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Is it because I give up too easily?

Would you ever set off on a planned road-trip, then give up and go home because you hit a red light? Or it was just taking too long? Or you had got half way but didn’t believe you could make it? It might seem a little ridiculous, but it’s thoughts like these that can misdirect your plans to make positive, long-lasting changes to your health. If you worry that you give up far too easily, then it’s definitely time to try a new approach.

I was reading about positive visualisation, and found a great analogy in terms of whether we crash and burn, or succeed, when we try do do new things. The authors spoke about making a car journey, perhaps just round the corner to the shops or to another city. How you’d set off knowing that it would certainly take time to arrive at your destination. That you wouldn’t be surprised to experience the odd delay (traffic jams, a few red lights, stopping for petrol). That you wouldn’t suddenly slow down en route, thinking “It’s taking too long! Why aren’t I there yet?”, turn round and go back to your starting point. That it was most unlikely that you’d only ever set off, reach the halfway mark, feel defeated, then return home never actually having reached your destination. Do you see what I mean?

First it made me laugh – imagining the dramatic shrug, woeful sigh, self-predicted failure and early return home – especially if all you were trying to do was go to the supermarket and do your shopping. Then I thought further, and realised it was really easy to think like this, particularly when considering your health and making plans to change it for the better. How often do you set off, guns blazing, but give up at the first obstacle? Or run out of enthusiasm? Or maybe you make really great progress. Until you  believe that misplaced inner voice – the one that convinces you that you can’t do any more. Does this sound familiar?

If you’re permanently anxious, sleeping badly and can’t concentrate at work then there’s much more need for your plans to succeed. You won’t want to try, and fail, if you’ve just left your doctor and he’s talking about pre-diabetes, anti-depressants and other big things. If you’re struggling to make it through the normal day, then you certainly don’t have the time or energy to get this wrong. I can understand the pressure.

But if you find it hard to stay motivated, and keep sight of the positives, why not try a different approach next time?

If you have a goal, a big beautiful plan, and heaps of motivation, then you’re pretty much ready to go. But this time why not make a tiny change?

Reimagine your big plans and permit yourself to accept that it WILL TAKE TIME to see results (weeks and months, not years!!).

You can also reassure yourself that you already know why this is. It’s because you’ll be trying out a few different things, and rehearsing the new actions and behaviours that you want to keep and turn into helpful habits. As with planning a journey and driving anywhere, there’s always the possibility you might experience hiccups, detours and delays.

However, you also know that ‘practice makes perfect’, and you will be practising parts of your health plan each and every day. Which means  you won’t look at your goal and tell yourself off, or simply give up, because “I’m not already there yet”. Instead, you get to stick to your planned route and  congratulate yourself every day, as you achieve the realistically paced, baby-steps which get you started, and keep you moving, until you arrive exactly where you want to be.

Well, that’s the approach I would try.

 

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your turn:

Do you worry your best intentions are never enough? Or have you found a way to persevere until you get the results you really want to achieve? How did you do it?
I really love hearing of your health hopes and plans. Especially when you offer to share your personal experience with others in the Nutrition with Nina community. It certainly helps to know you don’t have to struggle with uncertainty and confusion on your own. So thanks for taking the time to add your comments below.

 

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Until next time,

Nina

 

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