Tuesday, December 8, 2009

INGHC - Step 3: Because I said so!

The fire of desire burns bright! Step 3 of the strategy is Reasons for Desired Change. When I quit smoking, I realized just how important it was to have clear (written down) reasons of why I wanted to quit smoking. Having been a smoker for 8 years, I had tried to quit 5 times previously and failed, but this last time was really different. Even though I'm not completely out of the woods (I've only been a non-smoker for about 2.5 months,) I feel solid and strong in my new non-smoking status. Why am I feeling so smug this time around? Here's why: Each time I'm tempted to have a cigarette I choose to gain the list of reasons why instead.

The key with modifying a behavior lies not with deprivation (or the lack of something), but rather with that which you have to gain, benefit from or conquer.

When making your list, make sure to word it as you would in a moment of temptation. For example here's what I wrote:

I choose not to have a cigarette because
  • It makes my muscles feel easier to move (I noticed that physical activity became more difficult after a cigarette)
  • I prefer to sing in the car (There had been plenty of times I'd have to skip a few lines in a song because I was puffing away.)
  • It pushes me to find new ways to treat myself (Now I spoil myself in ways that won't give me cancer. :0)
  • It is my next step in personal growth
  • I appreciate my throat feeling good (My throat had begun to be sore in the mornings.)
  • I love myself (Respecting my body is fairly new to me. In the past I've only fixated on mind, with little to no regard for my body.)
  • Only awe will take my breath away

I posted this list on a large board in my bedroom and read it over daily. (Another good tip is to have a copy on you at all times - in your wallet, pocket, purse, etc.) Then, each time an urge would arise, I would think about it and decide to choose all those things on the list over the cigarrette. Whenever that didn't seem like enough, I would count my money and consider someone (god forbid multiple people) catching me and having to pay up!
Failure is not a bad thing. It really teaches us what we need in order to succeed. By failing 5 times, I learned the right formula for myself, which involved having various backup plans, should the first fail.

So, now to apply all that to my current challenge. Why do I want to become a physically strong and fit individual with well established eating and exercising habits?

I choose to become this because
  • It will give me more energy on a daily basis to do crazy projects.
  • I want my body to house my soul on this earth for a long time.
  • I want to not jiggle when I run.
  • I want to climb a flight of stairs and feel invigorated by it (not drained.)
  • Doing so will raise my confidence level.
  • I will be able to fit into clothes which I have stored at the back of my closet.
  • It will make me strong enough to take a dance class.
  • I want to rid myself of emotional eating.
  • It's my next step in personal growth.
  • It's the next sign of respect for my body.
  • I'm in control of choosing the life I want to have and the person I want to be.

There's my list of reasons, (YOUR TURN) make your own and make sure to post it somewhere where you'll see it every day! Don't forget to share a few or all of them with friends and family in person, on facebook, twitter, or wherever!

Next up in our strategy is The Detailed Game Plan!

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