So why do we let things go? We get into this great spot of eating healthy or exercising, reading, meditating or going to church, and all of a sudden you just stop. What happened? Do you even know? It's not like we wake up one morning and decide, oh, I'm just going to eat sugar again or oh, I'm going to stop running. But all of a sudden we do wake up to realize that we did let it go. And then comes the painstaking battle of getting back on track. Sound familiar?
This is something I have been dealing with on and off for the last few years. And in no way do I have this down. But there are a few things that I have learned that help and work every time. So I will share these.
Take responsibility. The more official you make this the better. Some people like declaring their firm decision to a buddy, because it's easier to keep to your decision when you also have to face other people. Personally, that's always been a little guilt-ridden for my taste. I like making the declaration to myself, note the date, maybe even write it out on a piece of paper. Last time I did one of these I actually made it look a little bit like the declaration of independence. But do what makes it meaningful to you.
How do you know whether you've made a real decision? When you stick to it. I always found this saying to be extra provocative, but it's true.
Something that Matters More
One thing that has always helped me is finding something that I want more than what I am getting from letting things go. Basically, this goal can act like a lighthouse beacon for you at moments of weakness. When that cupcake is looking particularly good and your decision buddy is nowhere to be found, thinking about your ultimate goal can save you from this momentary lapse of judgement.
Your beacon can change over time. It used to be how I would look on stage at my desired weight, right now it's how I will look in my wedding dress. But sometimes, it has to go deeper than that. Sometimes it's about how it would feel to be financially secure. Or how it feels to be healthy and strong. The key is, it has to matter more than what you are currently getting from your status quo.
Start Over... Again
When you do lapse, and you will, do not despair. It happens to everyone. Just start over. Immediately. The worst thing to do is to push the "to heck with it" button and just go nuts. Just gently start over. Doing things one day at a time is something the AA groups have got very right. Sometimes it's one hour at a time.
If you find yourself lapsing over and over, then it's time to make the decision over again and revisit your beacon. It is probably not strong enough.
As always I am sharing from where I am at. Nothing more, nothing less. But sometimes sharing our struggles can tell others they are not alone.