the tricks that our mind plays on us called "Thinking Fast and Slow" by Daniel Kahneman. The author teaches you when it's good to turn your analytical, long-term focused mind and when the fast, intuitive approach is better. I find it useful especially doing the Whole 30 because my emotional side says: "Screw it, let's go buy you the best burger and fries in town!", while the logical side reminds me of why I am doing this and how I will feel if I follow the decisions I have made.
Change IS hard. But you are much stronger than you think you are. The road to change is through transforming your habits and in order to do that you have to think of long-term results. Treat it as if you are constantly investing in the future You. And trust me, the You tomorrow will be very thankful if you make the right decisions today.