It seems to me that when people talk about dieting they talk about making healthy choices, enjoying the fact that you are giving up that chocolate ice cream, and eating to fewer slices of Italian sausage pizza. But for me, passing up on pizza or ice cream is really hard. I’m just telling myself that I will enjoy that good choice and that doesn’t seem sufficient to me. So I’ve begun to think about these choices a different way.
Instead of considering why this positive choice is going to be so helpful or fun or meaningful, I think about the opposite; how will failing to stick with this habit affect me?
So let’s talk about exercise. If I’m honest with myself, I don’t want to go to the gym. I don’t want to sit on an exercise bike, or do laps around the indoor track, or get into that cold pool to swim laps. I’d much rather stay home, drink some red wine and stream some Game of Thrones.
What does work for me is to think to myself, how am I going to feel about myself later tonight if I fail to go to the gym? And how will I feel about myself later if I choose to go to the gym? For me this concrete game of choices helps motivate me. I know that if I failed to go to the gym I will feel bad about myself. I will know I don’t have the discipline and that will make me feel crappy about myself. I will have failed with my 21 day challenge and that will ding my self esteem.