Thursday, April 10, 2014

Will Power and Finding 'You 2.0'

I just finished reading a book called 'The Willpower Instinct' By Kelly McGonigal.  In this book, I learned about all kinds of ways we self-sabotage, how critical we all can be on ourselves, and how the little 'tricks' that we play on ourselves really never work.

Here is what works: Constantly going back your goal, visualizing it, and thinking on that....rather than the craving or the impulse that you are currently feeling.  It's certainly not easy, I am finding that out as I continue on in my own journey with all of this, but, I will say, that where I am NOW as opposed to where I was two years ago, is a pretty far leap when I think back on it all.

However, even being future oriented doesn't always help us, according to McGonigal, you can't just see 'you' as some stranger in the future, you must view your future youself as 'You 2.0', however, to get to that person, you HAVE to make the steps to get there.  If you want 'You 2.0' to be in better shape, the 'you' now has to work on it.  But it's very hard for us to see ourselves that way.  It takes practice, determination, and a lot of being honest with ourselves and what we TRULY want.  But we can get there.

I have went from being a person who runs haphazardly in random races to someone who works out consistently 5-6 times a week.  That didn't happen all at once, trust me.  But I wanted it to happen, and I honestly, can't picture stopping this habit at this point.  I was also someone who frequented drive-thrus a near daily basis to drown my sorrows in a quesadilla....I couldn't tell you the last time I went through a drive-thru.  

Now, before you go thinking I'm some kind of bionic woman, let me assure you, I'm not.  This week, I'm on vacation in Florida, and I totally had a donut (maybe two), this morning at breakfast.  Change doesn't happen over night, it is a process, and there's no reason to feel badly about donuts or a day off from exercise.  What you need to concern yourself with is 'what's my overall habit?', and lately, my habit doesn't lead me to too many donuts.  But every now and then?  Right now, that's okay for me.

Here's the thing: be honest with yourself.  That's the biggest thing about willpower, and something that McGonigal writes is the best way to help yourself in gaining more willpower.  Have self-awareness.  Don't play 'tricks' on your mind.  Just be you.  Don't deny.  Don't criticize. Don't ignore.  Just accept it, and while many people would think that opens the floodgates and willpower goes out the window.  Often times, the exact opposite happens.  It's like a light bulb clicks on, and when we can admit to ourselves what the issue is, it stops being such a big issue.  So, be you....so that you can be 'You 2.0'.  


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